Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Saddest Novel I Have Ever Read

This has to have been one of the saddest stories I have ever read.  The story is not Quasimodo’s it is la Esmeralda’s.  It is a story about an abducted child and a mother’s grief.  Quasimodo only really has a minor (but significant) role.
The best scene was when the recluse realised la Esmeralda was her child whilst holding her for the king's men to take her to be executed.  She then tries to hide her, but Esmeralda makes herself known when she thinks she hears Phoebus. No amount of begging will stop the king’s men from taking the ‘sorceress’ to be hung, it is heart wrenching.
The poet who I thought would become a major character was pretty much a redundant character but he saved the goat, so he was good for something.
Hugo was under pressure from his publisher to finish the novel, and this was evident in the writing ie he got on with the story.  A very dark novel but, I am really pleased I stuck it out and read it.  
Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde didn't take long to read at all, so I have now reached my target for the year, yippee!!  The story is told by two of Jeckyll's friends, and by a letter from Jeckyll to be read only upon his disappearance or death.
The novel explores the duality of man and that we all have this darker side.  This is evident is some people who have suffered a brain injury.  A darker side emerges - a temper, swearing, extreme moodiness etc.
Apart from a couple of specific events Hyde's depraved activities are only barely hinted at, we can only assume that he is visiting prositutes and opium dens.  Jeckyll desired to frequent these placed but the coventions of society restricted him - he has his respectability to maintain.  Now that Mr Hyde is unleashed he can run amok.  Hyde becomes the more dominant character, Jeckyll goes to bed and wakes up as his darker self.  It is only after the murder of an eminent man that Hyde shows a fear of the gallows and lets Jeckyll take the reins again - albeit briefly.
It's a very disconcerting read!
What am I reading next? Well, I'm half way through Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows.  Harry's annoying me slightly.  For all he's been through he's a bit dim sometimes, and even though he's been told Voldemort's name has been tabooed he still had to go and say it and now he's put himself and his friends in mortal danger. What an idiot!!
Adam Bede is my next Kindle read and I might try my new Stephen King tonight..........

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