Monday, October 31, 2016
Classics Club 33: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
Once I read a little further the complex, complicated relationship between Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Count Frollo (surely one of the most evil characters I've encountered this year), complicated even more by the priest's brother Jehan, Esmeralda's husband, her love interest, and her (unknown) mother began to be revealed.I found this was when the novel really hummed and was at it's strongest and most compelling . Some of the more minor characters and sub-plots were an unnecessary distractions.
While Hugo's writing style can be a little wordy at time, I do enjoy his wit and sarcasm which is often at it's finest when pointing out the flaws and hypocrisies of those in power.
The ending was another highlight. After the epic battle over entry to the cathedral, the ultimate ending was understated and arguably all the more heart-rending for it.
This novel, provided me with much food for thought around issues such as love vs lust, justice, suffering and the way in which we judge others based on their outward appearance. While not as strong as Les Miserables it was well worth my while to read, and is one classic I would consider rereading in future years.