Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction, mystery
Published on April 1, 2007
Published by Scholastic
Pages: 534
Read From: 3.2.12 - 3.2.12

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, 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 - like the gears of the clocks he keeps - with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a 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 from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spell-binding mystery.


I can't believe it took me so long to get to this book, because it is amazing. The Author tells this story in a totally new way, putting half of it in writing and the other half in pictures. For any other book, I don't think it would work, but for this one, it really did. New York Times called it a silent film in pages, and that's a perfect way of putting it. The Invention of Hugo Cabret really does feel like a silent film in pages.

People always described this book to me as enchanting, and I would agree with them. Because half of it is told in pictures, it is a super fast read, even though from outward appearances it certainly doesn't look it. And while it's a simple enough tale, it is intriguing and attention-grabbing. However, I also think that this is a book where you would actually benefit watching the movie before reading the book. The two are almost identical, but there are couple of small changes that I liked better, and the movie also helps flesh out background. The Author doesn't do much describing, and the pictures are not especially detailed.

This may not be a book for everyone, for some might find it a bit dull and the writing style/narration a bit too different, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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