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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (original 1831; edition 1947)

by Victor Hugo

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8,07596397 (3.94)244
Title:The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Authors:Victor Hugo
Info:Dodd Mead & Co. (1947), Hardcover
Collections:My Library, Read in 2008
Tags:Classics, Historical Fiction, French Literature

Work details

The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (Author) (1831)

  1. 10
    The Only Son by Stéphane Audeguy (Gayle_C._Bull)
    Gayle_C._Bull: The English translation is called The Only Son by Stephane Audeguy
  2. 10
    The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (bugaboo4)

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English (85)  French (4)  Italian (3)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (96)
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Non avrei mai immaginato un finale simile e questo non fa che aumentare il mio amore per Hugo, perché con questo romanzo ha dimostrato di avere a cuore la verosimiglianza delle storie che racconta più del semplice lieto fine.
Ogni personaggio è strutturato in modo singolare e il messaggio più importante ritengo sia questo: "Niente - e nessuno - è ciò che appare". ( )
  SaraOrwell | Oct 16, 2015 |
Amazingly, I reached my 60s and the second decade of the 21st century without knowing the plot or the characters of this novel, better known, albeit misleadingly, in English as The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I appreciated that my translation kept the original French title, because the novel is much more about the cathedral, and the archdeacon, Claude Frollo, than it is about the hunchback Quasimodo (who is much more grotesque in appearance than the word "hunchback" suggests, anyway) and the gypsy girl Esmeralda (and her delightful goat, Djali). The plot is very well known, except to me, so I won't repeat except to say that the about half-way through the novel Esmeralda is accused of murder, is sentenced to be hanged, and that Quasimodo, who loves her (although not the only one to do so), rescues her, secretes her in the cathedral where she has asylum, and complications ensue. I found this aspect of the plot exceedingly melodramatic.

Of course, being a novel by Hugo, there are lots of subplots and digressions, of which more later. The most complicated and interesting character is the learned archdeacon, Frollo, who at first rescues Quasimodo, earning his almost lifelong devotion, and sees to the education of his no-good, fun-loving, much younger brother but later, by implication, gets involved in so much learning himself that he has nowhere to go but witchcraft and alchemy. He falls in love with Esmerelda, but sees the hand of Satan in his love for her, with obvious complications (he is a priest, for one). The other major character is the cathedral itself, lovingly described by Hugo, with all its towers, statues, and hidden rooms. I am glad I have been to Paris and seen Notre Dame, but if I ever go again I will look at it with new eyes.

Perhaps the digressions are the most fun part of this novel (although, towards the end, it was hard for me to put it down as the plot wound to its conclusion). One of the most important is architecture and the chapter that discusses how the book will supplant architecture is fascinating.

"With the fifteenth century everything changed.
Human thought discovered a means of perpetuating itself not only more durable and more resistant than architecture, but simpler and easier. Architecture was dethroned. Orpheus' letters of stone were succeeded by Gutenberg's letters of lead.
The book is going to kill the building." (p.200)

Some of the other digressions include the nature of the criminal/begging class, justice (most often denied) and the "justice" system, the role of the king, alchemy, women who hide themselves away, and a very obvious subplot involving a girl who was stolen by gypsies.

All in all, I'm glad I read this book, although it got off to a very slow start, but I didn't like it nearly as much as the other books by Hugo I've read.
  rebeccanyc | Aug 31, 2015 |
I was prepared for the novel to be vastly different from the Disney film, more serious and 'grown-up'. In the end the distance was probably less than I was expecting. Although naturally more complex, the novel is comic and carnivalesque in a way that feels somewhat Disney. All the characters are somewhat comically grotesque, and few of their actions feel truly human.

I suppose the difference is in the absence of 'good' and 'bad' characters. Esmerelda and Phoebus are as comic and irrationally-driven as everyone else, and Frollo is more screw-eyed than he is evil. The hunchback himself is no protagonist, and to my mind no more interesting than other fringe characters like Clopin, Pierre and the mad mother in the cell. ( )
  sometimeunderwater | Aug 3, 2015 |
One of the most boring and dramatic things I've read. But definitely a very deep and dark insight by any author into the hearts of the different classes of people of the time and place. Maybe human nature is just the same everywhere at any era. ( )
  PsYcHe_Sufi | Jul 12, 2015 |
Tenía mis reservas respecto a este libro, principalmente porque como la gran mayoría había visto la película animada y pensaba que no me sorprendería en absoluto. Pero que sorpresa, la emotividad que nos brinda Victor Hugo producto de la genialidad sin duda; los puntos fuertes del libro son la relación amor-odio-locura en la que se ven atrapados los personajes, sin mencionar el final trágico que de alguna manera exalta aun mas la novela. Es genial igualmente la forma en que la lectura nos traslada al París del siglo XV. En fin, una lectura bastante recomendable.
( )
  zkazy | Apr 24, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
Au point de sembler plus vraie que la vraie. Bref, un roman-cathédrale.
added by Ariane65 | editLire (Mar 1, 2002)

» Add other authors (209 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hugo, VictorAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alger, Abby LangdonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Antal, LászlóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckwith, James CarrollTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krailsheimer, AlbanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lusignoli, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sturrock, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
וולק, ארזTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Exactly three hundred and forty-eight years, six months and nineteen days have passed away since the Parisians were awakened by the noise of all the bells within the triple walls of the city, the university, and the town, ringing a full peal.
Endlich neigte sich der geschworene Buchhändler der Universität, Meister Andry Musnier, zum Ohre des Kürschners der Kleider des Königs mit den Worten:

"Ich sage euch, Herr, das Ende der Welt ist nahe. Man sah nie solche Ausgelassenheit der Studenten. Die verfluchten Erfindungen des Jahrhunderts richten alles zugrunde, die Kanonen, Serpentinen, Bombarden und vor allem die Buchdruckerkunst, diese andere Pest aus Deutschland. Keine Manuskripte! Keine Bücher! Der Druck tötet den Buchhandel! Das Ende der Welt ist nah."
Stets dachte ich, werde es von mir abhängen, den Prozeß zu verfolgen oder fallen zu lassen. Doch jeder böse Gedanke ist unerbittlich und bestrebt, zur Tatsache zu werden; und da, wo ich mich allmächtig glaube, ist das Verhängnis mächtiger als ich. Ach, ach, das Verhängnis ergriff dich, überlieferte dich den furchtbaren Rädern der Maschine, die ich im Dunkel baute. Jetzt bin ich dem Ende nahe. (Claude Frollo)
Die Liebe gleicht einem Baum; sie sproßt von selbst hervor, treibt tiefe Wurzeln in unser Sein und grünt oft noch auf einem gebrochenen Herzen.
Dom Claude begann aufs neue: "Ihr seid also glücklich?" - Gringoire erwiderte mit Feuer: "Auf Ehre, ja! Zuerst liebte ich Frauen, dann Tiere; jetzt liebe ich Steine. Sie sind ebenso unterhaltend wie Tiere und Frauen, aber nicht so treulos."
Der Priester legte die Hand auf die Stirn. Es war seine gewöhnliche Bewegung; dann sprach er: "Wahrhaftig, Ihr habt recht!"
Peter Gringoire war so glücklich, die Ziege zu retten, und erlangte auch einigen Beifall im Tragödien-Dichten. Nachdem er, wie es scheint, alle Torheiten gekostet hatte, die Astrologie, Alchimie, Philosophie und Architektur, kehrte er zur albernsten Torheit, der Tragödie zurück; das nannte er: Ein tragisches Ende nehmen.

Auch Phoebus von Chateaupers nahm ein tragisches Ende: Er verheiratete sich.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451527887, Mass Market Paperback)

This extraordinary historical novel, set in Medieval Paris under the twin towers of its greatest structure and supreme symbol, the cathedral of Notre-Dame, is the haunting drama of Quasimodo, the hunchback; Esmeralda, the gypsy dancer; and Claude Frollo, the priest tortured by the specter of his own damnation. Shaped by a profound sense of tragic irony, it is a work that gives full play to Victor Hugo's brilliant historical imagination and his remarkable powers of description.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:26 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

In fifteenth-century Paris, a disfigured man named Quasimodo, who was abandoned as an infant in the cathedral of Notre-Dame and now lives in its bell tower, must come to the aid of a beautiful gypsy girl named Esmeralda after she repels the advances of the cruel archdeacon Don Claude Frollo.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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30 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140443533, 0451531515

Tantor Media

2 editions of this book were published by Tantor Media.

Editions: 1400102111, 1400109035

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