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The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Signet classics) Mass Market Paperback – January 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0451522221 ISBN-10: 0451522222

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Product Details

  • Series: Signet classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics (January 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451522222
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451522221
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,331,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6?Done in picture-book format, this retelling is, of necessity, reduced to its bare bones, but the essentials of the complex plot have been captured. The pictures, full of action and crowded with scenes of the Parisian mob, the Festival of Fools, and the airy heights of the cathedral are skillfully drawn and colored with pale hues. Quasimodo's crooked figure and distorted face are appropriately repulsive, a foil to Esmeralda's grace and beauty. Middle grade readers familiar with the Disney movie will particularly enjoy this spin-off of the original novel.?Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hugo's standard is being reprinted to tie in with the Disney animated feature. Though the average kid is not likely to wade through this epic, Hyperion's illustrated edition is actually quite nice if you're looking for a quality hardcover at a good price.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It is Frollo's fate to love and lust after Esmeralda.
E. White
The movie based on this book leaves some very important scenes out and Victor Hugo writes those scenes so well that no one should miss out on reading them.
Lady Jag
Some of the stepping stones books are poorly written, but I was happy with this one.
N. McDaniel

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Gerry T. Neal (gneal.stu@providence.mb.ca) on February 14, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Contrary to popular opinion the novel Le Notre Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo is not primarily about the deformed bell-ringer Quasimodo. Quasimodo's role is actually surprisingly small in the story, which makes you wonder why the English translater's chose "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" as the translation for the title. Actually, as the original French title would indicate, it is the cathedral itself that is the focus of the book. This is why in the unabridged editions of this book you will find numerous chapters that seemingly have nothing to do with the plot of the story. This is the books weakest point, and it may turn many people away from the book. Once you get into the plot, however, it is iimpossible to put the book down. The characters are intriguing: composer Pierre Gringoire, archdeacon Dom Claude Frollo, once a paragon of virtue now tormented by his corrupt love for a gipsy girl, L'Esmerelda, the naive gipsy dancer, Phoebus, the selfish, egotistical captain of the guards, and of course Qausimodo, a deaf, deformed bellringer. The relationships between these characters are complex and dark but they make an unforgettable story. The story is never, from front to back, a happy one, so if you are looking for a book that makes you "feel good" this is not the one for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a good book to read, that is unafraid to deal with the darker side of reality, I highly recommend "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Loren D. Morrison on June 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Victor Hugo never wrote a book titled THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME. Some early translator gave it that name. What Hugo wrote was a book called NOTRE DAME OF PARIS (in French: NOTRE DAME de PARIS). This is not a book that is primarily about a hunchback named Quasimodo or a beautiful Gypsy girl named Esmerelda. It is a book narrowly focused on the Cathedral of Notre Dame situated on the Ile de la Cite in the center of Paris and, more broadly, on the 15th century city of Paris. This was a Paris where public executions or any form of punishment involving public humiliation were the highest forms of entertainment and drew the kinds of crowds that we would see at a major sports event today. If this book is not read with this in mind, the reader might well be disappointed because he came to it with a different sort of book in mind. I would like to congratulate the one previous reviewer who reviewed the book on the basis of its actual scope and intent.
Now to the human aspects of the novel, the plot so to speak: There are no perfect angels in this book. After all, Esmerelda was a part of a band of thieves who came to public gatherings for the express purpose of seeing what they could "gather" for themselves. Quasimodo was not a misshapen humanitarian. He had been known to carry out a dirty deed or two himself. As for the rest of the characters, there's not a role model in the bunch. To Hugo's credit, we really care about Quasimodo and Esmerelda, "warts and all." This is one indication of good writing.
The basic plot, devoid of any embellishments, is rather simple. Esmerelda, out of humanitarian instincts, comes to Quasimodo's aid in a small but meaningful way when he really needs a friend.
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39 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Johannes Platonicus on March 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Walter J. Cobb's complete and unabridged edition of Victor Hugo's classic, the "Hunchback of Notre-Dame," is without a doubt the best to be found. His translation retains the original romanticism and tragedy so characteristic of the great novelist's works. One would search in vain to find a better edition than Cobb's full-throated rendition of this great masterpiece of French Literature.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 2, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't know why this is, but classic books are often bound into heavy, dark tomes and printed in the tiniest print with almost no space between the lines. Perhaps the publisher imagines these books will not actually be read anymore, but instead are supposed to serve as fillers for the large shelves in aristocratic libraries and behind lawyers' desks.
Well, for those of us who still like to dust off the classics and read them, TOR's edition of the Hunchback of Notre Dame serves nicely. It's bound in a modern style--small, with an intriguing cover, with easy-on-the-eyes print. And, it's complete and unabridged (accept no substitutions on this point, otherwise you're depriving yourself of the grand vision of the artist). Also, TOR's 458-page mass market paperback is only [$]--when was the last time you got so many hours of entertainment for so little?
The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a dark, desperate novel, filled with mist and moonlight and echoes in the lonely streets of 15th century Paris past midnight. In the main, it tells the intersecting stories of three lonely characters, each aching in their own way. There's Claude Frollo, archdeacon of Josas, who's spent his whole life cloistered in the tight garb of Catholicism. There's La Esmeralda, an enchantingly beautiful gypsy who's searching for her long lost mother. And, of course, there's Quasimodo, the malformed, hunchbacked figure haunting the shadows of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
Hugo knows how to tell a story--there is plenty of irony, a few good surprises, and some excellent characterization. He paints the dark places of humanity: people struggling to survive, to find hope in the midst of horror, each clinging in some way to a dream that can never be realized.
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