Friday, January 27

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Hugo is an orphan who is sent to live with his uncle and learn to keep track of all the clocks in the train station. When his uncle disappears, Hugo has to take on the job alone...but it isn't clocks he wants to fix.

Before Hugo's father died, he was working on repairing an automaton. Now the job lies with Hugo to fix the machine man and see what secrets lie at the tip of his pen.

What secrets that may be could impact Hugo in a more personal way than he could imagine and help him to rebuild not only his own life and future but that of another.

Can Hugo fix the automaton before time runs out and the station clocks break down? Or will he be discovered and hauled off to an orphanage?

This was an impulsive purchase I made on audio. I knew that the book had been adapted into a film and I already owned another of Selznick's books but I didn't know much what 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' was about. Still, when the audio book was offered to me for a decent price, I snatched it up.

What I discovered was a story of lies, thievery and good intentions. I was swept up by the narrative and my imagination was captivated by what I heard. 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' had some of the best audio effects I have encountered to date and while this is the first novel I have listened to that was narrated by Jeff Woodman, it is the fourth I have purchased, so I was pretty pleased that he didn't suck. Far from it.

However, 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' is a book designed to be read. Since I did not have a hardback copy of the book, I popped over to the bookstore to check it out. In its own words: "A novel in words and pictures." Indeed. It has 284 pages of drawings.

Selznick's skill with words was reflected in his artwork. What I imagined when I listened to the story was deepened through the detailed imagery. 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' is inspired by a real man and there were even a few real photographs. It was easy to understand why the novel inspired a film adaptation. The book is a cinematographer's dream.

I look forward to listening to plenty more of Woodman's narration but I must recommend the physical edition of 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' above or in accompaniment to it. Myself, I look forward to seeing the film adaption, Hugo, along with reading Selznick's 'Wonderstruck.'

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Scholastic and is used solely as an aide to the review.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

I read this book a few years ago, in one sitting, and was absolutely caught up in the story. The drawings are wonderful. I said at the time, this book would make a great film. Hey presto! Not seen it yet.