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NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS : 1482 N.E. [Mass Market Paperback]

VICTOR HUGO
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 4 2009 Folio (Gallimard) (Book 4849)
Il était là, grave, immobile, absorbé dans un regard et dans une pensée. Tout Paris était sous ses pieds, avec les mille flèches de ses édifices et son circulaire horizon de molles collines, avec son fleuve qui serpente sous ses ponts et son peuple qui ondule dans ses rues, avec le nuage de ses fumées, avec la chaîne montueuse de ses toits qui presse Notre-Dame de ses mailles redoublées. Mais dans toute cette ville, l'archidiacre ne regardait qu'un point du pavé: la place du Parvis; clans toute cette foule, qu'une figure: la bohémienne. Il eût été difficile de dire de quelle nature était ce regard, et d'où venait la flamme qui en jaillissait. C'était un regard fixe, et pourtant plein de trouble et de tumulte. Et à l'immobilité profonde de tout son corps, à peine agité par intervalles d'un frisson machinal, connue un arbre air vent, à la roideur de ses coudes plus marbre que la rampe où ils s'appuyaient, à voir le sourire pétrifié qui contractait son visage, on eût dit qu'il n'y avait plus dans Claude Frollo que les yeux de vivant.

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Review

`Alban Krailsheimer's fluent new translation more than does justice to a great romantic classic.' Max Davidson, Weekend Telegraph --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

"Le genre humain a deux livres, deux registres, deux testaments, la maçonnerie et l'imprimerie, la bible de pierre et la bible de papier." --This text refers to an alternate Mass Market Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
LE 6 JANVIER 1482, les cloches de la ville de Paris sonnent joyeusement, car ce jour-la, il y a deux fetes : la fete des Rois et la fete des Fous. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Notre Dame de Paris Feb. 28 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book arrived in excellent condition one day after it had been ordered. Upon arrival, I realized that I had mistakenly ordered the wrong version. Amazon's return & refund process worked very well and I have now re-ordered the version that I wanted. I am very pleased with Amazon's service.
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4.0 out of 5 stars how disney's Hunchback would be if I wrote it July 17 2000
Format:Paperback
I still do not have the faintest idea as to why Disney could possibly make this book into a children's movie. First of all, I would rate the unabridged book itself "PG-13"...but anyway. This book, more popularly known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" (even though the plot circles around the Cathedral, not Quasimodo) is like a twisted "Romeo and Juliet" story sans star-crossed lovers. The real protagonist (in my opinion) is Esmarelda, the sixteen year old gypsy dancer. She falls passionatly in love with the chauvanistic stuff-shirt Captain Pheobus whotakes advatage of her love while meanwhile courting a young, rich noblewoman. Meanwhile, both Quasimodo the deaf bell-ringer and Claude Frollo the fanatical archdeacon fall madly in love with Esmerelda. So naturally things get quite chaotic when the gypsy is sentanced to death for "murdering" the captain. The action so is spectacular, especially the siege of Notre Dame, that I almost forgot I was reading it, not actually standing in Place de la Greve watching it all happen. Hopefully I don't give too much away when I say yes, there is a heck of a lot of dying going on throughout the book. This book, unfortunately, does have its long, slow, boring parts too...such as the beginning--just get through it and you'll be alright. And unless you are an ardent scholar of mideival architecture or French history, go ahead and skip the chapters titled "Notre-Dame" and "A birds eye view of Paris". P.S: my favorite part...Esmarelda's "marriage" to Pierre Gringiore, and also Gringiore's unhealthy obsession with the gypsy's goat
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
I still do not have the faintest idea as to why Disney could possibly make this book into a children's movie. First of all, I would rate the unabridged book itself "PG-13"...but anyway. This book, more popularly known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" (even though the plot circles around the Cathedral, not Quasimodo) is like a twisted "Romeo and Juliet" story sans star-crossed lovers. The real protagonist (in my opinion) is Esmarelda, the sixteen year old gypsy dancer. She falls passionatly in love with the chauvanistic stuff-shirt Captain Pheobus whotakes advatage of her love while meanwhile courting a young, rich noblewoman. Meanwhile, both Quasimodo the deaf bell-ringer and Claude Frollo the fanatical archdeacon fall madly in love with Esmerelda. So naturally things get quite chaotic when the gypsy is sentanced to death for "murdering" the captain. The action so is spectacular, especially the siege of Notre Dame, that I almost forgot I was reading it, not actually standing in Place de la Greve watching it all happen. Hopefully I don't give too much away when I say yes, there is a heck of a lot of dying going on throughout the book. This book, unfortunately, does have its long, slow, boring parts too...such as the beginning--just get through it and you'll be alright. And unless you are an ardent scholar of mideival architecture or French history, go ahead and skip the chapters titled "Notre-Dame" and "A birds eye view of Paris". P.S: my favorite part...Esmarelda's "marriage" to Pierre Gringiore, and also Gringiore's unhealthy obsession with the gypsy's goat :-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, grotesque, sublime novel March 23 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The novel which is so poorly mistranslated as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" is one which sadly few people have read. Disney has done this novel a great injustice. Hugo paints an elaborate and incredible picture of 15th-century Paris. The main character is not Quasimodo, the infamous hunchback, but rather the cathedral of Notre Dame itself. It is a complex and powerful character who shifts dramatically depending on who percieves it. Hugo is a brilliant writer; each image is beautiful, each line a poem. The book is four hundred pages of pure poetry. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who appreciates good literature.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  57 reviews
51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, grotesque, sublime novel March 23 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The novel which is so poorly mistranslated as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" is one which sadly few people have read. Disney has done this novel a great injustice. Hugo paints an elaborate and incredible picture of 15th-century Paris. The main character is not Quasimodo, the infamous hunchback, but rather the cathedral of Notre Dame itself. It is a complex and powerful character who shifts dramatically depending on who percieves it. Hugo is a brilliant writer; each image is beautiful, each line a poem. The book is four hundred pages of pure poetry. I highly recommend this novel for anyone who appreciates good literature.
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars how disney's Hunchback would be if I wrote it July 17 2000
By "jolllly1" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I still do not have the faintest idea as to why Disney could possibly make this book into a children's movie. First of all, I would rate the unabridged book itself "PG-13"...but anyway. This book, more popularly known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" (even though the plot circles around the Cathedral, not Quasimodo) is like a twisted "Romeo and Juliet" story sans star-crossed lovers. The real protagonist (in my opinion) is Esmarelda, the sixteen year old gypsy dancer. She falls passionatly in love with the chauvanistic stuff-shirt Captain Pheobus whotakes advatage of her love while meanwhile courting a young, rich noblewoman. Meanwhile, both Quasimodo the deaf bell-ringer and Claude Frollo the fanatical archdeacon fall madly in love with Esmerelda. So naturally things get quite chaotic when the gypsy is sentanced to death for "murdering" the captain. The action so is spectacular, especially the siege of Notre Dame, that I almost forgot I was reading it, not actually standing in Place de la Greve watching it all happen. Hopefully I don't give too much away when I say yes, there is a heck of a lot of dying going on throughout the book. This book, unfortunately, does have its long, slow, boring parts too...such as the beginning--just get through it and you'll be alright. And unless you are an ardent scholar of mideival architecture or French history, go ahead and skip the chapters titled "Notre-Dame" and "A birds eye view of Paris". P.S: my favorite part...Esmarelda's "marriage" to Pierre Gringiore, and also Gringiore's unhealthy obsession with the gypsy's goat
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Ever Read!! Oct. 1 2009
By ~*Rainbow Heydrich*~ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Unlike a great number of the people giving this book a positive review, I was and still am a fan of Disney's movie. Yes, the movie distorted the book quite liberally--but this is to be expected of a children's film adaptation. I view the movie's existence as positive since it encourages older fans of the movie to go and seek Hugo's book to get the complete story. It is a sad fact that most people have never read the book, however, the Disney movie brought attention back to it--a victory, in my opinion.

As far as the book itself, it was marvelous! Hugo's writing style is ornate and an artistic work in itself. As far as who the main character is, I would daresay that this is up to the reader's interpretation. I agree with the fact that the British translation regarding the title is misleading, as I find Quasimodo to be a bit distant from the focus of the book.

Hugo seemed to be preoccupied with portraying both Notre Dame and 15th Century Parisian society when writing this book. From that stance, it would seem as though both Cathedral and time period were the protagonists of the story.

As far as in-context, living characters, I would again like to state that Quasimodo is not whom I would nominate as protagonist. Esmeralda is a tempting choice, however, she is not given too much detail as far as personality. I would daresay that the most developed character in the book is the antagonist, Claude Frollo. I could write volumes on this character alone, as he is my favourite. If he weren't already antagonist, I would deem him a good candidate for protagonist.

Ah, Claude Frollo. He is the main reason behind my love for the book. (To Disney fans--his story does not unfold as in the movie!) I find his constant struggles and painful past to be some of the most intriguing parts of the book. The parts which included dialogue predominantly on his part were certainly my favourite ones. Claude and his constant battle with his feelings, his devotion, his jealousy and his belief in fate colour the book like no other character could.

Ultimately, the message of the book is that appearances are deceptive. Hugo portrays this most obviously with Quasimodo. In my opinion, however, he gives the reader this message through every main character. Phoebus, for example, is at first presented as a gallant officer who rescues Esmeralda but later turns out to be a vulgar womanizer. Clopin is first encountered as a mere beggar but is in fact the king of the Gypsies, holding power within his circle of vagabonds. Quasimodo is first thought of as a monster but is given a more tender place in the reader's heart by the conclusion of the book. Esmeralda is described as beautiful and she at first shows mercy to both Gringoire and Quasimodo, but is later revealed as superficial and vulgar in her taste for men. Claude Frollo appears as a studious priest, but is in reality a passionate, tortured spirit and so much more.

To all, I encourage you to read this book! You will feel what the characters feel as your eyes follow Hugo's words. I recall with clarity reading the part where Claude observes as Phoebus attempts to manipulate Esmeralda for his own purpose and, enraged, stabs the captain with Esmeralda's dagger. I remember how my stomach turned as I read. I could feel Claude Frollo's every emotion. It was like magic. It was, in fact, magic. The magic of excellent literature!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Death of the Middle Ages July 15 2011
By Guillermo Maynez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The story takes place in 1482 and 1483, when Paris's center was, as today, the Ile de France, surrounded by the Seine, where there emerges the marvelous Gothic cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris, a work of the people, of the years, and of Gothic architecture. The book begins with the popular festival where Quasimodo is crowned as Ugly King. Quasimodo is a deformed creature: hunchback, deaf, blind in one eye, but in posession of an extraordinary physical strength. Abandoned, as a four-year-old, at the Cathedral's gate, he was adopted by Claude Frollo, the arch-deacon of the cathedral, a nobleman with a tragic story and a younger brother who, in spite of having been nurtured and loved by Claude, has betrayed him with his licentious and illegal behavior. Frollo hates women, in particular the young gypsy Esmeralda, a lovely young girl who, with her white goat, dances, sings, and divines the future, to the scandal of the good consciences, including Frollo.

This is one of the most powerful stories ever created, a masterful adventure into the depths of the late Middle Ages. Surrounding the tragic love story between Esmeralda and the Hunchback of Notre Dame is a deep reflection on the demise of Medieval times and the slow but inevitable onset of the Renaissance. Hugo inserts chapters about the Cathedral's history and the description of Medieval Paris, its different neighborhoods and urbanistic setting. Frollo explains, to his astonished listeners, how and why the invention of printed books will mean the death of Architecture, at least as an art. "The book will kill the building", he says, because the printed book "is the greatest event of humanity. It is the mother of Revolutions". Before the press, the Church was able to control thought and speech. People expresed themselves in architecture, when they participated as artisans in the construction of public buildings, true works of the people. Not anymore: the book will allow a clearer and more powerful means of expression; fluid, eternally changing, from then on literature will be the most transparent way to express oneself. We know the printed book precipitated the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Renaisssance and Modernity, but Frollo submerges into bitterness and his terrible sexual frustration: he hates Esmeralda because he desires her immensely.

The plot thickens with the whole crazy, tragic love story involving the pretty gypsy, the hunchback, the captain with whom Esmeralda falls in love, Frollo, his brother, the mad crowds, and king Louis XI, sending his troops to take the cathedral. Impossible literature in our days, "Our Lady of Paris" is a prodigy of imagination, of the recreation of a bygone world, of an integral work which articulates history, political and ecclesiastical power, and the whole of society, from the rich and noble, and the bourgeois, to the miserable and criminal rubbish, peopled by unique characters, yet a reflection of their time and place. In spite of being a somber and desolate story, Hugo tells it with an epic tone, not a sociological one, and therefore makes it an endearing and not a sordid story. I wonder what Dostoevsky would have made with this material!

An emblem of Western culture, it is much more than a story, because it includes a grand reflection on the age: architecture and the printing press, a changing society, urbanism and people.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars this is the way disneys "hunchback" would be if I wrote it June 1 2000
By "jolllly1" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I still do not have the faintest idea as to why Disney could possibly make this book into a children's movie. First of all, I would rate the unabridged book itself "PG-13"...but anyway. This book, more popularly known as "The Hunchback of Notre-Dame" (even though the plot circles around the Cathedral, not Quasimodo) is like a twisted "Romeo and Juliet" story sans star-crossed lovers. The real protagonist (in my opinion) is Esmarelda, the sixteen year old gypsy dancer. She falls passionatly in love with the chauvanistic stuff-shirt Captain Pheobus whotakes advatage of her love while meanwhile courting a young, rich noblewoman. Meanwhile, both Quasimodo the deaf bell-ringer and Claude Frollo the fanatical archdeacon fall madly in love with Esmerelda. So naturally things get quite chaotic when the gypsy is sentanced to death for "murdering" the captain. The action so is spectacular, especially the siege of Notre Dame, that I almost forgot I was reading it, not actually standing in Place de la Greve watching it all happen. Hopefully I don't give too much away when I say yes, there is a heck of a lot of dying going on throughout the book. This book, unfortunately, does have its long, slow, boring parts too...such as the beginning--just get through it and you'll be alright. And unless you are an ardent scholar of mideival architecture or French history, go ahead and skip the chapters titled "Notre-Dame" and "A birds eye view of Paris". P.S: my favorite part...Esmarelda's "marriage" to Pierre Gringiore, and also Gringiore's unhealthy obsession with the gypsy's goat :-)
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