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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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7,75788434 (3.93)236
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)

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English (78)  French (4)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (2)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
If I could give this book ten stars I would. ( )
  eruditescythian | Dec 23, 2014 |
This is described as Victor Hugo's fascinating romance and the Readers Library record seller. The dustjacket is black, blue and scary.
  jon1lambert | Nov 25, 2014 |
Really more of a four and a half, to be honest.

Review to follow. ( )
  humblewomble | Oct 19, 2014 |
Before reading, I was struck by the original French title, which makes no mention of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame, but only of the cathedral itself. This makes complete sense, when reading the novel, as one almost feels as though, at points, Hugo is simply writing a biography of the cathedral. He devotes a considerable number of pages describing the building's inner anatomy from the bells to the crypt. This devotion spurred a revival in mid-nineteenth century French architecture, with many Parisians restoring buildings to their former glory. Ultimately, though, Hugo describes the novel as being the victor over architecture. It is the novel which can put civilisations' greatest ideas in to the hands of all people, in a way that only architecture was able to in a bygone age.

This Oxford translation was quite stunning: at numerous points I had to re-read a sentence just to grasp a beautiful turn-of-phrase, and wondered at what Hugo wrote in the original French text. There are points where Hugo departs from the central storyline in order to ponder at length over one of the central character's views on philosophy, religion, architecture, or literature. At these junctures in the narrative, it can sometimes be quite tricky to pick the novel back up and return to where you left off. I got the most out of the novel when reading it in huge chunks, as I was able to return to the narrative with greater ease. In hindsight, I wonder, if there were moments where I would have appreciated a deeper insight in to the characters' lives before the novel. Surely Hugo could have pondered much longer on Quasimodo's loneliness, his place in the world, his relationship with the God who had made him and the struggles that he had to face in a world which poured scorn on him in so many ways. Hugo prefers, I assume, to share these nuggets through narrative and subtle association.

The depiction of Frollo's lust and demise is so maddeningly described in places, for example, that it makes for gripping reading – at times, it felt like reading a modern thriller. I can only guess at the kind of reaction this novel would have received in the nineteenth century. The way in which Hugo intertwines the theological consequences of his demise with his pursuit of Esmerelda's matrimony, is so superbly done. In the end, his pursuit of her leads him to openly reject God and paradise, in exchange for his vacuous (and fatal) lust for Esmerelda. At one point, Hugo writes about his point of no return: 'I drew myself up; I fled; but alas! something within me had fallen never to rise again, something had come upon me from which I could not flee.'

If you like long classic novels, then you may enjoy Notre Dame, although you may be put off by the long passages on architecture – if I was to read this again, I would probably aim to read it while sailing down the Seine! This was my second attempt at getting through the book: this time I got to the end, and it was certainly worth it. ( )
  m-andrews | Oct 14, 2014 |
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 |
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» 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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This is the major work for The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. Please do not combine with abridgements, adaptations, etc.
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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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2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0140443533, 0451531515

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