The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Kobo ebook | December 18, 2007

byVictor Hugo, Catherine Liu, Elizabeth McCracken

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The story and characters in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame  have resonated with succeeding generations since its publication in 1831. It has tempted filmmakers, and most recently animators, who have exploited its dramatic content to good effect but have inevitably lost some of the grays that make the original text so compelling.
   From Victor Hugo's flamboyant imagination came Quasimodo, the grotesque bell ringer; La Esmeralda, the sensuous gypsy dancer; and the haunted archdeacon Claude Frollo. Hugo set his epic tale in the Paris of 1482 under Louis XI and meticulously re-created the
day-to-day life of its highest and lowest inhabitants. Written at a time of perennial political upheaval in France, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame  is the product of an emerging democratic sensibility and prefigures the teeming masterpiece Les Misérables, which Hugo would write thirty years later.
   He made the cathedral the centerpiece of the novel and called it Notre-Dame de Paris. (It received its popular English title at the time of its second translation in 1833.) Hugo wrote that his inspiration came from a carving of the word "fatality" in Greek that he had found in the cathedral. The inscription had been eradicated by the time the book was published, and Hugo feared that Notre-Dame's Gothic splendor might soon be lost to the contemporary fad for tearing down old buildings. Notre-Dame has survived as one of the great monuments of Paris, and Hugo's novel is a fitting celebration of it, a popular classic that is proving to be just as enduring.

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Jacket paintings: (front) detail from Notre Dame  by Paul Lecomte, courtesy of David David Gallery/SuperStock; (spine) Victor Hugo, 1833, by Louis Boulanger of Giraudon/Art Resource, N.Y.

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The story and characters in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame  have resonated with succeeding generations since its publication in 1831. It has tempted filmmakers, and most recently animators, who have exploited its dramatic content to good effect but have inevitably lost some of the grays that make the original text so compell...

Victor Hugo, born in 1802 in Besancon, France, was one of the leading French authors of the Romantic movement. Although he originally studied law, Hugo dreamed of writing. In 1819, he founded the journal Conservateur Litteraire as an outlet for his dream and soon produced volumes of poetry, plays, and novels. Hugo's most notable works ...

other books by Victor Hugo

Les Miserables
Les Miserables

Hardcover|Nov 14 2012

$26.50 online$36.00list price(save 26%)
Les Miserables: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Les Miserables: (penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

Paperback|Feb 24 2015

$21.06 online$28.00list price(save 24%)
Les misérables
Les misérables

Paperback|May 20 2013

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see all books by Victor Hugo
Format:Kobo ebookPublished:December 18, 2007Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307417158

ISBN - 13:9780307417152

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Customer Reviews of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Incredible This book is beyond amazing. It's captivating, interesting, and full of emotion.
Date published: 2016-11-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful and tragic This is now one of my favourite books. I liked the Disney movie too but I loved the book even more. I felt like the book was more realistic, emotional and had more depth. Also the book was pretty fast-paced.
Date published: 2012-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So sad, yet beautiful This was the most tragic thing I have ever read, yet somehow Victor Hugo managed to make it wonderful, and so different from other books of his time . It's a love story, yet [spoiler?] no one gets the girl.
Date published: 2012-01-21
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting but be prepared for a history lesson Before reading Victor Hugo's classic whenever someone mentioned, The Hunchback of Notre Dame I usually thought of the Disney version. I'm sure I'm not the only one. It's actually quite shocking. These two ideas could not be more different from one another. (Although I would be lying if I said the Disney music didn't play through my head the whole time I was reading). In reality, this book is much more gruesome than Disney would have us believe. There is much more violence than I would have expected. This is not to say that it is too much or that it is gory. But it is dark. There are few (if any really) bright and shiny scenes, where everything work out. In my opinion this makes it much more gritty and much more interesting. The characters are more human, they have more depth. I found this version (i.e the real version) really helped you get to know the “villains” of the story. In particular Frollo. My previous opinion of him was a cold hearted, sadistic man, who cared for no one and nothing but himself. In actuality there is so much more to him than that. You really get to know him and his history. Though not pure by any means, he's not heartless either. He actually ended up being one of my favourite characters in the book. The one tragic flaw of this book, however, is it's repeated history lessons. Be prepared for very long descriptions of French architecture, music, the printing press etc. Hugo spares no detail! These often went on for pages, and a couple of times I was very tempted to abandon the book because of them. But if you can survive them they will add a nice touch to the story, in that all your settings will be much more vivid and the class divisions touched upon will make much more sense. All in all, this is a good book. It's longer than it needs to be, but the story is solid and the characters are well thought out. In true Gothic fashion it is dark and dreary but it's not that depressing. There's action, adventure and mystery. If nothing else it will ensure that visiting Paris and Notre Dame will be added to your bucket list. This and other reviews can be found at Christa's Hooked on Boos - http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com
Date published: 2011-10-28