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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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7,57285453 (3.94)231
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 (1831)

  1. 10
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    Gayle_C._Bull: The English translation is called The Only Son by Stephane Audeguy
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English (75)  French (4)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (85)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
The classic tale set against the marvelously detailed description of the city. The story about Quasimodo, but it starts with him being praised. The hatred/prejudice comes only after misunderstandings. The overbearing message- ignorance breeds hatred. Worth the read. ( )
  Rosenstern | Sep 14, 2014 |
A great work by one of the world's greatest authors. Complete excitement. It is not like any movie. I was shocked to discover this but it makes a much better read. Far more realistic. ( )
  JVioland | Jul 14, 2014 |
This would be my advice to Victor Hugo. If I had a time machine I would travel to a time just before he published this book, and give him an intervention.

Dear Mr. Hugo,

Firstly, may I say that I am a big fan of your future work, Le Miserables. And because of that, I cannot accept The Hunchback of Notre Dame as you have written it. If it were written by a different author, I would dismiss this as a three star novel, not terrible, but not a book I would read again if I had the chance. But in the future you will write a masterpiece, and so I rate this a two star novel, for failed potential.

The plot is magnificent. But you have written this story all wrong. You destroyed the mysteries- Esmerelda's enemy, and her mother, by revealing the information too soon, and not using the early revelation to create tension and anticipation in the reader to be sustained throughout the story. Leave things unexplained- it gives you the chance to surprise us later on. Readers love to be surprised.

You made the story less fun to read, by woefully neglecting Esmerelda and Quasimodo (the only sympathetic characters) perspectives. By all means, give us glimpses of the perspective of the villainous archdeacon (no, DON'T! Frankly his perspective disturbed me greatly), use Gringoire's perspective to introduce the book, and show how the mysterious Esmerelda looks to a stranger, give Jehan a few lines to add some wit. But all of that should come to less than a quarter of the book. YOU CREATED TWO AMAZING, SYMPATHETIC, UNIQUE CHARACTERS. GIVE THEM THE VOICE THEY DESERVE!

I admire your story, but the story telling in this novel is incredibly disappointing. I sincerely wish you could have a do-over, rewrite this story with the wisdom and genius you will accumulate by the time you write Le Miserables.

Thankyou for listening,

Goodbye from,
An admirer and well-wisher, a friend. ( )
  Sweet_Serenity | May 20, 2014 |
"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" is my first Victor Hugo, and the comments I had previously heard about the vividness of his descriptive prose were certainly proved by this work. By the halfway point in the book, it seemed as if not very much had happened yet, but once I got used to the style, I didn't really mind. The story has a satisfying ambiguity to it; there is not just a black and white delineation between hero and villain, nor are the moral points of the story overtly spelled out. The reader walks away with lots to think about from the plot alone; intermingled with this are Hugo's interesting ideas about how literature has supplanted the role of architecture in society (in a chapter which, strangely, was almost lost to history). Many have posited the role of Notre Dame itself as a character in the book, but Hugo too almost becomes a character, in that the way this story gets told probably could not have been told the same by anyone else. This is one of those strange books that doesn't take hold as an immediate favourite and yet won't get its hooks out of you.

The Barnes and Noble edition features a nice introduction by Isabel Roche, who in the series' featured "Inspired by This Work" section is far kinder to the Disney version of this story than I would have expected. Her footnotes are immensely helpful throughout the book, her endnotes less so. If you are a reader who perpetually gets exhausted by having your pinky finger in the back of a very large volume, skipping the few pages of endnotes probably won't bother you too much. ( )
  quaintlittlehead | Mar 30, 2014 |
In some ways, this reads like an odd book. If you read it for the story involving Esmeralda, the beautiful young gypsy girl, Quasimodo the hunchback bell-ringer and Frollo the archdeacon, you may be put off or annoyed by the digressions into the layout of Paris, or the architecture of Notre Dame, or a treatise on architecture in general and why newer isn't always better. For me, I found it created some odd pacing and I wondered if perhaps at one time it was more common to set a scene in such minute detail. But in reading about the book after the fact, I see that in many ways, the story about Esmeralda and company are actually the digressions from the main text, which was Hugo's views about Gothic architecture. Well, it's probably a good thing he put a story around all of that, or it probably would have been a hard sell. (His views, by the way, boil down to "Kids these days! Get off my lawn!")

So all right, back to the story that people actually want to read - the gypsy, the bell-ringer, the handsome captain, the archdeacon, and of course, the goat. While reading, I was a little surprised by how few good guys there were - it was very interesting to see that beauty didn't equate to good in Hugo's world. In fact, the moral of the story might be instead of "all that glitters is not gold," "all that glitters is not only not gold, it's got a sharp edge that was probably dipped in poison." As far as the writing goes, for a novel written in the early 1800s, the story skipped along quite quickly, and although some twists were telegraphed far ahead of time, others weren't at all. Well worth the read.

Recommended for: people who only know the Disney version of the story, those intimately familiar with Paris, people who prefer animals to humans.

Quote: "And then, from morning till night, I have the happiness of passing all my days with a man of genius, who is myself, which is very agreeable." ( )
  ursula | Mar 24, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (210 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hugo, Victorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alger, Abby LangdonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Antal, LászlóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckwith, James CarrollTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krailsheimer, AlbanTranslatorsecondary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:49 -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)

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Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140443533, 0451531515

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