- Series: Collins New classics series-no.552
- Hardcover: 444 pages
- Publisher: Collins (January 1, 1953)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0000CIN1J
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (233 customer reviews)
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The hunchback of Notre Dame (Collins New classics series-no.552) Hardcover – Import, January 1, 1953
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|Hardcover, Import, January 1, 1953||
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Modern readers want slam-bang climaxes and chases. Modern readers want simple plotting, no charecterization, and little thought or planning.
Hugo defies that, and makes the reader think, makes the reader pause, makes the reader reflect; then Hugo delivers a tale of horror, of humor, of love, and of grand thought and whopping entertainment.
By the way, check out Lon Cheney's silent movie version.
BUT READ THE BOOK FIRST!
But the dramatist also is evident in another way: dialogue. As has been mentioned by others, the dialogue seems stagey, two-dimensional, over the top (or under the bottom, if you wish). This, apparently, was typical of stage productions in Hugo's day. Claude Frollo, for example, in his last conversation with Esmeralda, is practically unbelievable. But he is not alone: Esmeralda herself stretches our credulity. (For one thing, we are never told why she seemed so sympathetic to Quasimodo on the pillory but repulsed by him in the cathedral.) She immediately falls in love with Phoebus, whom she only meets once briefly, and never changes her feelings, which is to say that she never learns, never grows, never seems aware. And this leads to the oft-repeated, central complaint about this book: the main players are not people; they are symbols, constant and unchanging.
For example, at one point, in describing Quisimodo and Esmeralda, Hugo writes, ". . . there was someting touching about the protection offered by a creature so deformed to one so unfortunate -- one condemned to death saved by Quasimodo. Here were the two extremes of physical and social wretchedness meeting and assisting each other." (Walter J.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“Without a doubt the Cathedral of Notre-Dame is, even today a majestic and sublime edifice. Though it has preserved a noble mien in aging, it is difficult to suppress the feeling... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mtutuzeli Nyoka
I loved Les Miserables and was moved by its strong story of faith, moral strength and the human condition. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mark
I am very unhappy with this particular book. I received it in the mail today and found that I spent over $20 for basically a comic book in a hardcover. Read morePublished 2 months ago by robin schlosser
What arrived to my great grandmother was not this book. It was a large print Hunchback of Notre Dame. But it was WITHOUT page numbers and published by Loki Publishing Co. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amber B
I had to read this after finishing Les Miserables (loved that book). Although this book is not quite as good as that one it still will be on my list to read again at some... Read morePublished 2 months ago by johndoe68
The story is quite expansive, but filled with a great variation of characters and turns of events. I am always impressed that our human history has changed over the centuries but... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Elfriede Wegener