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Publisher's Summary

In the grotesque bell-ringer Quasimodo, Victor Hugo created one of the most vivid characters in classic fiction. Quasimodo's doomed love for the beautiful gypsy girl Esmeralda is an example of the traditional love theme of beauty and the beast. Yet, set against the massive background of Notre Dame de Paris and interwoven with the sacred and secular life of medieval France, it takes on a larger perspective. The characters come to life: the poet, Gringoire; the tormented priest, Claude Frollo; the fun-loving captain, Phoebus; and, above all, Quasimodo and Esmeralda themselves. It is a tale peppered with humor but fueled by the anguish that unfolds beneath the bells of the great cathedral of Paris.
Public Domain (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks
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Customer Reviews

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By 1DrummingAddict on 07-18-15

More than I bargained for...

Hugo's level of detail and backstory development are more than I am used to. The story is extremely detailed and exquisitely presented. It was well worth the time, and I am glad it did the audiobook version because the printed book would have been more difficult to get through.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

By CoolerGirl on 05-25-15

Great classic.

Not having read this book in school, I did not know what to expect. The story started out a bit slow, with a lot of establishment, but became intensely interesting. The narration was fantastic and carried the story along. The narrator's accents and inflections were perfect and a pleasure to listen to. This was the second book I have listened to narrated by Bill Homewood (the other was The Count of Monte Cristo) and he is wonderful at the French accent and giving each of the characters their own voice. Now that I have listened to The Hunchback of Notre Dame I am interested in the theater production. Thank you for for an excellent audiobook.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Johanna Hockmann on 04-04-15

A masterpiece

Beautifully written, a little slow about a third in but when it takes off there is no way to stop. The characters, the language, the story...all just amazing.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Meg Pajak on 07-19-15

beautiful classic everybody should listen to

If you could sum up The Hunchback of Notre Dame in three words, what would they be?

Enchanting, moving, thought-provoking

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Hunchback of Notre Dame?

Esmeralda's death and Quasimodo's reaction to it.

Have you listened to any of Bill Homewood’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I had not this pleasure, but I'm looking forward to listening to other books read by Mr Homewood.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

This book is rather dark. The brief moments of happiness any of the characters has are quickly ruined. There is cruelty and betrayal one feels passionately about and some deeply sad moments, where your heart is breaking. I listened to the end of the book while driving home and stayed in the car until it finished playing and for about half an hour after. I need time to process.

Any additional comments?

It's a timeless masterpiece anybody aspiring to be called well-read should familiarize themselves with. At times one can get lost in the maze of different characters, but in time it becomes clear who is who, and what motivations stand behind each of the characters. It's a romance in its Gothic variation, without a happy ending, filled with pain, rejection and youthful dreams being crushed. Yet, deeply moving as one will certainly find a character he or she will root for through their ups and downs towards a bitter resolution.

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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By Bake. on 01-10-18

A Literary Masterpiece

Despite several tedious chapters in which Hugo indulges in his ulterior motive of promoting architecture, which in no way serves the plot or story, the novel as a whole is a gripping gothic tale full of heart-wrenching pathos and acute observation of the follies of humanity.
Well narrated, well worth the listen.

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