Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Summary:  Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, twelve-year-old Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric girl and the owner of a small toy booth in the train station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message all come together...in The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

Review:  I saw a preview for the film Hugo in the theaters and said, 'Wow!  I have to read that book!'  It's been sitting on the TBR pile ever since partly due to the fact that it's a large book (533 pages) and I didn't want to haul it around with me.  Had I taken a moment to look at it, I would have realized that it could be read in a sitting.  This is a concept book, part picture book, part graphic novel, with almost 300 pages of original art work, photographs, and film stills.  I understand now why it isn't available as an e-book, though I think it would make a fabulous interactive e-book, the expense to create it would make it cost prohibitive to the publisher as well as the consumer.

In many ways this book is like the Middle Grade equivalent to The Night Circus.  It's fantastical and magical, and you never know what turning the page may bring.  Parts of the story are told through pictures and some through prose; some pages are filled with drawings; some pages are almost blank save for a paragraph on them.  The plot is mysterious while not being overly complicated, and it is full of scope for the imagination with automata and gears and magic... Not only is the story amazing, and incredibly well researched, but Brian Selznick's artwork is marvelous. I keep picking it back up just to sift through the pages. 

It's marvelous -not to be missed.  I'm truly sorry it took me so long to get to this book.  I think there is much to be taken from it at any age (I want to know all about Georges Méliès now!). And I can't wait to see the movie.

Final Take:  5/5



Roof Beam Reader May 18, 2012 at 3:28 PM  

I think this is one of the most creative and (dare I say) "delightful" books released in recent history.. it's just such a romantic premise, first of all, and then the accompanying artwork ramps up the "ooh gush!" factor even more.

Glad you liked it - and nice work on your TBR Pile Challenge, so far! We're almost half way there. :D

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