Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I read this entirely because I've heard some buzz about the movie being made from it, supposedly using 3D because it enhances the story, not just the box office. I wondered how a story set in 1931 Paris, about an orphan who lives in a train station and keeps busy setting the old-fashioned clocks while trying to restore something as archaic as an automatron could possibly need the flash and zoom of 3D filmmaking. What I didn't know is that this is also the story of the birth of films made to entertainment and it interweaves some of the classic scenes of the very first movies. There is a connection between the mechanics of Hugo's life and the dream of telling stories through moving pictures, and I now fully understand why the newest technology will work its own kind of magic with this story.
About the book itself, it's a graphic novel that knows there's a reason graphic is the first word in the genre. The choice to border all the pages of the book in black lends to the time period feel of the etching style illustrations as well as making this a very unique looking book. The characters are classic children's book characters, there are the helpful adults, the evil adults, and the adults that must learn through the eyes of a child. No, that's not very original, but this is a kid's book, and there's a reason that sort of story is told over and over - it needs to be told!
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