I’ve been meaning to read Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret after seeing the film trailer (I know, I suck, I didn’t have any idea about the book before the trailer). The whole story made me curious. The title itself leads me to ask what’s the invention? I thought Hugo Cabret is a place or something but it is a boy. Hugo Cabret, who is a twelve-year old boy, lives in the walls of the train station in Paris and works as clock keeper. He’s a great kid with unbelievable talent when it comes to clocks, mechanism of gears and what-not. The book tells about two parts: 1) the story about the life of Hugo Cabret, why he became an orphan, Isabelle, and his secret. 2) the unveiling of the secret, fulfilling of shattered and hopeless dreams, and the beauty of friendship.
“Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do…Maybe it’s the same with people,” Hugo continued. “If you lose your purpose…it’s like your broken.”
I love how Selznick transport me to every scene with his beautiful pencil illustrations. It’s a short, quick read because of the illustrations but man, they are so beautiful. I am jealous of Selznick because he’s not only a great storyteller, he’s also a great artist! Also, I learned a lot about Georges Méliès. I may be clueless and ignorant of french films (and illusions), but I found this thing inspirational. Méliès’ films are kind of freaky and strange (shown in illustrations in the book) but man, they are beautiful, out of this world beauty. I learn to appreciate the beauty and magic of french films (though I only watch only a few films in which I don’t remember the titles anymore).
This book has a film adaptation that will be shown next year (2012) under the name Hugo. Directed by Martin Scorsese, with Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Chloë Grace Moretz (Isabelle), and Ben Kingsley (Georges Méliès). I am so excited to see this film! See the trailer:
Anyway, I love this book to bits (I know, this review didn’t give any justice to the book!) and I am looking forward in reading his new book, Wonderstruck! Thank you to Monique for lending me this precious book :)
This is one of the best books read for 2011!
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick