Friday 28 December 2012
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame Victor Hugo
I am sure I picked this up before and didn't get very far. Determined this time I forced myself through the first 50 pages which seemed to have nothing to do with the main story whatsoever. It took time for any of the main characters to turn up. However, it does make sense eventually and it's worth sticking to. Even as I was annoyed at what seemed to be unimportant description I was impressed by the beautiful writing.
The story is actually slow paced. It spands over 500 pages and nothing much happens in most of it. Instead we are given back ground information to some to the characters. We are also seemingly given unimportant detail of other people but it all connects up and even if it hadn't I was too mesmerised by the writing to care.
I loved each of the characters. Esmeralda's story was just as sad as that of Quasimodo's (well, almost). I even felt sorry for the villan of the book who was so torn by his own beliefs. I'm speaking of course of the Archdeacon who had lived a celibate life and belonged to the church. Esmeralda was everything he couldn't have and yet everything he wanted. The only character I had little sympathy with was that of Esmeralda's love, Captain Phoebus. He seems typical of a lot of classic books. The vain and lazy military man who has no money and so has to marry well. Wants his bit on the side too. I am sure there is one of him in a lot of classic literature.
Over all I loved the book and it was a good last choice for the classics challenge. Since the December prompt for this one is a wrap up I am going to do that separate from this review. If you want to see what others did you can see it here on Katherine's blog, November Autumn.