Monday, April 02, 2007

Re-Reading Hugo Cabret

My sitter was sick today, so I left work at 2 pm to get William off the bus. It was a glorious afternoon, so while William played in the sandbox, I sat and re-read The Invention of Hugo Cabret. What can I say that hasn't already been said? I was intrigued by the clocks, gears, mechanical toys and the automaton. The way the story is propelled forward by both pictures and words is utterly compelling. On several occasions I looked up to find my 6-year old looking over my shoulder studying the illustrations. He was as enthralled as I was.

I was particularly taken by these two excerpts. For some reason the words resonated with me, and I could not get them out of my head.
Hugo also remembered that sometimes at night, Father would read to him from amazing adventure stories by Jules Verne and a collection of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales, which were Hugo's favorites. He missed being read to. (pp. 146-147)

I like to imagine that the world is one big machine. You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason, too. (p. 378)
When I came to the end, for the second time in less than a week, I must admit to finding myself teary-eyed. I am a sap however (I cry when I see Folger's and Hallmark commercials), so this should come as no surprise. I closed the book and found myself hungry for a silent Chaplin film and a trip to Paris, post haste. In the meantime, I'm going to dig out the antique windup gorilla I received while hospitalized as a teen, and see if I can't just get it going again.

You can learn more about this fantastic book at The Invention of Hugo Cabret web site.


  1. that sounds like a cool book. I really like the quotes, esp. the 2nd one. very nice. Is it very theological overall?

  2. I guess I'm going to have to read this one. People seem to love it, or don't like it at all.