I love a good tragedy, and Hugo sure knows how to deliver. This is a great novel, but it’s one of the few where I will recommend reading the abridgment. For a first time through, you won’t miss that much. Yea, you’ll miss the nuances, and maybe a general understanding of the human condition. But, you’ll also miss a 200 page description of the lives of good nuns. Ok, maybe it just feels that long. Just save the real deal for when you’re already in love with the story. Oh, you’ll fall in love with the story.
Here there are no saints, nor characters that you can totally hate. Each character’s complexity makes them deserving of genuine attachment on the part of the reader. When you read something at this level of writing, re-reading is like visiting old friends.
Bookwyrm Rating: Meat & Potatoes