Hunchback of Notre Dame Review

Hunchback of Notre Dame is the main classic I have attempted to read over break and actually finish it. Believe it or not it took me only 11 days to read this classic book. Hunchback of Notre Dame is written by Victor Hugo, who also wrote Les Misérables, and it is his first masterpiece book.

Possible Spoilers:

Here’s the thing about Hunchback of Notre Dame, for the longest time I struggled with knowing what exactly the plot is. But as expected he spends a lot of time setting up characters, but he spent about the first fifth or so of the book talking about a minor character, but it helped introduce Esmeralda into the story. Setting up gave the background of Quasimodo, the hunchback in the story. Not only is he a hunchback, but he is also deaf and can only see out of one eye.

I feel as if this book is a love story. It appears as if three people love Esmeralda: Phoebus, Frollo, and Quasimodo, but Esmeralda loves Phoebus so we have a bit of a love square. It shows how love is beautiful, but also how it can be destructive. Two people in this story are coping with unrequited love: Frollo and Quasimodo and their responses to it are complete opposites.

About the plot, it is mainly about Esmeralda, Frollo and Quasimodo. Frollo raised Quaismodo. He does not respond to love he has for Esmeralda very well and it is an unrequited love and he responds in a Phantomesque way. He seems to get more evil and darker as the story continue. Because of how evil and dark he is, I do not like Frollo at all.   He eventually comes up with some evil plans and at one point he said something like “no one else can have her”, so he tries to force Esmeralda to love him, but Esmeralda keeps on saying no because she loves Phoebus and is terrified of him. At one point when Frollo hears that Esmeralda and Phoebus love each other, Frollo responds by stabbing Phoebus hoping to kill him so you see he does respond in a phantomesque way.

I love Esmeralda and Quasimodo. Esmeralda has this pet goat and I love the pair of the two of them together and she is a gypsy and just like Quasimodo is treated unfairly. When she shows kindness to Quasimodo, he falls in love with her in a selfless way. He ends up protecting her whenever he can. I love how Quasimodo treats her and love how despite his disabilities, he is so sweet and wonderful. I love how Esmeralda is capable of showing compassion towards others and she is sweet too.

I actually enjoyed the tangents in this novel because they were short and did not take away from the actual story. They were fascinating to read about because they talked about the architecture of Notre Dame and gives an overview of Paris. I would rate this novel about a 7/10.

What do you think about Hunchback of Notre Dame and if you didn’t read it, would you want to read it?


Author: mphtheatregirl

I am a strong spiritual person who is a big fan of musicals. This blog mainly is about musicals. Every so often I talk about spirituality. Sometimes I add in movie reviews, book reviews, and about my life in general. I hope you find my blog inspiring.

29 thoughts on “Hunchback of Notre Dame Review”

      1. I did not study Les Mis in high school. Les Mis did not enter my life until my first year of college. I watched the movie musical in 2012 for the first time, but had to give it a second chance until I actually became a true fan.

        I kind of studied the book myself. Throughout my journey with Les Mis, I researched the characters, the book and the musical, and the actual time period and characters. Over time I became obsessed with it

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I haven’t really done some researching but I really became obsessed with it. Maybe because we acted it in our school play and I remember my former classmates so much that’s why I became so attached to it. 🙂


  1. I’ve never considered the Hunchback of Notre Dame until this post honestly! It makes me want to read it, so I may add it to the list! Thanks for sharing!!


      1. It took a lot of debating on whether or not I should read this book. I had already read Les Misérables and did not know if I wanted to read another book that would be interrupting its plot with tangents and those can be boring


  2. Congrats on finishing it! You finished it very quickly–I’m impressed! I do rather like the story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. It’s very tragic, of course, but it is a beautiful story, I think. I didn’t particularly enjoy the tangents in this book but I feel like if I were to go back and read it again, I might enjoy them a little more after having learned a lot about cathedrals in my Art History class last quarter. Great review!


    1. The story I had a hard time figuring out what it was about. Eventually it came into play and I was like finally. It is tragic like expected, but still amazing. I am thinking of doing a Les Misérables vs. Hunchback of Notre Dame post


      1. Yeah, it definitely can feel that way with Victor Hugo’s books. Even with Les Miz, it took like 90+ pages for Hugo to actually start the book because he kept talking about the Bishop. And I mean, sure, he’s important to the plot, but spending that much time on him seemed kind of ridiculous to me when I was reading it.


      2. The bishop is only a minor character: I agree it is important to understand his importance to the plot. At least with Les Mis, I already knew the plot so that helped a lot in reading it. As I was reading Hunchback of Notre Dame, I kept on being like why on earth hans’t this plot started


      3. Oh, yeah, definitely. It can seem agonizing when you don’t understand the plot. Knowing that the bishop did have relevance to the plot helped me get through it easier but with The Hunchback of Notre Dame, not knowing the plot ahead of time could make that whole prelude really confusing.


      4. I felt the same way. I understand the plot of Les Mis. I was brand new to Hunchback of Notre Dame’s plot when I read it. I do not think the plot kicked off when you first are introduced to the major characters. Not much is going on in the plot yet. I really was like I honestly need this plot to kick off and that is part of why I gave Hunchback of Notre Dame a 7/10 rating


      5. Yeah, slow starts can be really agonizing especially if you’re not sure about what’s coming. I remember reading The Hunchback of Notre Dame and wondering if anything I was reading was actually going to have importance to the plot. And while it did have some relevance, I wished that the plot had just started right away.


      6. I felt like that part only focused on a minor character even though you see Quasimodo and Esmeralda in that bit. Through the entire opening, I was like how come we rarely get Quasimodo. But when the plot finally kicked off, we got a lot more of him


      7. Definitely. It was interesting for me to read the Hunchback of Notre Dame because I’d seen the Disney animated musical movie many times and seeing the differences was really interesting. I haven’t actually listened to the Disney stage musical in full yet so I look forward to doing that in February when it’s my musical of the month and hope to reread the book sometime soon.


      8. As I was reading the book, I was like why on earth would Disney want to adapt this into a musical: it is way too dark for Disney. It is quite tragic and dark so I honestly do not understand why Disney made it into a musical. If it was made into a musical, it would have been better if it was more truthful to the book


      9. Yeah. The Disney adaption has a happy ending and singing gargoyles. I still like the Disney adaption but it just isn’t really the same as the book in a lot of ways. They did a pretty good job of adapting Frollo, though, I think.


  3. Congratulations for finishing that book so quickly! I’ve been wanting to read it, as well as Les Miserables, simply because I love the musicals based on them. If you think about it, the Disney version of Hunchback is really dark; I mean, Hellfire is pretty intense. Apparently, Stephen Schwartz and Alan Mencken (I think he was the other writer) thought that there was no way Disney would accept it for the show, but they did!


      1. I love Les Misérables more than Hunchback of Notre Dame. A lot of that goes back to my love of Les Misérables as in the musical and it was the musical that helped me understand what was going on in the book. But without Les Misérables, I wouldn’t have thought about reading Hunchback of Notre Dame in the first place

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s