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The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Narrated by: Bill Homewood
Length: 22 hrs and 28 mins
4 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)
Non-member price: $71.08
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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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  • Bake.
  • Newcastle, Australia
  • 10-01-2018

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Johanna Hockmann
  • 04-04-2015

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Meg Pajak
  • 19-07-2015

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Christopher Mitchell
  • 28-03-2018

Morbid Curiocity

What would have made The Hunchback of Notre Dame better?

Discard two thirds of it! Seriously; Victor Hugo could have written the plot in a fraction of the space and included a supplementary book to explain his love of architecture without boring the audience to death. He would never get published today.

Would you ever listen to anything by Victor Hugo again?

No. I only wanted to understand the story of Quasimodo from its original roots given that I like the Disney movie so much. Given what I got; I couldn't survive another of his books!

Would you listen to another book narrated by Bill Homewood?

Depends on what he's narrated. I don't doubt he's a good narrator, but this book bored me to death.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

It's clear that Victory Hugo is passionate about architecture and wants us to understand as much as can be understood about his story, setting and characters. Quasimodo is interesting and well developed once we get to know him, and Frollo is a more tragic figure than he is in the Disney film. Mr Hugo also belongs to a tragically lost period of writers that prefers their poetic prose, giving his text a unique flavour. The issue is there's WAY too much of it!

Any additional comments?

Listen only if you have a love of architecture, multi-lingual expressions of poetic prose, are interested in the origin story of the movie adaptations, and a LOT of patience.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful