Hugo lives in the old upper apartments of a Paris train station, and helps his uncle keep all the station’s clocks running on time. Then his uncle disappears and never comes back. Hugo steals what food he can and scavenges for dropped change to survive, all the while still keeping the clocks of the station running on time. Then one day the toy shopkeeper catches him stealing and takes away his father’s notebook. The notebook holds the drawings to fix the elaborate toy up in his apartment bedroom. The mechanical machine fixed up with gears and wheels is in the shape of a man sitting at a desk with a ink pen in his hand, which when wound up Hugo believes will write to him a message that his dead father left for him. He must get the notebook back from the toy keeper before the man decides to burn it.
First off, this book is weird. It’s not a comic book, but has tons of pictures. It’s not a pictures book because it’s 500 pages long and has a huge amount of text. In fact sometimes the book reads like one of those little books you made in first grade with pictures on each page in different places so when you flipped them over with your thumb it made a mini movie of a rock bouncing or a rabbit hopping. At first I really didn’t like it because it was so strange and the plot was slow in coming, but then I really got into the story and enjoyed the pictures. Then I found out that the story was semi-historical and thought it was super cool! I think this is a wonderful read just for the pure novelty of the storytelling form. Seriously, if you are looking for something new on a boring, hot, summer day try picking up the book and giving it a try. You can read it in a few hours, and it is definitely a fun and new reading experience. There were a few plot devices that seemed awkward or strange to me, the introduction and the book being split into two parts interrupted the flow of the story in an artificial way that I thought was unnecessary. Yet, it really didn’t detract from the overall awesomeness of the reading experience. Go read this book that has 284 original drawings and more.
This book has won prestigious awards and contains a cool historical background. Go read about it at the books website: