It's not that I don't enjoy tragedies. I mean, this is the person who has seen nineteen different versions of Hamlet, many of them multiple times. I like a good, sad story.
So it's not the tragicality that made me dislike this book. It's the fatalism. The bleak flavor that permeates it. Hugo seems to be saying that fate dictates how everything will turn out, what everyone will do, and that is absolutely the opposite of my belief in the gift of free will. The characters become puppets for the author to move around, and Hugo uses them to try to convey the idea that all people are puppets, jerked and shoved about by fate.
If fate dictates everything, there are no consequences for actions, no accountability. Right and wrong are sapped of their meaning, and everything is dictated by the whim of some made-up, nameless, uncaring power. Feh.
Even with the fatalism aside, this is a book full of people doing really stupid things that ::surprise!:: lead to bad results. I hate that kind of tragedy. I only enjoy tragedies that feel inevitable, where the events set in motion by the villains lead to sadness and badness that the heroes mitigate the best they can, but which eventually overwhelm them because they're flawed themselves.
|(From my Instagram)|
So, yeah. I loved Les Miserables when I read that twenty years ago, and I'd like to revisit it one of these days. But I have no desire or need to revisit The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Ever.
If This was a Movie, I Would Rate It: R for lascivious desires and intentions and behavior, scenes of torture and violence, and voyeurism.
Some happy news!!! This is my 50th book read and reviewed for my second go-'round with the Classics Club, which means it's my 100th book for the club as a whole! I have sent up a third list of 50 books and will embark upon it in July.
This is also my 24th book read for #TheUnreadShelfProject2020.