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Publisher's Summary

Set amid the riot, intrigue, and pageantry of medieval Paris, Victor Hugo's masterful tale of heroism and adventure has been a perennial favorite since its first publication in 1831. It is the story of Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer of the Notre Dame Cathedral, who falls in love with the beautiful gypsy Esmeralda. When Esmeralda is condemned as a witch by Claude Frollo, the tormented archdeacon who lusts after her, Quasimodo attempts to save her; but his intentions are misunderstood. Written with a profound sense of tragic irony, Hugo's powerful historical romance remains one of the most thrilling stories of all time.
(P)1996 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"What a beautiful thing Notre-Dame is!" (Gustave Flaubert)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Story

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Davidson was miscast

How did the narrator detract from the book?

This narrator got the tone of the book all wrong, which is, most likely, the fault of the director.

Any additional comments?

I remember this being one of my very favorite books as a teen, and was very disappointed by the narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Neil
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 06-24-11

Classic Beauty and the Beast

I enjoyed this book as it is one of the classics. Victor Hugo does not dissappoint. I suggest you get the cliff notes if you are unfamiliar with the story, so you keep track of the characters. If you like lots of dialogue and character interaction then this is not your book as it is more the narrator role.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

One of my favorites!

What other book might you compare The Hunchback of Notre Dame to and why?

The book stands alone. Obviously Victor Hugo is a masterful writer, and with Hunchback, he wrote a masterpiece. The characters are complex. The story is compelling. If you think you know the story from the Disney movie or some other Hollywood version, trust me, in no way can any movie capture the depth of these characters and this story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

If I had to pick my favorite chapter from all the audio books I have ever listened to, it is a chapter from this book. <br/><br/>I walk while I listen. My walks take about an hour. One fine fall day I set out listening to a chapter called "A Bird's Eye View of Paris." It was purely descriptive, the kind of chapter I may skim if I were reading a hard copy of the book -- but that's not an option with an audio book. I walked, listening, as Hugo described the different burgs of Paris, the streets of Paris, the homes, the buildings, the churches. Quite frankly, 45 minutes into the walk and the chapter, I was getting a little tired of description. <br/><br/>But then, the glorious conclusion. Having built a city of stone with words in my imagination, he began the chiming of the bells in all the steeples across the whole city -- small bells, medium size bells, and huge grand bells of Notre Dame. Hugo describes as "a tumult of bells and chimes," "a furnace of music," and a symphony.<br/><br/>I heard a symphony in a audio-book and it was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fantastic Story, Poor Narrator

Instantly a favourite classic, but this narrator's voices were weak and his phrasing often felt wrong. Every voice sounded like someone hoarse from yelling differing only in frequency, and his Esmeralda sounded like someone mocking a scared girl, even during her most impassioned moments.
As for the story, it's obvious why it's a classic. Few books have been written in the 19th century (about the 15th no less) and maintain cultural relevance even today, but this does. It was pure beauty in both its saddest and most inspiring form.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Great Classic

Performed really well. The author wanted to make sure you had a portrait of Paris in the 1480's and does a great (and sometimes long) job describing buildings, people, attitude and mentality of Paris and it's people.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful