October 7th, 2005

New Tilley Hat

The Hunchback of Notre Dame x 3

Gordy Dickson started me on reading classics after his death in 2001. By the time I got to his estate sale, most of the sf (besides his) had been picked over, and most of the fannish stuff (except his GoH silver plate from the 1984 Worldcon in Baltimore) was long gone. But he had a huge number of interesting books. I picked up a bunch of best sellers, stuff I'd wanted to read for years: James Michener, Clive Custler and more. This started a trend, and I picked up and have been reading a lot of non-sf fiction. A year or so ago I started in on The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo (1831). It was boring, and I put it down for many moons. (One of the books in the stack was Gone With the Wind. I read it, then rented the movie from Netflix. Why does anyone like this book? But I digress.)

Well, eventually the stack got back down to the Hunchback. I picked up where I had left off, and somewhat to my surprise it was pretty good! Maybe I needed a year to mellow. Maybe the beginning was boring and all the characters were now introduced. I dunno. So I rented the 1939 movie starring Charles Laughton (consistently recommended as the most faithful and best version) and the 1996 Disney adaptation. While they're fresh in my mind, I'm going to review all three.

I feel a bit odd that a 174 year old book, a 66 year old movie and a ten year old movie should be behind a spoiler alert, but there you have it.

Spoilers for The Hunchback of Notre DameCollapse )
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