Book review

20130605_170941The hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo

If you’ve been raised like I was with the rythm of Disney movies, you will sure know the power it will keep holding over your imagination till your death…

I loved the Hunchback of Notre Dame -the Disney cartoon that is – first because it is set in the old Paris, and second for it is a powerful dramatic love story, and already that young it would break through to my heart… Then, as a teenager, I fell in love with the musichal, I mean we all were back then, Notre Dame de Paris was simply huge in France! We’d know all the words of every song, and still now, not having been able to see them perform live remain on my life regret list…

Long story short, I thought I knew all about it and did not need to read the book, but Victor Hugo being among my favorite French authors I finally decided to give it a try and… what a bloody disapointment! And I blame Disney entirely for that, because that book is brilliant, of course it is, but I coudn’t help trying to find the lovely wee characters from the cartoon, or some drama, but NOTHING! Well, there is an awful load of drama thrown all at once at the very end, and of course that is my favorite part, but rest of the time, well… I can’t really see any love story in this! Everybody is so mean, so low…

However, what I loved are the little (sometimes very long) apartés, where Victor Hugo will go on explaining society then, or for example, how Paris was born and how it grew to where it is now. His words, are Paris itself, and reading through the lines I could see the city materializes next to me. Yes, not matter what, I am French and behold the pride of my culture to the core of my bones…

I would without an hesitation advice anyone to read it, if only for Victor Hugo sense of humor. But beware of Claude Frollo, the evil priest! Man, I believe I have never hated a character that much in my life! Everything about him is repelling, from his appearance to his soul, he is despising, mean and corrupted. Simply disgusting! My favorite character is Quasimodo, hated by everyone for being born the way he is, everything inside of him is LOVE. Love for his church, love for his master, love for Esmeralda. Love unbound and fully true.

What did you guys think? Anyone read it?

Here is a picture of Notre Dame that I took last time we went to Paris, just to set the scene…

paris 6




2 thoughts on “Book review

  1. I thought Frollo was actually more sympathetic than he was in the film, though that’s not exactly saying much. His family background, particularly the fact he’d had to support his wastrel of a brother made his descent into madness so understandable (though not forgiveable), unlike Disney’s version where he starts evil and only gets worse.

    • Oh really?I do agree with you though, that he’s not bad from the start, he turns into this evil character along the story.
      Maybe the fact that he is a priest, ruling one of the biggest church in the country, you expect something better of him…Back then, priest used to have every power over the people.
      As well, he just never aknoldges his wrongs and blames entirely Esmeralda for all his actions, I can’t forgive!

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