The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
(Signet Classics)

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The volume lacks power or emotion; adults seeking an alternative--any alternative--to the Disney film may find that this one hardly competes for the hearts and minds of the target audience.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

The French title of the novel emphasizes Notre Dame's (A French memorial) role as a symbol of Paris. Primarily novel is concerned with the theme of revolution and social strife. Hugo was profoundly concerned by the class differences that set the 1789 French Revolution in motion. Hugo acknowledges that fate plays a powerful role, but implies that free will is also possible.
 

About Victor Hugo

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Born in 1802, the son of a high officer in Napoleon's army, Victor Hugo spent his childhood against a background of military life in Elba, Corsica, Naples, and Madrid. After the Napoleonic defeat, the Hugo family settled in straitened circumstances in Paris, where, at the age of fifteen, Victor Hugo commenced his literary career with a poem submitted to a contest sponsored by the Académie Française. Twenty-four years later, Hugo was elected to the Académie, having helped revolutionize French literature with his poems, plays, and novels. Entering politics, he won a seat in the National Assembly in 1848; but in 1851, he was forced to flee the country because of his opposition to Louis Napoleon. In exile on the Isle of Guernsey, he became a symbol of French resistance to tyranny; upon his return to Paris after the Revolution of 1870, he was greeted as a national hero. He continued to serve in public life and to write with unabated vigor until his death in 1885. He was buried in the Pantheon with every honor the French nation could bestow.
 
Published April 1, 2004 by Digireads.com. 386 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction, History, Children's Books, Action & Adventure, Romance, Humor & Entertainment, Comics & Graphic Novels, Travel, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
All: 9 | Positive: 6 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

The volume lacks power or emotion; adults seeking an alternative--any alternative--to the Disney film may find that this one hardly competes for the hearts and minds of the target audience.

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Publishers Weekly

Good
on Nov 20 2015

His mastery of detail, especially in period dress and architecture, makes turbulent medieval Paris appear real--sometimes frighteningly so.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Sep 01 1997

This polished, thoughtful collaboration may serve as an authentic preview to Hugo's classic, but may be best appreciated with an adult standing by.

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Examiner

Good
Reviewed by Kelly Atwood on Mar 27 2012

...Victor Hugo wrote a dark tale that revolved more around the actual church than the hunchback who rang the bells.

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Teen Ink

Excellent
Reviewed by sweetcaroline2339 on Sep 28 2014

What continually draws me to this novel is its timeless themes, as well as the magnificence of Hugo’s writing style.

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Angela's Anxious Life

Above average
Reviewed by Angela's Anxious Life on Apr 25 2013

This book is amazing. AMAZING. I would like to say though that if you are going to attempt to read this then get ready to struggle through the beginning. I was so confused.

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Books: A True Story

Good
Reviewed by Jessica on Mar 06 2012

This was Hugo’s first novel after writing plays and it reads like one. There are lots of action scenes and he writes an excellent mob. He almost makes me want to grab a pitchfork. I walked away from this book thinking about what beauty and love really are.

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Literary Corner Cafe Blog

Excellent
on Feb 01 2009

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame is an exquisite novel that can be read and enjoyed for nothing more than its tragic story of love, but it is also a novel that shows us the possibilities of weaving Romanticism with the events of the past, of the power of imagination to create a thing of beauty and passion that will live forever.

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A Good Stopping Point

Below average
on Jul 17 2010

Victor Hugo tells his story with a mixture of satire and sentiment, two tones that work to balance each other out...Victor Hugo did have an irritating habit of screeching the story to a halt on several occasions.

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Reader Rating for The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
85%

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