Dustin's Reviews > The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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's review
Apr 12, 2012

liked it
Read from April 04 to 11, 2012

Yea Hugo really drives me insane with his leaving the story to harp on about tangential things. It'll be right as the tension builds and then he'll just turn you away and point at something completely unrelated. And just like in Les Mis, I would have been interested in these tangents if they weren't interruptions.

My other main issue was that the perspective jumped around a lot. It's told from the point of view of at least 6 different perspectives. It's not really that big of a problem, but it makes it take a lot longer for you to become invested in any of the principal characters since you don't really get to spend that much time with them all at once. It actually took quite a while for Quasimodo to become characterized at all.

Other than that of course the story is very powerful and tragic. There's no real heroes and the only irreproachable person in the whole game is Quasimodo but he's burdened with all kinds of problems which engender a lot of sympathy, but also alienate him a bit. This wasn't the first book that made me wonder if people have ever really been this insane just because of a pretty girl.

Also I've noticed that these old French novels typically have the king as a character in them and I wonder what that's about. I thought maybe it was to get the kings favor but they aren't always flattering portrayals. Were authors expected to throw the king in there? Were kings so entrenched in the social structure that's it's perfectly reasonable to have the characters from every novel run in to them? Were they just celebrity cameos? I feel like there's something behind it all.

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