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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

versus
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this edition!
This is a terrible edition of this book; there are footnotes in random places, paragraph breaks in the middle of sentences, new chapters appear without warning. If you can, buy a different edition. I can bearly read this.
Published on 27 Jan 2011


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great, if tormenting, pleasure..., 27 July 2009
By 
LittleMoon (loving my life in the rain) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"...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 to Disney. To read the originals is often a great, if tormenting pleasure, and Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame is no exception.

Tormenting for what would be called today authorial indulgence on a grand scale, and whilst I am a purist in terms of reading unabridged versions, I couldn't read beyond 5 pages of Book Three, Chapter Two: A Bird's Eye View of Paris. It recounts the layout of the city in excruciating detail, and whilst it ends with a beautifully descriptive paragraph about the city as a great symphony, it will bore all but the most dedicated of readers senseless. (I say this in a whisper: "It can be completely skipped!")

A great pleasure because the story itself is rich and compelling. A wonderful cast of characters fill the streets of Paris, and the gothic "character" of Notre Dame cathedral looms in the background. Quasimodo remains a favourite - and I would argue the only character whose love for Esmeralda, and his actions in general, are even remotely pure - which makes him the hero of the novel in my eyes. Claude Frollo, the dark and dangerous priest, is another of my favourite characters, to the point where I am frustrated by Hugo's overall neglect of his background and development.

As usual, the Wordsworth Classics version comes with a "jargon-free", though rather critical introduction, from Keith Wren, and is a very cheap way to enter the world of 15th Century Paris, replete with the enduring themes of literature: love, murder, fate, revenge and redemption.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perseverance that pays off, 12 July 2012
I am not going to lie; this book is hard going in parts (mainly the first three chapters) but bear with it, for as soon as you get to the fourth chapter where Quasimodo is introduced the story really gets going.

Every aspect of this story is extremely interesting; injustice, prejudice, superficiality etc. What I enjoyed most were the descriptions of Frollo's lust for Esmeralda which were exciting whilst remaining tasteful. Also those of the beautiful character of Quasimodo; his self loathing and people's cruelty towards him is truly heart rending and his heroism nothing short of inspiring.

Victor Hugo is truly a master storyteller.

There will be chapters along the way containing descriptions of architecture around Paris which can be quite heavy, but you can skip these chapters entirely if you wish, though Victor Hugo's extent of knowledge is quite something to behold.

Perseverance is needed in parts of this novel but it is certainly worth it.
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2 of 2 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this edition!, 27 Jan 2011
This is a terrible edition of this book; there are footnotes in random places, paragraph breaks in the middle of sentences, new chapters appear without warning. If you can, buy a different edition. I can bearly read this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful- persevere!, 27 May 2009
By 
R. Bulcock "the student book worm" (Hampshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Set around the beautiful cathedral of Notre Dame the book illustrated to me the curse of both beauty and ugliness.

I loved this book, especially once I got over half-way through I couldn't put it down. However, I had to come back to it a few times at first. It's well worth persevering through the first few chapters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars super, 8 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Kindle Edition)
I am really pleased with this- it's just what I hoped, I will surely order from this seller again in the future
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2.0 out of 5 stars Miss placed pages, 28 Mar 2014
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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 my opinion, despite the missing pages.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle has brought me into contact with this great novel, 14 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Kindle Edition)
The Hunchback has been part of my consciousness since I was a child,I seem to remember a Walt Disney version. It is a an unrelenting tragedy and like so many of the older classics I skipped a lot at first e.g. the elegant description of Parisian Architecture’ The picture it gives of the horror of medieval Paris with superstition encouraged by the Church to increase its hold over the people. Being deaf myself I found the description of the deaf Judge hilarious as well as frightening. The book has made a great impression on me and there are many links here to modern life especially the gap between the powerful and the common people especially when the Church did not provide the support demanded by Christianity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars book review, 25 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed the book. Read it before years ago. It is a sad and happy story all in one. Thanks.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a very interesting book, fun counts, you want to understand the text. would recommend everyone to buy and read this book, 22 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Kindle Edition)
a very interesting book, fun counts, you want to understand the text. would recommend everyone to buy and read this book
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