Review-Along! Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo

Woman, the temptress…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

As she dances for the crowds in the streets of Paris, the gypsy girl known as La Esmeralda incites passion in the breasts of two men, both forbidden to love in the common way: Claude Frollo, the Archdeacon of Notre-Dame, bound by vows of celibacy; and Quasimodo, the hideous creature who lives in the cathedral, condemned by his deformities to be an object of fear or pity, but never love. Esmeralda herself has formed a passion for another man, one unworthy of her love, but who will rouse the jealous fury of Frollo, setting off a chain of events that will ripple out well beyond these four central characters into the very history of Paris…

I must admit that there were points in the first half of the book where I had a deep desire to hit Hugo over the head with a brick, in the hopes that it might inspire him to stop waffling about 15th century architecture and get on with telling the story. However, it is often these digressions that linger longest, and provide us with that glimpse into the thinking of past generations which makes reading classics such a pleasure. Even as I waited impatiently to get back to Esmeralda and her lovers, I enjoyed Hugo’s detailed descriptions of how Paris developed as a city, and how it evolved between 1482, when the book is set, and 1829-31, when it was written. I found his ideas about architecture being the way societies once recorded their histories and philosophies fascinating and, despite my lowly status as a lady reader, I was intrigued and at least partially convinced by his argument that the invention of the printing press, as a new and easier way to spread ideas, would remove this important function of architecture for later generations…

Our lady readers will forgive us if we stop for a moment to look for what thought might lie hidden behind the archdeacon’s enigmatic words: “This will kill that, the book will kill the building.”

Book 3 of 80

Hugo’s love for Paris is clear, though clear-eyed too. He rants about modern architects destroying the glories of the past (thank goodness he didn’t live to see the Louvre Pyramid or the Centre Pompidou, or the disastrous fire in Notre-Dame itself), and waxes sublimely on the city as a living entity with its people as its soul.

Usually the murmur that comes from Paris in the daytime is the city speaking; at night it is the city breathing; here it is the city singing. Lend an ear then to this chorus from all the steeples, spread over the whole the murmur of half a million people, the everlasting plaint of the river, the infinite breathing of the wind, the deep and distant quartet of the four forests ranged over the hills on the horizon like immense organ cases, damp down as if in a half-tone everything too raucous and shrill in the central peal, and then say whether you know anything in the world more rich, joyful, golden, dazzling than this tumult of bells and chimes; this furnace of music; these ten thousand brazen voices singing at once in stone flutes three hundred feet high; this city transformed into an orchestra; this symphony of tempestuous sound.

This seems a good point to lavish praise on the wonderful translation by Alban Krailsheimer, who also wrote the informative and interesting introduction and notes in my Oxford World’s Classics edition. He brings the prose to life, avoiding any of the clunkiness that sometimes makes translated literature such a chore, and gives full play to the humour and tragedy of the story, and to Hugo’s passion in his digressions. (He also reverts to the original French title, Notre-Dame de Paris – apparently The Hunchback of Notre Dame was an English invention.)

In the second half, Hugo finally buckles down to the task of telling the story, not a moment too soon for this reader. And what a story! Although Krailsheimer informs us that Hugo’s initial remit was to follow Sir Walter Scott’s lead into the art of historical fiction, the book reminds me more of the style that Dickens would later adopt, of making his city and his society as much a feature of the book as his characters and their individual histories. Like Dickens he is also crying out for social change, specifically on the injustices of poverty and of the use of torture and capital punishment as methods of social control, keeping the powerful in power through fear. Writing while the reverberations of the French Revolution had yet to settle and when, therefore, the future form of government in France was still unclear, his open criticism of the monarchy and the ruling classes seems courageous. While the book is set several centuries before the Revolution, it is clearly his intent to show the vast social inequalities that led to it. Does the book have a hero? I’m not sure that it does at the individual level, but I felt that Hugo’s sympathies lay with his mob – not the Revolutionary mob of the 18th century, but their historical ancestors: the poor, the marginalised, the oppressed. He doesn’t sanitise them – they are shown as debauched and depraved, but within their own microcosm of society they act according to their own moral code, and provide mutual protection from the corrupt and brutal ruling class.

(Djali the goat was my favourite character)

Two things surprised me most. Firstly, there’s a lot of unexpected humour amid the serious stuff, with Pierre Gringoire (apparently a real person, though I’d never heard of him) as the main comic turn who provides moments of levity to lighten the generally dark tone. I loved the whole story of Gringoire and the goat! Secondly, the way in which Hugo portrays Frollo’s battle with lust and sexual matters generally is so much more open and explicit than I’m used to in English literature of roughly the same era. Lust is seen as the driving force for all the passion in the book – Quasimodo perhaps is the exception to this, his feelings for Esmeralda perhaps more truly love, although even he is no stranger to the stirrings of sexual desire. I found it interesting that Esmeralda too was shown as a passionate being with her own physical desires – how different to the insipid sexless heroines of so much English literature. And I felt Hugo handled all this superbly – the characters and their motivations all felt true to me (and made me wonder whether Dickens’ caricaturing was a way to get round the literary repressions enforced on English authors of the time. Darcy staring at Lizzie across drawing rooms and ballrooms is about as close to lust as I can think of in classic English Victorian literature, though perhaps the success of the sensation novels suggests that the English appetite for lust was secretly just as strong as the French).

Victor Hugo

As always with these major classics, there’s far too much to discuss in a reasonable length blog post. In summary, then, after the long first half and the architectural longueurs in which he nearly lost me, Hugo won me over totally with the thrilling story and left me reeling at the end! And in the couple of weeks since I finished reading, I’ve found myself mulling over many of the issues he raised in his digressions, so that my appreciation of the whole book has continued to grow. It’s one I’d like to re-read, since knowing the outcome would lessen my impatience to get on with the story and allow me to savour all the rest in a more leisurely fashion. Heading for a paltry four stars at the halfway mark, by the wonderful end it had gained a well-deserved and brightly glowing five! (I’m even tempted now to read Les Misérables…)

I do hope my fellow Review-Alongers found as much in it to enjoy as I did. I look forward to reading their thoughts and will add links to their reviews below as I come across them. Please also check back to find out what our non-blogging friends thought, who will hopefully leave their comments on it below.

Alyson’s Review – see comments below

Christine’s Review – see comments below

Jane’s Review

Kelly’s Review

Margaret’s Review

Amazon UK Link

64 thoughts on “Review-Along! Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo

  1. Oops – I put the wrong date in my diary for this! Expect my review this time *next* week! I’m enjoying it a lot, though. I also started off being a little frustrated by all the focus on architecture but I’ve really warmed to it now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Don’t rush it – we’ll see your review whenever you get to it! Though I must say I found the first half an incredibly slow read and then raced through the second half – it became quite tense once he started concentrating on the actual story! Hope you continue to enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been meaning to read this ever since those old BT adverts with Quasimodo and Esmerelda … so, er, about 40 years, and I don’t think a little kid was going to read a book like this anyway! I’ve also got Les Mis, which I’ve never read because it’s just too long.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, I think I must have read a severely abridged and changed kids’ version when I was young. I’m sure I read it, but there was so much in this that I had no memory of and it was much darker and more adult than I had thought. Maybe there’s a Ladybird version… 😉 I think Les Mis is nearly twice as long as this one… 😱

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A great post! I agree about Hugo’s digressions. I should have expected them as he does the same in Les Misérables! I finished reading the book at the beginning of April, after a false start in February. But I’m still writing my post – I had 22nd April in my head as the review-along date and Easter has got in the way of blogging, what with the family visiting for a few days! So, it’s not finished yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No rush – we’ll look forward to your review whenever you get to it! Yes, it starts well and then those digressions slow it to a snail’s pace, interesting though they are, followed by a really thrilling second half! Hope you enjoyed it too! The idea of Les Mis is a bit daunting since I believe it’s nearly twice as long as this one… but I’m in the mood for hefty tomes at the moment so I should probably strike while the iron’s hot!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Looking back, I read Les Mis over a period of several months and during that time I put the book aside a couple of times. It dragged in parts, but other parts were much easier to read with lots of action and I enjoyed it very much. So, yes strike while the iron’s hot!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I have a terrible tendency of not going back to books if I put them aside for a bit, so I really need to be in the mood for a hefty classic before I begin one. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it – that’s encouraging!

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  4. Perhaps the first half of the book should have pictures to go with the descriptions of architecture?
    It sounds as if Hugo’s editor should have sliced and diced the first half of the book. Kelly said she enjoyed the humour in the story, too. And wait until you hear about her daughter’s goat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I spent most of the time trying to visualise the areas of Paris he was describing as they looked when I used to go there quite often, since quite a lot of the places have still survived! The goat was fun – well, more the way Gringoire discovered he preferred it to poor Esmeralda! But I did too… 😀 Weren’t you participating in this review-along? I wondered, when you were reading The Mill on the Floss – I thought it was a bit ambitious to be reading them both! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • No, but after reading yours, Kelly’s and Jane’s reviews (I’ll be back to check if anyone else took part) I wish now that I did.
        I’ve been short on reading time lately and had gotten bogged down with The Mill on the Floss, so let it slide…
        I’m more intrigued than ever to learn that a character preferred the goat to the fabulous Esmeralda.
        Knowing the places Hugo was describing must have added something special to the book, even though you found the architectural descriptions a bit much 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, these chunkier novels have to be tackled at the right time, and certainly I could never read two of them at the same time! But if you do get around to this one at some time I think you’ll enjoy it – it seems to have met with almost universal approval – once we all got past the architectural stuff! Haha, I loved the whole goat strand – it brought a lot of much needed warmth and humour to the story! 😀

          Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m in accord with all your observations and reactions FF. I tolerated the early digressions, then became quite interested in some of them despite myself, and I also knew there was a time when I was much younger, and a more patient reader, that they (or many of them) would have delighted me. Hugo’s thinking about classic architecture being visual storytelling and record keeping before most people had access to print was fascinating and as I thought about that, I could see a number of ways in which it had validity.
    I so much prefer the original title of the novel. Notre-Dame de Paris reflects Hugo’s passion for the city, its inhabitants and the Cathedral, and provides the story context honouring all the human characters, without featuring one. The English version title Hunchback seems sensationalist in comparison.
    The characters’ story is a strong one. It is presented in a more overblown way than we are used to English literature but, I agree with you, it captures the passion, lust, love and despair that the main characters experience. I appreciated that these characters had multiple aspects to them and couldn’t be categorised as being all good or bad (except perhaps the empty-headed, self-centred Phoebus). As tragedy underlay most of their worst behaviour, it was a very human story. This humanity was sharpened by the final images of Quasimodo and Esmeralda in the story.
    Humour was the lightener throughout. I love Hugo’s wry humour, including the focus on Gringoire’s (mis)adventures and Louis XI’s pomposity, and culminating in the wonderful final sentence in the Phoebus’ Marriage chapter.
    I am sure I would not have read Notre-Dame de Paris without the encouragement of this review-along, so thank you, it was a satisfying reading experience and I’m so pleased this classic is now known to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I think I’m always more patient with digressions on re-reads – my need to know how the plot works out makes me very impatient on a first read. But I did find his ideas about architecture interesting, and I enjoyed trying to visualise the areas he was describing as they were when I was a fairly frequent visitor to Paris in my youth. It’s surprising how much of what he was describing has survived. I wonder what he’d think of some of the abominations that have been built in the last half century though – even I get outraged by them and I don’t live there! 😂 And he did sell me on the idea of printing as destroying that storytelling aspect of architecture. It may be age but I find much modern architecture soulless – like novelty and vanity buildings, rather than growing organically to meet a need or a desire.
      Yes, I prefer the original title too, since Quasimodo isn’t really the central character. It’s more of an ensemble piece and the city and Notre-Dame itself are as important as the people, but if it’s about one specific person, I’d say it was Frollo. I thought the way Hugo showed his character self-destructing over lust and guilt was brilliant. Mind you, I found Quasimodo convincing too – a thoughtful depiction of how it must have felt to be so cut off from the world because of physical deformities back then. It would have been so easy just to make him a freak, but he comes over as fully human, so kudos to Hugo for that!
      I loved Gringoire as the comedy turn – and I adored how he fell in love with Djali! It was such a relief to me that the goat got away safely… 😂 I was laughing at myself over the king – I was simultaneously reading The Clockwork Girl, which features a later Louis and I kept getting the two of them mixed up! Note to self: don’t read two books with the same setting at the same time! 😉
      It was a fun review-along, though I think several people have quietly abandoned it! I always enjoy when we choose one of these real classics – it gives me the incentive I need to read books I’ve put off for years.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Seeing your comment about knowing Paris, made me realise (again) what a different reading experience I have when I’m not familiar with the story’s physical context (and that’s often been my experience with the books I read). The story would have had different depths for me, if I’d actually had the opportunity to visit Notre-Dame (pre-devastation). There is soul and individuality to old buildings (no modern builder could add their own quirky gargoyle to a public building) which adds to Hugo’s sense of embedded stories.
        I agree there is a psychological truth to the characters, their underlying histories and experiences do make sense of their motivations and behaviour – Frollo’s repression leading to lustful imbalance and Quasimodo’s potential goodness in part corrupted by his exclusion and isolation. That’s one of the reasons why I dislike the English version title as it suggests a depiction of a character “deviant” in mind and body and Hugo’s actual Quasimodo is much more sensitively and insightfully drawn than that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I love Notre Dame – probably my favourite cathedral, so I was devastated about the fire and am deeply worried about what horrors they might do to it in the name of restoration. Yes, I find I’m drawn to books in the cities I know best, which are basically Glasgow, Edinburgh, London and Paris. But I notice it especially when an author makes the city into a character as both Hugo and Dickens do. I do like books set in places I haven’t visited too, but I have more difficulty visualising them even if the author is good at description.
          The title had led me to expect that Quasimodo would be the central character, so it’s misleading in that respect too. And although his physical deformities are the reason he ends up in Notre Dame, I felt it was really his deafness rather than his hunchback that made him such a tragic figure – especially his final, fatal misunderstanding of the mob’s intentions.

          Liked by 1 person

    • I felt that final line in the chapter on Phoebus might well have been the best sentence in the entire book! I, too, appreciated Hugo’s ideas about architecture being visual storytelling. Even with modern architecture, it can display the “feelings” of the time.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. So glad you enjoyed this, FictionFan. You make such an interesting point about the comparison of Hugo and Dickens when it comes to the way they describe the cities and the people who live there. In both cases, that look at society is an important part of what makes the book work and draws the reader in (even if Hugo took his time getting back to the plot here!). Both writers had a real feel for place, didn’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wondered if Dickens had been influenced in style by Hugo, especially since they both seem interested in the idea of the mob as a kind of character itself. And they both show that kind of clear-eyed love for their respective cities – they see the poverty and squalor and injustice, but they also see the good stuff – in Hugo’s case, mainly the architecture! 😉 I do wonder what he’d make of what has been done to poor Paris in the last half century. Even I get irate about it and I don’t live there! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I knew you would write a great review and you haven’t let me down! What a great story this is, it made me think of Dickens too, especially A Tale of Two Cities, with the location at the centre. But also I couldn’t help being struck by the lust and general sauciness that is certainly not a part of Dickens, I think you’re right it probably was because of sensorship. Jehan sitting in the drinking dens always had a half dressed women on his knee! The mob are great aren’t they but that whole siege of N-D is so sad and exciting, I just loved it and it’s put me in the mood for Les Mis (which you saved me from with this review-a-long!) but it’ll take me about a year to read so don’t go setting any dates yet. Thank you for organising this, it spurred me on with my reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! 😀 Yes, I definitely felt Dickens must have been influenced by Hugo’s style, especially when it came to writing about mobs which they both do so well. I know! The stuff about Jehan was quite shocking for the time and really made me realise how restricted English writers were. I read Oliver Twist at least twice without realising that Nancy was a lady of the night! In my defence, I was young at the time! I suspect translations used to censor stuff out too that was considered too bawdy for our delicate eyes, so I’m glad I read a recent translation. I was really shocked by the ending – I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so dark! Thank goodness Djali survived! 😉 Haha, I must admit I’m toying with suggesting a review-along for Les Mis… but not for a while! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • The lack of sauce must have just been a Victorian thing, all those 18th century novels are full of bawdy detail – I’m going to keep a look out now so that I can make comparisons!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, indeed! I hadn’t read much 18th century stuff till recently, and was again surprised at how much more bawdy it was. I wondered what caused the Victorians to become so prim? Though I must admit, I quite like the primness!

          Liked by 1 person

  8. I read this a few years ago and loved it, despite all the architecture parts! Les Mis is even better, in my opinion, although there are lots of digressions in that one too – the editor of the Penguin Classics edition I read had actually removed a few of the longer ones and put them at the back as an appendix.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What an odd choice for the editor to do that, although I bet it made it an easier read! At least if I do read Les Mis I’ll have a better idea of what to expect, and will feel that the story will probably be worth it when Hugo finally gets around to telling it! In this one I enjoyed the digressions, but it felt for a long time as if he’d just forgotten about the plot altogether!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I don’t think I’d really considered how different this is from your typical British literature of the same time period…. definitely filled with strong emotions, including lust! (I sure hope Gringoire’s feelings for Djali were actually lustful! 😱) Hugo created a wonderful cast of characters in a setting that was easy to imagine and I even enjoyed all the architecture stuff. You know the author’s done a great job when it can all end so tragically, but you still love the ending!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, gosh… I came back to see if there were any more links and just realized what I wrote here. I sure hope his feelings for Djali were NOT lustful!! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahahahaha! You did have me worried for a moment there! Poor Djali! 😂 It was because it reminded me so much of Dickens that I began to compare it to English novels of that era, which are my usual comfort zone. French novels always had a reputation over here when I was young for being a bit racy – adults weren’t too keen on letting impressionable youths read them. But I thought he did all the lust stuff really well, and I found the characters very believable. The ending was a shocker, but again more believable than the happy ending of most English novels, I think. But I’m conditioned to expect the hero and heroine to live happily ever after… thank goodness for Gringoire and Djali! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I was tempted to join in but I thought I’d never get this massive tome read in time! You’ve definitely encouraged me to pick it up though, it sounds marvellous! And I’ll be prepared for the architectural digressions 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I found the first half quite slow but I raced through the second half – it really is tense and thrilling, especially if you don’t know the story. I’m sure I must have seen films and I’m almost certain I read what I now realise must have been a very abridged version when I was quite young, but I was totally taken by surprise by how the story developed. Well worth it, when you feel like tackling a hefty tome! It’s only about half the length of Les Mis, I believe… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • The second half really is worth it, and if all the architectural stuff is too much to take it really wouldn’t matter if you skipped those parts. In the end I found them quite interesting but I was happy when he finally got back to the story!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi FF, my sincere apologies for basically disappearing for 7 weeks, I have been working more or less full time, and was ill in the middle of it, so have been reading all your posts, but have not had much time to comment on anything. Anyway, the Hunchback, as I will continue to call him was a strange one for me. I have a feeling it was a case of possible right book at very wrong time. I would probably have got on a lot better with it around 2018/2019, when I read a lot of 19th century tomes, so was used to their rhythm, and had the time to focus on small, specific details to allow myself to become part of the world of the story. Thanks a bunch, Covid, and the possibility of another world war. Back to topic, when I read Hunchback, I found myself just wishing Hugo would just get on with it and get to the point, and while the second half had much greater energy and pace, it was possibly a bit too late for me, and a couple of months after completion, the individual details are starting to faid. I might give it another go in 5 years or so, or at least the next time I am going through a long novel stage. I totally get where you are coming from about the similarities between Hugo and Dickens though, I read Les Mis at the height of my 19th century novel stage, and saw many similarities in style between the two authors. Even now, I would say Hunchback is a little like a Tale of Two Cities, or even Bleak House/Little Dorrit, where the city became a character in its own right, and the author’s love and frustration with said city came through very clearly. I’ve certainly not written Hugo off, as I did love Les Mis, even if it was even longer and more meandering than this, and might try Hunchback again sometime in the future. I’m glad it grew on you to the point of your awarding it full scores in the end. I may have too if I had read it at another time. Don’t let my less than warm response here put you off Les Mis, especially if you are in the mood for a long novel. It is definitely worth the time, patience and effort if you have them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Alyson! I’m so glad to hear from you! I’ve tried unsuccessfully to train myself not to worry when someone disappears for a bit – after all, I do it myself from time to time, and life has a tendency to get in the way of blog-life! Sorry to hear you’ve been ill – hope you’re well on the road to a full recovery. I quite see how this wouldn’t have been the best thing to be reading when you were so busy and not feeling at your best. I actually hardly read any classics during my working years. I read zillions when I was at school and uni, and have read zillions more since I retired, but when I was working even if I had time for reading I didn’t have the brain energy.
      Yes, I spent most of the first half wishing he’d just get on with the story and if it hadn’t been a review-along I’d have been tempted to give up. But I enjoyed the second half so much that I’m glad I struggled through his architectural obsession! It reminded me quite a lot of The Tale of Two Cities, with the mob scenes especially, and I feel Dickens must have been influenced by his style. Also the way he put some humour in to lighten the tone, as Dickens usually does. But I do feel Dickens spreads his digressions out a bit better, so that his books don’t get quite so bogged down in them. Glad to hear you enjoyed Les Mis – I’m thinking I ought to strike while the iron’s hot, but I do have a Walter Scott I want to read this summer…
      Anyway, glad you joined in and if we do another review-along sometime, we’ll try to pick a shorter one, eh? 😉

      Like

  12. Well! I read Les Misérables a long time ago, and saw the Broadway production. But I’ve never read The Hunchback of Notre Dame….and now I feel like I’m missing something….but I’m wondering if I should skip the first half, LOL, because I am such a slow reader.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, the temptation to skip some of the first half was quite strong, I must admit! It’s interesting but oh, how I wished he’d get in with the story! But the second half makes up for it – such a great story! I haven’t read Les Mis, but I’m tempted to read it soon while I’m feeling enthusiastic about Hugo. So many other books on my list though…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t seen the Disney movie but it sounds as if they made some pretty major changes! Les Mis has always seemed to much of a brick to tackle, but I’m feeling quite keen now…

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  13. I’m of an age that I saw the Disney version first, was terrified by it, and then later read the book only to be confused by how different it is! I think I like Les Miserables better but I do remember really enjoying this. I’m intrigued by your comparison to Dickens and that makes me want to re-read this and see if I would draw a similar conclusion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve never seen the Disney version but it looks like they made some pretty major changes! Probably just as well… 😉 I felt Dickens must have been influenced by him, especially in books where he shows the mob – they both do it so well, and they both sympathise with the reasons for it. I really must read Les Mis while I’m feeling enthusiastic for Hugo!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. In spite of the slower first half, I’m so glad you made it through the digressions and ended up enjoying the book! I liked Les Misérables even more, but with a Walter Scott on your plate can understand not wanting to take on such a big beast right now

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  15. I admit that, like you, I find English novels of the same period far more squeamish about lust, especially when it’s about women’s lust. I can confirm that this tends to be far less the case in 19th century French, Italian, German, Romanian novels – and probably a lot of others. With contemporary writers, however, I often find foreign novels a bit too prurient and obsessed… so I don’t know if it’s a matter of not being able to spot things clearly when you are a contemporary.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s interesting – for some reason I’ve always assumed Germans would be as tightly buttoned up as the Brits, although since I don’t think I’ve read a single German classic I don’t know how I got that idea! I’m not keen on prurience in novels in general, and find sex as a subject pretty uninteresting on the whole – more fun to do than to read about! 😉 But lust and its impact is always more interesting, and Hugo got the balance just about right for my mildly Victorian mind-set.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Well now i’m curious about this goat storyline! I’m trying to think back on books that I’ve read that dwell on architecture, and quite honestly I can’t think of a single one. Perhaps this is something more common in Classic literature?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The goat was a lovely touch – brought some humour and warmth to the story! I think description and digressions in general are probably more common in Classics, but Hugo really takes it to extremes – he clearly had strong opinions about what architects were doing to Paris!

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