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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow?
At my grand old age of 16, people questioned me immediately when I picked up this book at the school library. Actually, when I reserved it (3 day loan, yet 6 week wait- it is very popular!) Littered with pictures and amounting to just 30000 words (there is a word count!) the complexity of such a book is questionable, particularly for someone of my age group. What is...
Published on 22 May 2008 by Jon Bond

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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual
My daughter (11) loves this book.There is quite a buzz about it at her school. However, be aware that of the 534 or so pages, only about 10% are text, the rest are black and white pencil or charcoal drawings by the author with a few vintage photos thrown in. So if you are looking for a book with lots of reading matter within it, think again, this is a short story really...
Published on 2 Feb 2012 by Bernard Burke


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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow?, 22 May 2008
By 
Jon Bond (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
At my grand old age of 16, people questioned me immediately when I picked up this book at the school library. Actually, when I reserved it (3 day loan, yet 6 week wait- it is very popular!) Littered with pictures and amounting to just 30000 words (there is a word count!) the complexity of such a book is questionable, particularly for someone of my age group. What is immediately striking though is that any previous doubts will be immediately dispelled, the moment you lay eyes on the first illustration; an artistic masterpiece in itself that filled me with envy. It really is the case that a picture can tell a thousand words. Occasionally 20 pages go by with just solid artistic brilliance and the brain registers it completely as a story, as if words were accompanying these images. The nature of this story telling makes it totally suitable for a member of any age group. A child of little imagination could truly envisage the city of Paris springing to life from these pictures, where as an adult could look into the subtleties of the world dipicted through the drawings. It really is delightful.

In the city of paris in the 20th Century a boy, Hugo Cabret, whose mind is geared to repairing anything, is essentially left to fend for himself. He has a goal though, and that is to repair a mysterious automaton that looks as if it could be the key to writing a secret note. It was his father's desire to see what is written, but now it is down to Hugo Cabret to finish the job. Oddly this storyline isn't the most major plot in the book. Despite the considerably short length, this is only a small section of the story, which later on, evolves into a novel that takes some of real history and twists of fiction and gives a beautiful insight in the history of cinematography. It sounds bizarre, and I suppose it is, but everything that makes this book what it is,at first appearance is strange.

Despite its size (at an excess of 500 pages) the 'shortness' of the story really helps it to drive along at a constant and action-packed concept. There are no overused epic adventures, or clichéd fables in this book. Whilst, admittedly, Hugo spends much of the time with the motive of finding his palce in the world, it is just a subtle undercurrent of all the rapidly occuring events throughout the book. As a masterpiece of art, a childrens book, or a quick read on the commute to work, this book is beautiful and a combination of the complex and the simple that will really make it appeal to all.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Page Turner, 5 Jun 2007
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
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Fans of thrilling books are fond of calling them "page turners." Why? Because you can hardly wait to see what happens next. Those are the books that keep you up late at night to get to the end.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret delivers a whole new kind of pager turner, one where you not only want to see what happens next . . . but where the act of turning the page often gives you powerful glimpses into the story. How? Hand-drawn images tell a story in motion using many motion picture techniques (close-ups, fades, and pans). A sequence of images might go on for 40 pages (as the opening sequence does) before providing any dialogue. Unlike a graphic novel, there is no dialog or narration on the images. Since you don't know if the next turn of a page will reveal an image or text, you also have that extra dimension of surprise. The other difference from the traditional page turner is that this book won't take you that long to read. It's more like the duration of a motion picture than of reading a 525 page novel. So don't let the book's bulk intimidate you.

The story takes place in the early days of the Depression in Paris. Hugo Cabret is a 12-year-old boy who loses his parents and is taken in by his uncle, a timekeeper in a railway station. The uncle makes Hugo do all of the work, but won't even feed Hugo who has to turn to stealing in order to eat. When the uncle disappears, Hugo is left to fend for himself. But Hugo has a dream. He will repair an automaton (an early type of robot) that he rescued from a museum fire. Part of his thievery is aimed at taking parts from a tiny toy store in the station to help rebuild the automaton. One day Hugo is caught! That capture sets new wheels in motion that will change the lives of the key characters permanently.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret evolves like an unfolding mystery. Be cautious that you don't read reviews that reveal too many details. It would be very easy to spoil this story for you!

Although the publisher's indication is that this book will appeal to 9-12 year olds, I also think that younger children would enjoy having this book read to them, especially those who show a fondness for mechanical things. But most adults will find the book to be at least as interesting as the 9-12 year olds will. That's true both because the story is compelling and because of the novel story-telling methods.

The illustrations deserve special comment. These were produced after a lot of care to reflect the scenes of the time. I could recognize the sources of many images from various sources: photographs, paintings, museums, train stations, and motion pictures. Those images echoed in my memory to give the book an extra sense of authenticity, reality, and relevance. The drawings themselves continually reminded me of Seurat's early work while also capturing many of the better aspects of early comic book art.

The experience of reading the story is much like following a labyrinth in a haunted castle: It's always unclear where we are headed, but the trip itself seems quite rewarding. The black-and-white images nicely capture the mood of the characters and of the times as many noir films did in using lots of light and shadow. In fact, the images here could be story boards for a motion picture.

Be prepared for the magic!
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56 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LIFE AFTER HARRY POTTER, 14 Dec 2007
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When I first discovered this book I wasn't that impressed, I can remember my dad showing it to me at the book shop, I had a quick look inside and saw some pictures in black and white and thought, 'NAH!! THIS IS NOT MY KIND OF BOOK!! and walked away.

However my dad went ahead and purchased it for me. I reluctantly picked up the book and to started to read the first chapter and to my amazement I found it to be extremely interesting. This story is well written and the illustrations complimented the story telling process. I was genuinely surprised that I read a book that was about CLOCKS!!! I thoroughly enjoyed this book and for me it is right up there with the Harry Potters series.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugo is the best, 10 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
I chose this book because a new film had come out about Hugo Cabret and the book was in the library.
It's an adventure story.
The story is set in 1931, in Paris.
The characters are Hugo, Isabelle, Georges Méliès (Papa Georges), Etienne, René Tabard and Mama Jeanne (Madame Méliès).
There are 284 pages of pictures. Don't think that the book has too many pages.
It's all about a great mystery in the gears of a great machine man that Hugo found in the place his dad had died.
I think it's a very good book because I am nine and very fussy about books and this is the best.
I would recommend this book to a friend.
I would read other books by Brian Selznick.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy it, 4 Nov 2010
By 
This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
What a nice book. I've never seen anything quite like this and it should appeal to any child (and probably adults too) because it combines copious illustrations interspersed with written text. In fact the majority of pages are illustrations. At the moment this book seems to be a fairly well kept secret and it's not widely stocked in bookshops, but expect that to change when the film version gets released towards the end of 2011. It's a nice story too....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugo Cabret- Upper KS2 and many adults will love, 3 Aug 2010
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This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
A different way to read a story- children will love, especially those who would like to be seen to have a thick book in their hand like Harry Potter but do not have the staying power to read it! Did not take very long to read then went back to read again to spend more time looking at the pictures. Beautiful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful & Unusual Book, 10 Aug 2010
By 
Richard Garrett (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
This is a totally unique book, with the majority of the pages filled with beautiful pictures, telling the story as though it is a movie & the words almost just filling in the details. I loved it as did my 4 year old daughter, who would ask for it as a bedtime story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating!, 2 Aug 2010
By 
J. Street (U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
A fascinating book. I couldn't put it down, just had to know what would happen next. The story is enchanting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Invention of Hugo Cabret, 12 Jan 2010
By 
L. Munro - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
My friend recommended this book to me, and because I love books, and especially beautiful books, I bought it in an instant. It is not only an eye candy, but an amazing concept of the story being told in words and pictures - almost like a silent movie. And the story is intriguing, exciting, beautifully written. Both my 9 year old son, and I enjoyed it very much. Since having read the book, I had purchased a few other copies as presents for other families. This book comes highly recommended!!! Everyone should read it!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My son couldn't put it down, 22 Jan 2008
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This review is from: The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Hardcover)
My 11 year old doesn't really like reading even the obvious Harry Potter books but he couldn't put this one down and even though he's finished it he cannot part with it to donate to his school library so I had to buy another copy!
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The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (Hardcover - 1 Oct 2007)
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