I realize that I probably should have read this book several years ago when it was shiny and new. However, I read it today…the whole book…all 533 pages…all 284 beautiful illustrations. Yep.The story follows young Hugo as he scrounges for food, steals, and sets the clocks in the Parisian train station. He is obsessed with this notebook of his father that details a variety of clockwork mechanisms. When he finds an actual automaton that is drawn within the pages Hugo’s journey begins to get really intriguing.
I think the illustrations in this book are beautiful. However, I did feel a disconnect with the actual story itself. This book took a while for me to warm up to and I think this is directly caused by the fact that it is told in pictures and in text but is very unlike traditional sequential art. It’s a little too “one or the other and not both” for me. That, and the aforementioned hype leading up to my read, had me expecting something over the moon. While it’s good I did not love it like I probably should have. What I did like about it was that this book is a giant love song to both old films and Paris and, in that, it definitely succeeds. Plus, the ending is quite touching.
4 out of 5 stars.
– Follow the Reader –