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This review is from: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Penguin Popular Classics) (Paperback)
In this book Victor Hugo shows the depths of his creativity. Instead of writing a long and complicated story such as 'Les Mis' he wrote this book in the style of a 'Penny Dreadful'. I admit that there are a lot of descriptions of Paris in the Middle Ages but this helps to put the story in context. The characters are believable, even though there are a lot of coincidences, but then again this is a gothic novel. There is no hero as such, the English title being a bit of a misnomer. Quasimodo or the Hunchback as we usually call him is a dumb and disformed character who may be slghtly dysfunctional but shows that he does have emotions and can act more honourably than his peers. Hugo gave us in this a twist on the Beauty and the Beast theme and has obviously influeneced countless authors since, as for instance 'The Phantom of the Opera'. What I like about this book is that Quasimodo, a person who is considered to be below everyone else shows that he is more capable of what are considered to be the highest human attributes and ultimately puts to shame his 'superiors'. It is due to this that the book hasn't aged as much as people suppose, as it is in it's way an attack on bigotry which we still have today.