Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

I just finished another book on my Classics list, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, by Victor Hugo.

If you are thinking this:
Disney's Version

then stop right there. I never realized how BADLY Disney mangled the book until now.

First of all, Quasimodo did NOT have talking gargoyles. the hunchback of notre dame DUDE In the book, Quasimodo was just so lonely he talked to them.

Second, Esmerelda....NOT the tough girl that the Demi-Moore-Voiced Esmerelda was. The real Esmerelda was 16 and a love-sick fool. She frustrated me to no end. She falls in love with a soldier who rescues her from the clutches of someone trying to kidnap her. A soldier she's seen for all of 5 seconds. She's young and naive.

Third, Phoebus. *shakes head* SO not the noble character portrayed by Disney. Phoebus was a womanizer, a drunk and a jerk. He was not in the least bit likeable.

I enjoyed the book. Mr. Hugo's characters were alive with conflict. The archdeacon Claude Frollo, despicable as he was, was a tortured soul. Hugo's writing of his character was compelling, even as you grew to dislike him more and more. Some bits were a bit predictable (who Esmerelda's mother was) but I honestly did not know the ending and was shocked by it. NOT A Disney ending people. Esmerelda does NOT get Phoebus (she's an idiot for loving him, and of course he's one of the few who survives) and Quasimodo does not live happily ever after....or maybe, in his own mind, in that sepulchre, he really does.

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