The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

ISBN: 0760701687
ISBN 13: 9780760701683
By: Victor Hugo

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Reader's Thoughts

Thomas Johnson

This is quite a tome, and it requires both patience and time to get through. Hugo is prone to digressions, some of which stretch on for at least fifteen pages (I was listening to an audiobook recording, and a number of the digressions went on for at least fifteen minutes). The lengthy asides are devoted to describing in elaborate detail the architecture and geography of fifteenth-century Paris, background which imparts the novel with a deeper sense of authenticity than it would have possessed had Hugo kept his narrative focus solely on his characters. Nevertheless, this reader was left wishing Hugo had refrained from sidelining them for as many pages as he did in order to indulge in his love for what he evidently believed to be the height of Parisian artistry.Though these asides – educational as they are – can be tiresome, Hugo’s characters ultimately take precedence in the novel, and it is their struggles which impart the novel with lasting value as a story. His three main characters – Quasimodo, Esmeralda, and the Archdeacon Frollo – are not always sympathetic, but are consistently intriguing because they are motivated by the primal human emotions of lust and love. Through them, Hugo effectively shows the harm which one acting on lust can bring to a person who pursues love at any cost.Quasimodo, the eponymous hunchback, is a character who pursues love at any cost – a love for Esmeralda which is especially selfless because he understands that she will always be repulsed by his deformities. Quasmodo’s devotedness to Esmeralda coupled with his inability to connect to the world around him makes him easily sympathetic, despite his occasionally violent behavior. However, it is this same isolation which make him the least engaging of the three main characters. While Esmeralda and Frollo can verbally spar and passionately express their emotions to one another, Quasimodo can barely communicate and remains in the cathedral throughout most of the story while the action continues below him. He is always compelling when he enters into the main action of the story, at which points he validates his status as the titular character by drastically altering the plot, but it is difficult to feel as strongly about his fate as though characters whom are continually at the reader’s attention.Esmeralda falls in to that category, as she is a character who elicits a strong emotional reaction from the reader, though not necessarily a positive one. Unlike Quasimodo, Esmeralda cannot accept that the person whom she loves – the captain Phoebus who is entirely driven by lust – does not love her. It is this stubbornness which enables the reader to empathize with her while also becoming incredibly frustrated by her. Her cries of “Phoebus! Oh where is my Phoebus?” can become annoying, because they indicate a desperation which is both understandable and uncomfortable to read about. Some might, perhaps rightly, accuse Hugo of sexism in his portrayal of a woman who becomes utterly dependent on a man’s approval and acceptance, but her plight also speaks truthfully to the debilitating power love can have over an person, and to the larger damage a casually cruel person like Phoebus can unknowingly inflict.Archdeacon Frollo’s cruelty, like Phoebus’s, is borne out of lust, but Frollo is more cognizant of the consequences of his choices than is Phoebus. He is arguably the most fascinating character in the novel because he, like Esmeralda, struggles with desire – in his case, a lustful desire – for a person who does not love him, but whereas she only had to fear for her temporal life, he is fully believes that pursuing his feelings will lead him to spiritual damnation. He is given the choice between selfless devotion and self-gratification, and chooses the latter in spite of the consequences to himself and everyone else. Though in this he becomes objectively despicable, the reader continues to be intrigued by and perhaps to feel a remnant of sympathy for him, because he is tormented by such an inescapable and universal emotion as lust. The complexity of his inner torment is arguably the strongest aspect of the novel, and a great example of how good writing can depict a believable villain.While the conflict between love and lust is well depicted, Hugo must also be praised for injecting his story with enough humor to keep the story from becoming melodramatic. The narrator’s occasionally wry tone and mockery of Parisian government provides the opportunity for laughter, though some of the history he references may seem obscure to the modern reader. The character of Gringoire, the pitiful philosopher who tends to value his survival over anything else, is able to provide a steady stream of sarcasm throughout much of the story, as he is free of most of the personal attachments that plague the other characters.By the end of the book, the reader may think he is wisest character of all, because Hugo does not allow those of his characters who love much happiness. In this, his depiction of love could be said to be one-sided, if not untruthful. He presents a powerful depiction of lust foiling love, without accounting for the possibility that in some cases, love might just come out the winner.


ok... i'll be honest. i hated the first 150 pages and had i not been reading it for book club i would have abandoned it. about 300 pages in i started to think it was okay. around 400... i really liked it. at page 450 i couldn't put it down. i stayed up till 2am last night finishing it. so... is it worth the painful first half to get to the second half? now that i've done it... i would say so. victor hugo could have used a good editor. pages and pages of diatribes and descriptions that made me feel like pulling my hair out - but the story is chilling and wonderful. i understood after reading it why there are so many abridged versions. :) of course its a piece out of history... melodramatic and predictable... but one expects that. all in all... i felt satisfied going to bed last night having read such a great book. still... next time i read Hugo... i will be prepared for a big front end investment.


This book would be a five star one if not for the fact that Victor Hugo insists upon describing everything and everyone in tedious detail, even, and perhaps most especially, when it is entirely irrelevant. I know part of it is probably just the style from back then, so I forgave it a bit. Also having read Les Miserables, I was already prepared for a bunch of details I could just skip in the writing. And skip them I did. As for the actual story, Hugo did not fail to impress me. While it was not, perhaps, as good as Les Miserables, the plot was still good, and the characters (for the most part) very well put together. Disney totally butchered this book, by the way. I tried watching the movie while reading this, and it was like two different stories. Frollo is not the definate "bad guy". Actually, I thought he was the best character, if not a bit weird and obsessive. All the characters are ambiguous. One could easily say that anyone was the villian, and all the others victims. Personally, Pheobus seemed like the villian to me. He was just a player, for lack of a better word.It would have better if Esmeralda had loved Quasimodo, Gringoire, or even Frollo. But as always, the pretty face got chosen before heart, brains, or passion. That's probably why this book is so good. In reality, pretty girls don't typically choose men that are best for them over the ones who are good looking. Which is a shame for all of them, because the story ultimately ends in sadness for all but of course, the hot guy(who deserves to fall off the roof of Notre-Dame or get hanged more than anyone) loses nothing. A lot of people will hate this book because of it's reality and bitterness, but I enjoyed it because of the fact. I have a host of new characters to enjoy (Jehan, Claude Frollo, Gringoire), and another very good classic under my belt. One thing suprised me, I didn't like Quasimodo as much as I anticipated. He seemed like someone I'd enjoy, and I didn't particularly. All in all, a good book. Just skip some of the descriptions, or get an abriged version, and you'll be fine.

Sanabel Atya

لقد صدق من صنفها مع روائع الأدب العالمي....واحدة من الروايات التي تعلق أدق تفاصيلها في الذاكرة،طويلاً وربما دائماً.تعليقي العام// ما هذه العدالة التي لا يهمها تفاصيل القضية،لا يهمها مُتهم أو ضحية..بقدر ما يهمها كبش الفداء أو ذاك القُربان الذي سيُقدم للمشنقة؟! سُحقاً لها من عدالة... إنها حقاً عصور الظلام، كيف كانت أوروبا وكيف أصبحت!! ولكني أرى أن العدالة لا زالت منقوصة ولو بمقدار أنملة!وصدق فيكتور حينما قال في سطور الرواية: " وباء إرهاب المشنقة،أخطر الأوبئة لأنه لا يأتي من الله بل من الإنسان!"لطالما كان الله عادلاً عادلاً عادلاً..وكان الإنسان ظلوماً جهولاً.لفت نظري أيضاً،تلك المناطق التي كانت للحماية في تلك العصور، لحماية الناس من التشريعات البربرية،، هذا ما كان سُكان العصور الوسطى محظوظون به،،فاليوم مثلاً..لا كنيسة ولا مسجد ولاأي مكان على وجه الأرض كفيل بحماية المظلوم من التشريع البربري ضده!كما وقد أثعجبت بالتاريخ الذي احتوته الرواية...سواء فيما يتعلق بذكر الأحداث العامة -الغريبة العجيبة- في العصور الوسطى،إلى فن العمار في تلك العصور، إلى وصف جميل رائع لأحياء من مدينة باريس،وإني لمن المُعجبين جداً بوصف المُدن!لا يكون البناء كاملاً في القرون الوسطى،ما لم يكن تحت الأرض مثيل له.لهذا كان للقصر والحصن والكنيسة آنذاكجذر مضاعف،ما لم تكن هذه الأبنية مبنية فوق مجموعة من الركائز ككنيسة نوتردام.لقد كان تحت الكاتدرائيات،كاتدرائيات أخرى،منخفضة،مظلمة،عمياء،خرساء،وقد تكون في الكاتدرائية السفلى مقبرة،بينما تكون الكاتدرائية العليا مفعمة بالضياء،تتموج فيها أصداء الأجراس في اليل والنهار.أما في القصور والحصون،فتكون الطبقة السفلى محابس وسجوناً،وقد تكون مقابر،أو تكون الاثنتين معاً.وهكذا يتبين لنا أن الأبنية التي تحدثنا عنها في غير هذا الفصل،ليست ذات أسس،بل ذات جذور، تنطلق متفرعة في الأعماق، غرفاً وردهات، وسلالم،كما هو الجزء الأعلى تماماً،بحيث يصبح جسد القصور والحصون والكنائس مغروساً في الأرض حتى وسطه.فتتشابه مع الأكوام الخارجية للبناء العظيم،كأنها الغابات والجبال التي تنعكس خيالاتها في مياه بحيرة قائمة تحت هذه الجبال والغابات"أما قصة الحبّ أو قصص الحبّ في الرواية،فقد كانت راقية جداً... وكما يقولون: رضىَ المُتيمُ في الهوى بجنونه...خلّوه يُفنى عُمرهُ بفنونه !ومن الحبّ ما قتل..وما هَبَل أيضاً !!


** spoiler alert ** Historian, Philosopher and PoetIf I can quote one passage from Hugo's books that best reflects the author, the focus of his passions, the style and architecture of his novels, it would be the following:"There he was, serious, motionless, absorbed - all eye, all ear, all thought. All Paris was at his feet, with the thousand spires of its buildings, and its circular horizon of gentle hills, with its river winding beneath its bridges and its people pouring through its streets, its cloud of smoke, and its mountain chain of roofs crowding close to Notre-Dame with their double slopes of mail. In this whole city the Archdeacon's eye sought just one point of the pavement, the Place du Parvis, and among the whole multitude just one figure, the Bohemian."Hugo referred to himself as a historian, philosopher and poet. He studied history, contemplated human destiny, and expressed his ideals through his writings, i.e., through the struggles and voices of his heroes, for whom he prepared the whole world and history as the grand stage.Ecce Notre-Dame, Ecce HomoThis book can be divided into four Parts, like four movements of a symphony, with mini climaxes in the second and third movement.Part I: Festival of Fools (Book I-II)Hugo introduces all the main characters in the dramatic setting of a festival in the streets of Paris in 1482. It's in the late Middle Ages, a year before the birth of Martin Luther. One of the characters is a poet, who is the thread that runs through the entire novel and at whose expense Hugo showcases his self-deprecating humor.Part II: Ecce Notre-Dame (Book III-V)The view zooms out, so to speak, and Hugo describes a bird's-eye view of Paris and its history as immortalized in its architecture, the centerpiece of which is Notre-Dame de Paris. Here is the most beautiful chapter of the book, a symphonic description of the life and architecture of Paris.To paraphrase Hugo, Notre-Dame is the expression of the world. Its architecture, a transition from Roman style with its low circular arches and heavy pillars to Gothic style with its pointed arches, is a reflection of the progress of society since ancient times, from unity and hierarchy to democracy and freedom.Hugo proclaims, "Architecture is dead". Architecture, as a means of expression for mankind, will be replaced by printing, which is cheaper and more convenient, and therefore provides more freedom of expression. If Hugo were alive today, he would perhaps predict that digital media would replace their analog counterpart, e.g. electronic books would replace printed books, and something like Wikipedia would be the new Tower of Babel.Part III: Ecce Homo (Book VI-VIII)After setting the historical stage, Hugo zooms in on the main character of the novel, i.e., the human face of Notre-Dame, the Archdeacon and the bell-ringer. To me, they are one person. The physical deformity of the latter illustrates the spiritual deformity of the former, and the residual tender loving-kindness in the former is magnified in the latter. (If I might add, a similar device is used in Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and The Picture of Dorian Gray.)The conflict is unrequited love. The Archdeacon's passionate but deadly lust for the Bohemian girl, the bell-ringer's tender but primitive devotion to her, and the Bohemian girl's love for her idol. In contrast, there are also exhilarating moments when love triumphs over lust, over baseness and over the condemning laws. When the ugly and pitiable becomes august and beautiful.However, there is a deeper meaning underneath the conflict of unrequited love, and that's the reason, I think, why the book was once banned by the Catholic Church.The Archdeacon represents the Church, more specifically, the religious hierarchy and laws of the Church, and the Bohemian girl, the unbeliever. The Church pursues the unbeliever, but because the religious laws bring nothing but shackles and death, the latter shrinks from him and pursues her own idol, Phoebus "the Sun god". This is made poignantly manifest when the Archdeacon claimed that only he could save the Bohemian from death and demanded her to choose between him and gallows, and she chose the latter.Part IV: The Siege of Notre-Dame (Book IX-XI)Finally, the view returns to the bigger stage, when the tension between hierarchy and freedom mingled with lawlessness becomes unbearable, there broke out the siege of the Notre-Dame, a figure of the siege of the Bastille. Ironically, the siege was instigated by the Archdeacon himself and the poet, signifying that revolts against the Church have their roots in its own corruption through lust. Alas, there was no freedom or deliverance except through death.


Okay, I'm glad I read this book, if only to find out just how badly Disney ruined the story for the sake of their embarassing excuse for a film. (the horrendous straight-to-video sequel, which I fortunately only saw previews for, will not be spoken of at all.) Victor Hugo has a gift for the most ungodly depressing stories, but he writes very well when he's not rambling pointlessly to stretch out his page count. But I can't bring myself to give this four stars, and for one simple reason: with the exception of Quasimodo and Esmeralda, every single character in this book is an insufferable dickhead. Frollo, obviously, deserves to be fed to sharks simply for the mind-boggling levels of creepiness he manages to achieve over the course of the story. Phoebus is even more of a fratboy asshole that I'd previously thought, and the way he decides to seduce Esmeralda despite the fact that she's the Gypsy equivalent of a vestal virgin made me want to teleport into the story so I could kick him in the nuts. Frollo's younger brother Jehan is a relatively minor character, but he gets mentioned because in every single scene he appears in, he's constantly yammering away and trying to be clever and witty, the result being that he makes Jar Jar Binks seem terribly endearing in comparison. And Gringoire. I had such hope for him. He starts out promising, but then once Esmeralda gets arrested all he can worry about is the stupid goat, because I guess he thinks she's cuter than his fucking wife who saved his fucking life. When he joins Frollo to get Esmeralda out of the catherdral, he leaves the sixteen-year-old girl with Pastor Pedo McCreepy, and chooses to save the goat. The fucking goat. One final word of advice: skip the chapter entitled "A Bird's Eye View of Paris." It's thirty pages of pointless babbling about what Paris looks like from Notre Dame, and it is impossible to read all the way through without wanting to stab yourself in the eyes with the first sharp object you can reach.I know what you're saying - "Thirty pages? Pfft, that's nothing, I can get through that, I read Ulysses." First of all: you did not. Second: no, you cannot get through these thirty pages. "Mind-numbing" does not do it justice. It is pointless. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Well, first and foremost, this is not a Disney movie!The title is a misnomer. The original French title is Notre Dame de Paris and the cathedral itself is the star of this show. The unfortunate hunchback is in maybea third of the scenes.I actually wept at the end of Hugo's Les Misérables so I was expecting the same level of brilliance and connection. It didn't happen. This one was sad and violent and just so terribly unfair, but the characters just did not touch my heart the way Jean Valjean did. In fact, more than anything, I found myself cheering for Djali the goat!That said, Hugo's detailed descriptions of his beloved city, the weird Fellini-esque Court of Miracles, and the cynical, verbose, always self-preserving Gringoire the starving poet, make this book worth reading.

Ali Sallam

من روائع الأدب الفرنسيتأخذك بشكل ساحر إلى باريس في العصور الوسطىفتحبس أنفاسك بين دوامة من مشاعر الخيانة والحب والأملبين كوازيمودو : قارع أجراس كاتدرائية نوتردام القبيحوكلود فرولو ؛ رئيس الشماسه المعذبوازميرالدا ؛ الراقصة الغجرية الفاتنةوالقائد فيبس ؛ الذي يخدع ازميرالدا ويوهمها بحبه لهامن روائع القصص العالمية

Tempo de Ler

Rico, poético, magnífico - assombrosamente soberbo - «Nossa Senhora de Paris» é uma obra absolutamente inesquecível. Com uma prosa magnífica, apurada ao extremo e manobrada com hábil controlo, Victor Hugo abre caminho por entre as histórias de Frollo, Esmeralda, Febo e Gringoire, todas convergindo para um trágico e inevitável final. A forma melodiosa e elegante com que o faz, adicionando inúmeras referências históricas, artísticas e literárias, faz valer a leitura só por si.Embora demorado, espesso e com divagações frequentes, mostrando uma extrema preocupação com a arquitectura, nomeadamente a perda de identidade dos monumentos, pintando as solenes linhas dos mesmos, o estilo de escrita de Hugo é irrepreensível. O autor mostra-nos de forma bastante cruel as lacunas e as virtudes do amor, as suas idiossincrasias, os seus caprichos. Se por um lado temos o amor doentio, obsessivo, egoísta e possessivo de Frollo, por outro lado, o lado de Quasímodo, temos o amor altruísta, caridoso e compreensível.Também a ilusão das aparências desempenha um importante papel nesta história; Febo, tão bonito por fora e tão oco por dentro, ao passo que o horrendo Quasímodo teria tanto para oferecer se lhe fosse dada essa oportunidade. Encontramos ainda uma boa dose de crítica nesta obra, mas eu prefiro pessoalmente o lado romântico e trágico de «Nossa Senhora de Paris», e fico-me por aí. Qualquer que seja o tipo de amor com que nos deparemos - doentiamente possessivo como o de Frollo, ingenuamente incondicional como o de Esmeralda ou puro e docemente eterno como o de Quasímodo - «Nossa Senhora de Paris» mostra-nos que compete a todos eles uma boa dose de loucura.

Sheila Mulrooney

I began this novel expecting the story to vaguely resemble the Disney film. Although I anticipated some changes (a 19th century novel could never be so simple), nothing could have prepared me for this novel.A fully fleshed out fairy tale, The Hunchback of NotreDame is dark, heart wrenching, mysterious, suspenseful and filled with heartbreak. The passion behind each character defines them, whether it be Esmeralda's irrational unrequited love for Phoebus or Don Frollo's perverted obsession with the gypsy girl. Between midnight meetings, lost identities, superstitious legends and a hideous hunchback, I truly felt like I was immersed in the world of Brother's Grimm.I think the greatest triumph of this novel were the characters themselves. Hugo dedicates chapters to each character, ensuring the reader fully understands each one's loves, hatreds, virtues and failings. Don Frollo is introduced as brilliant beyond his time - no one can compare to his great mind. The reader then sees the demise of Don Frollo as his obsession with Esmeralda grows, and therefore cannot see him as a one dimensional evil character. This lack of a true enemy is a brilliant move on Hugo's part, and leaves the reader to form opinion's of their own. Throughout the book, Hugo takes breaks from his complicated story to insert his own essays of his own musings. These essays, often adding 50 pages to the already enormous novel, I found tedious and unnecessary. When reading, be wary: they appear more often than anyone would like. All that being said, The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a truly beautiful story, and very much worth reading. As fanciful as Hugo makes 15th century Paris, this story has something timeless and resounding in it, earning its place as a classic.


Talk about being seduced by a classic. I was really not enjoying this book at first, but slowly it grew on me. Notre-Dame de Paris, or "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" only becomes exciting in the last third of the book or so, but the first few hundred pages are a long, slow build-up that demands your patience and attention, and gradually you will realize what a masterful writer Victor Hugo was. The main character is not Quasimodo, nor is it Esmeralda, the beautiful gypsy dancer: it is the cathedral of Notre-Dame, which at the time Hugo wrote this novel was considered something of a medieval eyesore by the citizens of Paris. Hugo's book is part grand historical epic in the tradition of Sir Walter Scott, whom he admired, and part plea to his contemporaries to preserve the great architectural masterpieces of Paris.But you don't need that background to be sucked into the story. We are given a relatively modest cast of characters (there are probably a few dozen named characters, but less than a dozen have really important roles) and a few main plot threads which Hugo skillfully couples together. At the heart of the story is a priest, Dom Claude Frollo, whose passion is ignited when he first sees Esmeralda, a gypsy dancer, and he becomes so obsessed with her that he sends his minion, Quasimodo, a deaf and deformed hunchback whom he took in as a foundling, to abduct her. Quasimodo is foiled by Captain Phoebus of the King's Guard, who thus becomes a shining knight in Esmeralda's eyes. She is so taken with the handsome, dashing captain that even though he betrays and neglects her again and again throughout the novel, she remains hopelessly smitten with him to the end.Esmeralda is by turns kind and sweet and shallow and foolish; unlike some of the film versions, she's actually a young maiden of sixteen in the book. Quasimodo is hated and feared by the citizenry, which has turned him into a bitter misanthrope himself, but Esmeralda's kindness seduces him, too. However, this is no Beauty and the Beast. The entire novel is a story of misplaced and mixed loyalties, betrayals, ironies, and fatal misunderstandings. Besides commenting on history and architecture, Hugo also makes some sharp points about human cruelty and injustice, barbaric punishments, and the death penalty. He uses a surprising amount of humor, especially in the character of Pierre Gringoire, the poet-turned-Truand and Esmeralda's erstwhile husband of the broken crock. Captain Phoebus is also something of a comic figure, though I disliked him so much I never found him very funny, but the most comical figure of all is Louis XI, a king for whom Hugo paints a most unflattering portrait, even though he only appears personally in one chapter to set in motion the fatal events of the climax.I can't do this book justice in such a short review, but suffice it to say that I loved it, and that it is well worth wading through Hugo's occasional long expository passages (entire chapters about medieval architecture and long dialogs about taxes and speeches that go on for pages!) and seemingly unconnected subplots that go off on tangents. It all fits together in the end and is a great reward for the patient reader, who will be swept away by this powerful, passionate, sometimes grotesque and tragic novel. This was one of my biggest surprises of the year in my recent resolution to read more classics: I think The Hunchback of Notre-Dame has become one of my favorites. I didn't expect to love it like I love some British literature, but Victor Hugo is now rivaling Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, and Anthony Trollope for my literary affections.A long, slow read but easily a 5-star one. Do not settle for a movie version - they all suck compared to the book.


"Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart." This has created a theme that stories have focussed on for centuries. It is one that we try to teach different ways with more unique characters.When one first reads a synopsis of "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame", they would easily assume they will be reading another author's method of bringing this theme into their story. However, very shortly into the novel one finds that Quasimodo is not orginally this fully rejected outcast for his appearance. At the beginning of the novel he is actually being praised by a large crowd. His rejection comes as different incidences are misinterpreted and people begin to make the wrong assumptions.As the story continues on this happens to more characters than only Quasimodo. And other characters make mistakes by acting too quickly. It turns out that this story is about making the wrong judgements based on appearences. Only, it's not about the appearences of the characters, it's about the appearences of what is happening around our characters.When I noticed this, I realized that the whole book turned out to be about ignorance (the ignorance of the characters in what they were doing and the assumptions they made). If any of the characters would stop and figure out what had truly been happening, things would have been solved, but everytime this was a possibility they would make a new assumption and the problems would escalate. To me, the most stunning aspect of this was that the consequences did not only take effect on those that had been ignorant.In the same way, the end of the novel was only that upsetting if we remain ignorant of the fact that everything is finally brought to a close and those characters we care most about wanted something they could only come closest to through the way the novel ended (Hugo knew what he was doing in the titles of the chapters). Though it may be one of the most disturbing novels I've read, it has also taken it's place among my top ten favorites.


ببساطه احنا كبشر بنحتاج نمتلك الشفقه تجاه الغير الشفقه اللى ترضى غرورنا البشرى وترجع لنا جزء من انسانيتنا المفقودةوبراعة المبدع انه يكون من عالم مختلف وثقافة مختلفةوزمن مغاير لزمنك ويقدر يأثر عليك بالقدر الكافى.فيكتور هوجو مش محتاج ان حد يمدح فيه فهو من القامات الثابته فى مجال الادب ومن البشر اللى يسجلوا ف قائمة الارقى على الاطلاقواحدب نوتردامهى احب اعماله الى قلبى واكثرها تأثيرا عمل لا تستطيع ان تنسى اول مره قرأته فيه لانك ببساطه كيد بكيت فيه بدموعتسلسل الاحداث عبقرى ونهايته المأساويه اعطت للعمل خلود واسطوريه لا تقارن


A tour de force--a melodrama--the stuff of opera--how can one classify Victor Hugo's biography of a work of architecture and of that work's soul, a deformed man with a beautiful heart? The author moves with such a quick, sure foot through the tale with its multiple characters, from beggar to king, that believe him we must, at least with some part of our being. It is not a work to analyze, but certainly one to live.


First of all, forget everything you think you know about this story based on Disney films or other adaptions. This is a horrid account of death in the stylings of Shakespearean tragedy offset by brilliant and imaginitive prose.Victor Hugo craftily employs character contrast, metaphor, split narrative, etc to render "Hunchback". Without going to much into detail, I will say these are merely devices by which Hugo drafts the misunderstandings and tragedy that would ensue through the story: Esmerelda misunderstanding Phoebus' "love" and being wrongly accused for a death that did not happen, Claude Frollo misunderstanding how to express love and how to fill the void left in its absence, the parentage of several characters, the King's orders without proper information, etc.Quasimodo seems to be the only character in tune with his own quality, as ugly and mis-shapen as he is. And thusly, like the great cathedral herself, he watches this all unfold and reacts in a fairly dumb, child-like fashion. The final events of the story could have all been avoided had certain social or cultural qualities been eliminated, which is, I'm sure, Hugo's point.It is a fantastic read, but be warned - you will not put the book down feeling good about...anything.

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