I remember this story fondly as a movie from my childhood, never thinking about the fact that it may have come from a book until it happened across my...moreI remember this story fondly as a movie from my childhood, never thinking about the fact that it may have come from a book until it happened across my counter at the Library. While this has been billed as a children's tale by Hollywood, the book is really anything but, I doubt the lyrical, literary writing and the multilayered story would hardly be appreciated, let alone understood by most children. Yes there are Unicorns and magic, and evil witches and princes and kings. But that's just the very tip of the unicorns horn. This is a story about things seen and not seen, about happiness and the hearts true desire, where they meet, and where they part company. It's about friends and the strange companions that accompany us on the journey through life. And in the end it's about the mortality of even immortal things.(less)
So this is one of those books I didn't want to read, cuz' everyone else was doing it, and I figured if they were why did I need to. But I realized tha...moreSo this is one of those books I didn't want to read, cuz' everyone else was doing it, and I figured if they were why did I need to. But I realized that as a Library person, I needed to have an opinion one way or another, because people kept asking me about the bloody thing. So fine, I took the plunge, and I read the book, (and now I can watch the movie in good conscience). Imagine Gladiator meets Book of Eli with a healthy dose of Lord of the Flies. With a strong, generally likable female protagonist, and some decent supporting cast members. That will give you starting point. I have no shame, I liked it, I read it in 2 sittings. Am I over the moon, do I think it's the best things since GF sliced bread? I wouldn't go that far, but it was a quick captivating read that I can definitely recommend to my patrons with no qualms and an informed opinion.(less)
What an unexpected pleasure. This is one I may have eventually picked up on my own, but since the book group I belong to decided to read it, I bit the...moreWhat an unexpected pleasure. This is one I may have eventually picked up on my own, but since the book group I belong to decided to read it, I bit the bullet. I'm ever so glad I did. Reads like good fiction, from humor to sadness, and all the emotions in between. It's refreshing to read someone who believes so strongly in what they're writing without the thumping of a zealot. Does this book make me want to be a farmer, no, but boy does it make me mindful of where my food comes from.(less)
Wow, I honestly can't say why I waited so long to read this, except that of all the times I brought it home with me I was never in the mood to hold it...moreWow, I honestly can't say why I waited so long to read this, except that of all the times I brought it home with me I was never in the mood to hold it long enough to read it, until yesterday when I decided I should do so before I saw the movie. I had no idea what wonders lay between those pages. Well that's not entirely true, I knew this was a story told in a combination of words and pictures that was supposed to break the boundaries between traditional books and graphic novels, and I knew there was a boy named Hugo and it was set in Paris. I suppose I expected magic and a fairytale story of sort, but instead I was met with a rather starker reality of an orphan trying to survive on his own with only his wits, and the skills he had acquired in 12 years of life, some useful, some dubious.
Along the way Hugo meets an old man unhappily selling toys as he hides from the imagination filled life of movie making he once lived, (based on a real person), and a girl as curious and stubborn as he is. The books massive size is comprised half of beautiful pictures rendered in stark black and white pencil, seamlessly blending into the words they accompany. I have 'read' more than one completely wordless graphic novel, the Arrival by Shaun Tan being my favorite. Selznick's blending of the completely wordless pictures with sections of heavy text make clear just how masterful his transitions are when I found myself filling in the words that would have been written in the picture's place. Bravo!
And now I can say I've not just read about this book, but read it, and loved it, when I hand it off to the next person to read.(less)