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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great, if tormenting, pleasure...
"...something has disappeared. That vast body is empty - it is like a skeleton - the spirit has quitted it - they see its place and that is all. It is like a skull, which still has holes for the eyes, but no longer sight."

The classics are classics for a reason - they have a place in our modern cultural consciousness - even if they've largely got there thanks...
Published on 27 July 2009 by LittleMoon

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Miss placed pages
I was loving this book till the copy I got 49 pages miss placed. It stopped at page 22 and jumped to page 359 it carried onto page 406 until going to page 71 and then continues the story. From reviews this seems that this is a one off and none of the other books I've bought from this company have this mistake in it. But make what you will, however it is a good edition in...
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer


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4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful classic but..., 18 Jan 2013
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
This is a classic and it's a wonderful book and an absolutely amazing story, BUT... it's a bit long-winded. Some chapters feel like they could have served as some kind of guide book rather than literature. It is definitely worth reading of course, the story is tragic and beautiful, but be prepared that at times it's rather slow going.

The edition is fantastic however, the notes are great and the book itself is beautiful.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hello MODO!, 16 July 2012
A REVIEW OF `THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME' BY VICTOR HUGO

Who is `The Hunchback of Notre Dame'? For many, the character of Quasimodo is the eerie, scratchy figure from black-and-white horror movies. For others, he is the comical character used to advertise telephones in the 1980s ("It's Esmeralda: She LOVES me!"). More recently, he is the more cuddly hero of the 1996 Disney animated film. These associations - whilst keeping the character alive in the public consciousness - do rather detract from his actual rightful place within the pages of Victor Hugo's magnificent novel. Indeed, owing to its ability to excite, horrify, amuse, surprise and move, `The Hunchback of Notre Dame' is a true `Classic'.

So revered is the book in educated literary circles, that I would not deign to offer any in-depth analysis here. Suffice to say that the story revolves primarily not around the deformed bell-ringer, but rather the beautiful gypsy dancer, La Esmeralda. Hugo himself resented the English re-naming of his novel and argued forcibly (and correctly) that the original title, `Notre Dame de Paris' was far more fitting. Therefore, accepting Quasimodo as one of many pivotal characters, the story emerges as one of many figures' love for the captivating La Esmeralda. For the most part, this is the love of men, as her boldy charms attract the attention of three would-be lovers, none of whom fit the traditional leading man role. Perhaps the most obvious suitor is the dashing Captain Pheobus. However, beneath his good looks, lurks a serial womaniser who sees La Esmeralda as merely another notch on his bed-post. There is a realism about such a self-serving, vain `hero' that offers the first indication that `The Hunchback of Notre Dame' is not your typical 19th century masterpiece. Second, comes Archdeacon Claude Frollo, whose self-defined religious piety is shredded by an all-consuming and destructive lust for the gypsy girl. Finally, there is Quasimodo, whose hideous physical appearance masks an innocent, wholseome devotion that the other two cannot begin to match. As La Esmeralda falls for Pheobus, Hugo hammers home to the reader that she has fallen for the wrong guy.

In doing so, the author introduces another key theme of the novel, namely that of misunderstandings and characters and events not being what they SEEM to be. This can be illustrated in two key scenes. Firstly, there is some delicious black comedy in the passages that see the deaf Quasimodo tried and sentenced by an equally deaf judge. Likewise, there is the later tragedy of the wild frenzy of violence in which the bell-ringer defends Notre Dame from attackers, whose actual intentions match his own.

Hugo clearly had a great deal of fun writing `The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and keeps the reader on his toes with chapter titles that regularly serve as satisfying punch lines to the events narrated within. The final two chapters achieve this brilliantly, albeit one with comic irony and the other with a truly touching and poignant image.

For such a sprawling novel, there are inevitably imperfections in `The Hunchback of Notre Dame'. Indeed, one particular mother-daughter reunion pushes the coincidence and `If only..' button with too much of a heavy hand. Nevertheless, at its best, this is a tremendous and hugely rewarding read. If there is a better single chapter in a `Classic' than `The Hearts of Three Men Made Differently' then I have yet to read it. Likewise, if there is a more witty, wry, captivating and fresh novel (a modern-day Pheobus can surely be found in every night club in the 21st century) of its age still in print, I have yet to find it. In short, if you haven't read the novel and you think that you know `The Hunchback of Notre Dame', do yourself a favour and think again.

Barty's Score: 9.5/10
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hello MODO!, 16 July 2012
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
A REVIEW OF `THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME' BY VICTOR HUGO

Who is `The Hunchback of Notre Dame'? For many, the character of Quasimodo is the eerie, scratchy figure from black-and-white horror movies. For others, he is the comical character used to advertise telephones in the 1980s ("It's Esmeralda: She LOVES me!"). More recently, he is the more cuddly hero of the 1996 Disney animated film. These associations - whilst keeping the character alive in the public consciousness - do rather detract from his actual rightful place within the pages of Victor Hugo's magnificent novel. Indeed, owing to its ability to excite, horrify, amuse, surprise and move, `The Hunchback of Notre Dame' is a true `Classic'.

So revered is the book in educated literary circles, that I would not deign to offer any in-depth analysis here. Suffice to say that the story revolves primarily not around the deformed bell-ringer, but rather the beautiful gypsy dancer, La Esmeralda. Hugo himself resented the English re-naming of his novel and argued forcibly (and correctly) that the original title, `Notre Dame de Paris' was far more fitting. Therefore, accepting Quasimodo as one of many pivotal characters, the story emerges as one of many figures' love for the captivating La Esmeralda. For the most part, this is the love of men, as her boldy charms attract the attention of three would-be lovers, none of whom fit the traditional leading man role. Perhaps the most obvious suitor is the dashing Captain Pheobus. However, beneath his good looks, lurks a serial womaniser who sees La Esmeralda as merely another notch on his bed-post. There is a realism about such a self-serving, vain `hero' that offers the first indication that `The Hunchback of Notre Dame' is not your typical 19th century masterpiece. Second, comes Archdeacon Claude Frollo, whose self-defined religious piety is shredded by an all-consuming and destructive lust for the gypsy girl. Finally, there is Quasimodo, whose hideous physical appearance masks an innocent, wholseome devotion that the other two cannot begin to match. As La Esmeralda falls for Pheobus, Hugo hammers home to the reader that she has fallen for the wrong guy.

In doing so, the author introduces another key theme of the novel, namely that of misunderstandings and characters and events not being what they SEEM to be. This can be illustrated in two key scenes. Firstly, there is some delicious black comedy in the passages that see the deaf Quasimodo tried and sentenced by an equally deaf judge. Likewise, there is the later tragedy of the wild frenzy of violence in which the bell-ringer defends Notre Dame from attackers, whose actual intentions match his own.

Hugo clearly had a great deal of fun writing `The Hunchback of Notre Dame' and keeps the reader on his toes with chapter titles that regularly serve as satisfying punch lines to the events narrated within. The final two chapters achieve this brilliantly, albeit one with comic irony and the other with a truly touching and poignant image.

For such a sprawling novel, there are inevitably imperfections in `The Hunchback of Notre Dame'. Indeed, one particular mother-daughter reunion pushes the coincidence and `If only..' button with too much of a heavy hand. Nevertheless, at its best, this is a tremendous and hugely rewarding read. If there is a better single chapter in a `Classic' than `The Hearts of Three Men Made Differently' then I have yet to read it. Likewise, if there is a more witty, wry, captivating and fresh novel (a modern-day Pheobus can surely be found in every night club in the 21st century) of its age still in print, I have yet to find it. In short, if you haven't read the novel and you think that you know `The Hunchback of Notre Dame', do yourself a favour and think again.

Barty's Score: 9.5/10
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4.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 9 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
An excellent read once you get past the rather tedious architectural history and anti-royalism. Claude Frollo is portrayed superbly as a twisted pervert completely obsessed with the beautiful and innocent Esmeralda. Very surprised at Captain Phoebus's womanizing ways. For those of you who have seen the Disney film, you are in for a shock! Victor Hugo at his finest
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5.0 out of 5 stars but Esmerelda, you said you loved me?, 9 July 2011
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Great writer good story, I got half way up the Notre Dame Tower before I realised it was fiction!( there is a book shop there) [so many steps] had to read the real story. sad ending, Love Quasi.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Small is Good, 2 May 2011
I was impressed by the quality of this classic product.
Although small the size of print was excellent on the page, the quality
of the bookbinding was also excellent. Not too keen on the translation,
it missed out on the original's historical foot-notes. Yet, I would certainly
buy another one of there issues.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Study book, 18 July 2010
This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Purchased this book for my 17 year old daughter as she is studying A level English lit. She loves it and is using it for her independent study in comparison with another classic text. Well worth reading over and over again. This book is a must.The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Wordsworth Classics) ~If you think life is tough today take a look.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard work but rewarding, 29 Oct 2008
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G. Rufino - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Like many classic books, this one is quite hard work but definitely worth the effort. There are parts that I have to confess to skipping whole sale, overly long and verbose passages about gothic architecture, Paris of yore and the evils of the printing press. I'm sure these parts were fascinating to contemporary readers of Hugo but for modern readers they're incomprehensible and pointless so don't feel bad about skipping them. Ok Hugo wrote this book mainly in praise of the cathedral but I think for modern readers its allure is the characters.

Unlike the English title will have you believe, the hero of this book is not really Quasimodo. In fact there are no heroes, or heroines, in this book really. It's a study of human frailty, vanity, ignorance, lust and injustice. It's a compelling read and definitely worth the effort so I'd say persevere with it, you'll be glad you did.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hunchback Of Notre Dame, 1 Aug 2009
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics) (Paperback)
Very good. A brilliantly written classic. Bought after a trip to see the Cathedral at Notre Dame. Wonderfully descriptive.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quasimodo, 26 Jun 2013
A great read, a fantastic historical romance with sadness, humour, and beautiful descriptions with the added bonus of some magnificent illustrations. I heart Quasimodo! I heart Paris!
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The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics)
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Wordsworth Classics) by Victor Hugo (Paperback - 5 Sep 1993)
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