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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831)

by Victor Hugo

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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12,502162405 (3.93)386
A retelling of the tale, set in medieval Paris, of Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and his struggles to save the beautiful gypsy dancer Esmaralda from being unjustly executed.
  1. 10
    The Only Son by Stephane Audeguy (Gail.C.Bull)
    Gail.C.Bull: The English translation is called The Only Son by Stephane Audeguy
  2. 10
    Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (bugaboo4)
Europe (88)
1830s (1)

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English (145)  French (5)  Italian (4)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (2)  Slovak (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (162)
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
  archivomorero | Jun 27, 2022 |
I'm not sure I'll be able to write a traditional book review for this one, and in fact I'm not even sure where to begin. The single strongest recurring thought while reading this book was, "Why/how on earth would this have been made into a children's film?" I haven't seen the 1996 Disney production myself, but it seems pretty safe to say that it must be so heavily adapted as to be virtually unrecognizable.

The overall plot could be summarized as, "There are a handful of Parisian men who lust after a Romani ("gypsy" in the book) girl, whose life begins and ends in tragedy." Claude Frollo, Archdeacon of Notre Dame, twenty years ago took in a deformed foundling. The foundling, Quasimodo, who has grown up in the cathedral and is now the bell-ringer, is coerced by Frollo to undertake a kidnapping. Sixteen-year-old Esmeralda and her beautiful goat Djali are rescued from said attempt by Captain Phoebus, and she instantly but unwisely falls in love with him. Pierre Gringoire, a struggling playwright, becomes entangled with a street gang and is nearly hanged, but Esmeralda secures his freedom by agreeing to marry him for a period of four years. And then there is Paquette, whose infant daughter was stolen from her bed years ago, and who now lives as an anchorite, walled up in a cell along a street in Paris and raving daily about the gypsies who took her daughter.

I was a good 40% through the book before anything interesting began to happen, thus at more than 450 pages it was a bit of a slog. All told, I'm not entirely disappointed to have read it, if only to have added some new knowledge to my brain with respect to literary history. Would not recommend to a friend. ( )
  ryner | May 20, 2022 |
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Modern Library Classics) by Victor Hugo (2002)
  sharibillops | May 20, 2022 |
I read this years ago, and I'm still in love with it. This is quite possibly one of the saddest and most romantic books I've ever read. ( )
  CatherinePeace | Apr 8, 2022 |
When the time came for Victor Hugo to be born (1802), most of Europe's cathedrals were falling into grave disrepair. Unlike man, cathedrals do not have a voice of their own, and no one was speaking for the aging gothic buildings. By the early 1800s, many cathedrals fell out of favor, were forgotten, and were letting the ivy in where mankind used to enter. By 1830, Paris' Notre Dame Cathedral became so neglected and disused that it became dangerous to even enter for fear of falling pieces. By all appearances, the gothic age seemed to have finally closed, and many ancient buildings, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, were slotted for demolition

The first few years of young Victor Hugo's life were spent following the army with his father, who was a general under Napoleon's brother Joseph. Young Hugo was taught to hero-worship Napoleon, and in consequence, idealism and politics were to occupy his mind for the duration of his life. By 1812, he was living in Paris with his staunchly Royalist mother, which must have made a confusing impression on Victor Hugo's mind. I believe the two extremes, Napoleon-worship, and loyalty to the monarchy, gave Victor Hugo the complex foundation that he needed in order to write with the breadth that he did. He understood both worlds fully, which meant that he was one of the few to fully understand France given the time that he was living in.

He grew up in a Paris that was Post-Revolution. He didn't experience any of the Revolution himself, but the adults around him did. During Hugo's time, the gibbet still stood on the hills on the outskirts of town to hang criminals as warmings. Hugo was living in the new Paris, the people's Paris, the Paris inherited by the legacy of Napoleon's code. It was to be an Enlightened era, but it was Victor Hugo who helped make it a Romantic era as well.

"The Hunchback of Notre Dame" was Victor Hugo's rallying cry to save the large crumbling gothic building that stood in the center of Paris. To read it is to understand what it means to revere the people of the past and admire their incredible achievements. ( )
1 vote kmarson | Dec 27, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
Au point de sembler plus vraie que la vraie. Bref, un roman-cathédrale.
added by Ariane65 | editLire (Mar 1, 2002)
In Notre-Dame de Paris Hugo’s dreams are magnified in outline, microscopic in detail. They are true but are made magical by the enlargement of pictorial close-up, not by grandiloquent fading. Compare the treatment of the theme of the love that survives death in this book, with the not dissimilar theme in Wuthering Heights. Catherine and Heathcliff are eternal as the wretched wind that whines at the northern casement. They are impalpable and bound in their eternal pursuit. A more terrible and more precise fate is given by Hugo to Quasimodo after death. The hunchback’s skeleton is found clasping the skeleton of the gypsy girl in the charnel house. We see it with our eyes. And his skeleton falls into dust when it is touched, in that marvellous last line of the novel. Where love is lost, it is lost even beyond the grave...

The black and white view is relieved by the courage of the priest’s feckless brother and the scepticism of Gringoire, the whole is made workable by poetic and pictorial instinct. It has often been pointed out that Hugo had the eye that sees for itself. Where Balzac described things out of descriptive gluttony, so that parts of his novels are an undiscriminating buyer’s catalogue; where Scott describes out of antiquarian zeal, Hugo brings things to life by implicating them with persons in the action in rapid ‘takes’. In this sense, Notre-Dame de Paris was the perfect film script. Every stone plays its part.
added by SnootyBaronet | editObserver, V.S. Pritchett

» Add other authors (478 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Hugo, VictorAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Aken, Jan vanAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Alger, Abby LangdonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Antal, LászlóTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bair, LowellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beckwith, James CarrollTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blake, QuentinIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bo, CarloIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boor, GerdiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
BrugueraEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cobb, Walter J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dixon, Arthur A.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gohin, YvesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keiler, WalterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kool, Halbo C.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krailsheimer, AlbanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
La Farge, PhyllisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Laverdel, MarcelIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Liu, CatherineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lusignoli, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Maurois, AndréAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oorthuizen, WillemTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panattoni, SergioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhys, ErnestEveryman's Library Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seebacher, JacquesEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spitzers, AttieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stedum, Gerda vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sturrock, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Swinburne, A. C.Appreciationsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Terpstra, BasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhagen, InekeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vincet, ArthurNarratorsecondary 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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A retelling of the tale, set in medieval Paris, of Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and his struggles to save the beautiful gypsy dancer Esmaralda from being unjustly executed.

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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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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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