Tuesday, 27 March 2012

sixteen.

the Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo (1831)

 Quasimodo looks more like a monster than a man. After his mother's death he was taken in by the priest of Notre-Dame where he eventually ended up working as the bell ringer, a job which made him deaf. He spends most of his time in the tower, watching down on the streets and people of Paris. He is especially interested in a beautiful young gypsy, la Esmeralda. But his saviour, the priest Claude Frollo, is also in love with the gypsy and he orders Quasimodo to kidnap her. 

This book was a real struggle. It shifts from a very exciting story to long descriptions of architecture, philosophy and so on. Most of these parts I skimmed as I just wanted to finish the book. It is set in the late 1400s, and I wonder why. I also really dislike the way the authors used interrupt the story to address the reader with either a short summary or something off-topic.

I'm sure that I would have loved this story if it had been straight-forward. I kept looking at the progress bar wondering when the story would really get off and I think finally it did after I had read about 60%. And I remember the first 30% were especially terrible. And what worries me more, is that I never connected with the characters, none of them won me over and that's probably one more reason why I didn't like the book.

And I'm also disappointed because I really enjoyed les Miserables when I read that one a couple of years ago.

But at least I can finally cross out another big classic on my 1001 books challenge! If you want to read what others thought of the book, check out Line's 1001 books challenge (in Norwegian).

2 comments:

  1. Wow, har du lest Les Miserables? Hele? Jeg synes den ser så fryktelig lang ut. Men har likevel lyst til å prøve meg på den en gang senere.

    Jeg liker foreløpig Hunchback, selv om den er tung å lese. I mitt forord står det at Hugo anså katedralen Notre Dame for å være hovedpersonen i boken, noe som forklarer hvorfor arkitekturen står så sentralt. Grunnen til at den er lagt til middelalderen, tipper jeg er fordi forfattere fra romantikken var så begeistret for perioden og det dessuten var populært å skrive historiske romaner. Jeg liker heller ikke de fleste karakterene, men vet ikke om det egentlig er meningen. Historien fenger mest når jeg betrakter dem på avstand, som litterære karakterer snarere enn mennesker. Bortsett fra Gringoire, da, han liker jeg.

    Synd du måtte streve deg gjennom boken, jeg håper at du liker Moonstone bedre!

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    Replies
    1. Ja, og jeg storkoste meg med histories i les miserables. Men jeg tror jeg generelt sett har et dårlig forhold til disse klassikerne altså. Har store forhåpninger til Moonstone

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