Robyn's Reviews > The Hunchback of Notre-Dame

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
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's review
Mar 07, 2012

did not like it
bookshelves: hard-going-in-places, reviewed
Read in January, 2005

Bleh. Just... Bleh.

I made the mistake of reading the unabridged version. The book kept going off on these annoying, ponderous tangents about architecture, and if the author was trying to make some kind of philosophical point about the permanence of literature versus builldings, he could have done so MUCH more succinctly and made a better impact. I found most of this to be rambling and pointless, and had to force myself through almost every single page. There were a few places where the story was interesting and well told, but the characters remained flatly portrayed and dull throughout, and the snail's pace of the whole thing made even the good points hard to enjoy.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Auburndusk (new) - added it

Auburndusk Apparently at the time there was a lot of debate about the renovation of the building, and the book was supposed to be a romantic representation to whatever civic-political ends. In fact, the French title of the book is Notre-Dame de Paris, just the name of the building, no mention of the main character like in the foreign translations (In German it's "Der Gloeckner Der Notre Dame", The Bellringer of Notre Dame). The story is indeed supposed to be more about the building, with the characters serving as a backdrop.

Not that I've actually read the book or anything. The English and German translations remain on my shelf unread.

message 2: by Steven (new) - added it

Steven Wow, I was thinking about reading this, but your review makes me think that's not such a good idea. Seeing as how a lot of books I've read lately have thoroughly disappointed me. I hate books that have this other-worldly "purpose" that isn't to tell a good story. It's got to be some stupid fucking metaphor, or allegory, for the faults of society and the plunders of capitalism told in a cryptic metaphor because the author lacked the balls to just come out and SAY IT. UGGHH sorry had to rant. But I won't read this book.

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