The Hunchback of Notre Dame

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The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
10+
Release Date
July 24, 2012
ISBN
978-1595829528
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Tim Conrad adapts Victor Hugo's classic romance about a beautiful gypsy girl, Esmeralda, who is framed for murder by the infatuated archdeacon of Notre Dame. Only Quasimodo, the hideously deformed bell ringer of the cathedral, can save her. Religious extremism, class distinction, fate, destiny, and sexual dynamics are played out in a rousing yarn of intrigue within the walls of the Parisian Cathedral of Notre Dame. This is Tim Conrad's first foray back into comics in twenty years. Beautifully illustrated. Packed with emotion. Not to be missed!

Editor review

1 review
Atmospheric and compelling
(Updated: July 19, 2012)
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
It was while reading Tim Conrad's graphic novel retelling of Victor Hugo's THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME that I realized how very visual the story is, how the story hinges on appearance, and how that can disguise what lies beneath. How apt, then, to have the opportunity to read the classic in this format, which of course emphasizes the visual, from the wild, beautiful Esmeralda to the grossly deformed Hunchback.

I found the palette and style viscerally evocative of fifteenth-century France, although why, I'm not sure I can quantify. There was something muddy, something almost bloody about the art which seemed appropriate to that harsh, sometimes brutal time. Yet there was beauty too, which also rang true, since so much of the story takes place in and around the glory of Notre Dame cathedral.

It is impossible, of course, to condense Victor Hugo's marvelous work into a short graphic novel, and I hope very much no-one reads this version and thinks he's done. This graphic novel should be a way to introduce the classic, or to supplement it but not to replace it.

However, judging it by what it sets out to do, I found this HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME an excellent evocation of the story, and something which made my experience of the original novel somewhat richer.
Good Points
Visually striking
Faithful to original without getting bogged down
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