Jennifer's Reviews > The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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Feb 24, 2010

did not like it
bookshelves: classics
Read in January, 2010

Reading The Hunchback of Norte-Dame was a nightmare for me. I don't mind trudging through a certain degree of detail, but The Hunchback contained well beyond a reasonable amount of description.

The book starts out with a play no one is watching. We return to what is going on with the play again and again which distracts from the excitement of the crowd. We are then provided with an entire chapter describing Notre-Dame. Quickly followed by a longer chapter about Paris that doesn't pertain to the story any further than its being the setting. A few more chapters of story and then another description only chapter, this time about architecture and other forms of art. The description is overkill and is so dull and tiring I could barely force myself to finish the book.

Victor Hugo addressed the reader many times, like many writers of the time did. This "breaking the fourth wall" is something I personally dislike. It reminds me that I am reading a story, thus pulling me out of totally submersion. Or at least it would have if I had been able to keep my eyes open longer than a few pages at a time. At one point, Hugo writes "Our reader must excuse us" before taking us on another descriptive tangent.

I'm sorry, Mr. Hugo, but you're not excused. Every once in a while, when he focused on the actual plot, the book was interesting. Unfortunately a large majority of the book was a cross between a guide book and a text book. Why is The Hunchback of Notre-Dame a classic? Only because it's old? I don't see the appeal.
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Comments <span class="smallText"> (showing 1-2 of 2) </span> <span class="smallText">(2 new)</span>

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message 1: by Rick (new)

Rick Wilcox Great review!


Edward Creter I feel your pain if you didn't care for it much.Too much torture spoils the book.


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