Unlike Esmeralda and Gringoire’s wedding, the nuptials of  Phoebus and Fleur de Lys isn’t really presented in the book but mentioned as a bitter joke. At the end Hugo tells us of all the tragic endings the characters have even if they lived to the ending. For our old pal Gringoire he writes tragedies, clever. Phoebus‘ tragic end is that he gets married.

Hugo mean that they marriage was the tragic occurrence for Phoebus, as Fleur de Lys more than likely put him on a tight leash, though maybe they just like that sort of thing, (wink.)  So I guess that Fleur de Lys is the only character in Hunchback to get a happy ending, well her and maybe Djali.

Unlike Gringoire and Esmeralda humble quick wedding, you can bet that Fleur de Lys and Phoebus‘ wedding would have been a lavish late medieval affair, with dancing and flowy gowns and those princess hennin cones for the ladies.

To date, this wedding is only in ONE Hunchback movie and it was so shoe-horned in that is inappropriate but I will get to that later.

Let’s kick off this month of wedding stuff by discussing the only actually wedding in the Hunchback of Notre Dame, the wedding of Esmeralda and Gringoire.

So what goes down? I’m sure most of you know that Gringoire wanders into the Court of Miracles and as thieves and beggars are  very rule based, the tell Gringoire that he can either join them via a entrance exam or he will die. Gringoire opts to take the test of stealing from a dummy covered in bells and he must do the theft on one foot, I don’t think I need to say that he failed miserably.

However there is a secret third option, one of the ladies can claim him as her husband. Most of the ladies tease him but Esmeralda takes him as her husband to save his life.

Unlike most weddings with cakes, gowns, flowers, vows and boring speeches, the Court of Miracles weddings are delightfully short and include a easy divorce out. All they do is break a pitcher and the number of shards it breaks into is the length of the marriage. Gringoire and Esmeralda are slated for a four year affair. In that time Gringoire is suppose to care for Esmeralda.

Of course Esmeralda makes it clear that the marriage is in name only (no sexy times) but Gringoire is  suppose to take care of Djali and help with money matters. Pretty much except for the initial sting of learning she married him just save him and that there will be no sexy times, Gringoire takes it all in strides, I mean he is getting food and shelter and isn’t that what marriage is all about?

This scene also sets up some movies to have  a romance between Esmeralda and Gringoire and of all the romance options Esmeralda gets in the movie adaptations, the ones with Gringoire are more natural and sweet than her with Phoebus or Quasimodo. There has yet to be a version where she and Frollo end up together, that would be a very messed-up version.

The Man who Laughs Part II:  Book 5: The Sea and fate are Moved by the Same Breathe

Ok, I have to say before I get into this part of the book I read it like a few days ago maybe like a week or so before writing this blog post and I have been doing a lot work cleaning and moving stuff around my house and a family member’s house so I’m just really exhausted so if this post is missing anything major from this part of the book, I’m sorry.

That being said, not a lot happens in this part of the book, shocking I know considering all the action this book has had with its 900 pages about snow on the sea, I kid but still.

Basically we learn the back backstory of Gwynplaine and those people from that doctor dude. The king at the time of Gwynplaine’s parent’s sold him to the child nappers and disfigured him. The doctor then dies right before they were going to execute him.

Barky then takes Gwynplaine to his large and beautiful home where he tells him of his new position in life and offers him a single chance to turn it all down, which he doesn’t. He also going to marry Lady Josiana which I guess is like an insult to her according to Barky and Queen. I think Josiana’s fiancee is now disinherited or something because of Gwynplaine. If you know the particulars of that plot point* leave a comment though my guess is it will probably resurface later. I admit it, I do a lot of skimming, so I do miss stuff.

Oh and at the end of the part Gwynplaine thinks of Dea.  But I mean come on, this is a Victor Hugo novel, I’m sure everything will work out happily from our lovers, all sunshine and roses and general happy romance things.

* I read a spoiler so I sort of know now, tehe, also I got a “delightful” vague spoilery warning, which is why I end the post will sarcasm. As much as I have been complaining about this book, I’m looking forward to the movie versions at least it will clear up parts I have skimmed.

Also a little warning- I’m taking June off from these posts. I’m going to try and finish the book during the break, hopefully, my June could be busy too but a later post will explain why I’m doing this.

The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 4: The Cell of Torture

Much like Hunchback we get a torture scene though it’s pretty different. First let me backtrack a little bit. Back in Book 3 there was this chapter called The Wapentake. A Wapentake was an administrative division of the English court. Basically in the context of this story, if they touch with their staff thing you’re pretty much arrested and here in Book 4 one comes for Gwynplaine. However prior to that Gwynplaine torments himself over the beautiful duchess or the heavenly Dea, poor guy, two women want his love, does he have to spilt his heart in two? Dare I say he’s torn apart. Actually, No, he burns the letter and then the court cop shows up. Gwynplaine is taken silently as to not upset Dea.

Ursus then follows Gwynplaine and the Wapentake to the jail, the Southwark jail. There Gwynplaine sees a prisoner pretty much being torture but not quite because they didn’t torture people in England as that time, instead they deny the poor guy food and drink. The man also claims to know Gwynplaine which Gwynplaine denies and freaks out.
The Sheriff then says to Gwynplaine,

I have before me,” said the sheriff, “Lord Fermain Clancharlie, Baron Clancharlie and Hunkerville, Marquis of Corleone in Sicily, and a peer of England.”
Rising, and offering his chair to Gwynplaine, the sheriff added,–
“My lord, will your lordship deign to seat yourself?”

Gwynplaine is a lord! WHAT! I should go back and skim through that chapter on the English nobles, because even if I had paid attention I would have forgotten. *
Anyway this book was okay, I mean really only a few things happen but the twist was nice though.


*Thanks to magic, (CTRL+F for the name Clancharlie) I found the the mention of the title in that boring part way back at the start of the book.
Linnæus, Lord Clancharlie, Baron Clancharlie and Hunkerville, Marquis of Corleone in Sicily, derives his title from the castle of Clancharlie, built in 912 by Edward the Elder, as a defence against the Danes. Besides Hunkerville House, in London, which is a palace, he has Corleone Lodge at Windsor, which is another, and eight castlewards, one at Burton-on-Trent, with a royalty on the carriage of plaster of Paris; then Grumdaith Humble, Moricambe, Trewardraith, Hell-Kerters (where there is a miraculous well), Phillinmore, with its turf bogs, Reculver, near the ancient city Vagniac, Vinecaunton, on the Moel-eulle Mountain; besides nineteen boroughs and villages with reeves, and the whole of Penneth chase, all of which bring his lordship £40,000 a year.

Now how could one possibly forget that at the end of chapter full of paragraphs like it? My sarcasm aside it was still a nice twist though.

The Man who Laughs Part II: Book 3: The Beginning of the Fissure

Where most authors who have the plot kick in anywhere from 1 to 25% of the way through the book, Victor Hugo, with his 1860’s style dares to be different and say “No, the plot kicks in around 52%,” gotta love Kindles for giving percentages.

So yes, the main plot starts around here in Part two book three, though there have been critical backstory components that have been explored, like all the ocean and storm descriptions, I don’t know about you but I would be lost without them. Despite the kicks in very little actually happens. Out crewe goes to London. Ursus gets in a little trouble with some intellectuals guys, Gwynplaine is sexual aroused when he see Lady Josiana which in turns gives away for him to gave conflictions towards Dea, as he finds her a scared entity and desiring her as a woman is driving him crazy.
At the end of the book Josiana’s page gives Gwynplaine a note that says she desire him and he should come to her.

The beginning of this part was a dull but it did pick up toward the end. I did enjoy the descriptions comparing Dea and Josiana and when Hugo goes into pose about conflictions about sexual desire that is also interesting. Also Ursus with intellectuals doctor guys was amusing. This part gets a grade of a B. It’s solidly ok.

Gwynplaine and Dea

Well, well, well  our dear pal of Ten-Year-Old-Nameless-Boy has a name and it’s Gwynplaine, I’m going to have so much fun typing that, copy & paste powers activate!

Anyway much like Quasimodo, Gwynplaine is rather deformed and monstrous. Unlike Quasimodo, his afflictions of a mutilated face were the result of the child-trader, Comprachicos, that were mentioned forever ago. His face is a permeant smile which he likens to a mask. The book hints that genetically he would be attractive and has an athletic body.  And again unlike Quasimodo, Gwynplaine is a little be more ok-ish with his face because he has made a living off it and because of the blind baby girl.

The Blind baby girl’s name is also given and it’s Dea, which is a very pretty name and it means Goddess in latin. Dea is described as being very beautiful in a fair fragile way, almost ethereal. For the record I don’t know what Gwynplaine mean, Hugo seems to have made it up. Two possibilities could be is that it means “White Plains” in Welsh or it comes out of the Arthurian legends of a character named Guinglain meaning “Fair jewel”. But I have no idea.

Most of the core subject matter that is talked about OVER and OVER and OVER again through these twelve chapter is that Gwynplaine and Dea are in love. They grew up together being cared for by Ursus and Homo and they grew to worship each other. Gwynplaine has some feeling of remorse that he feels like he is tricking a blind girl into loving him but Dea really truly loves him. It actually rather sweet and Ursus is a nice little foil trying to convince them not to love each other because he is a misanthrope.

Anyway these chapter are backstory from Gwynplaine and Dea because we need the set-up but at the end I think the plot sort kicks in with them going off to London.

I actually enjoyed these chapters, the were needed and they expanded characters that were part of the story, though I’m seeing how things are fitting together but really did 50% of this book need to be set-up? Guess it a style thing of the 1860’s or Hugo. This section was the reason I didn’t quite quit these post and opt to take a part at a time, we’ll see if the plot actually does kick in and what the plot is.

So I have thought about it and considered the polls and have decided that I will combine both options and I will just the posts with more chapters at a time hopefully a part at a time. For this post we’re just going to quickly  finish off Part II Book I, which gets us through these English Court Shenanigans, well at least the 12 chapter set-up.

To be honest I really don’t recall much of these chapters. Our old pal  Barkiphedro, I’m going to call him Barky from now on,  plots more against Lady Josiana. The book seems to indicate that he loves her so we have a Frollo-Esmeralda thing and considering deformed supposed main character it very Hunchback-y.

Then I think there is a dual or something, I read or skimmed these chapters a week ago. Okay I re-read the last chapter (a little) and it was boxing match, I mean of course yes, boxing lovely.

Most of chapter 12 describes the boxing match and there is some dialogue and it whatever one guy wins, yay. And at the end of the chapter this is said;

As she left, Josiana took the arm of Lord David, an act which was tolerated amongst people “engaged.” She said to him,–
“It is very fine, but–“
“But what?”
“I thought it would have driven away my spleen. It has not.”
Lord David stopped, looked at Josiana, shut his mouth, and inflated his cheeks, whilst he nodded his head, which signified attention, and said to the duchess,–
“For spleen there is but one remedy.”
“What is it?”
The duchess asked,–
“And who is Gwynplaine?”

Ok, I thought she meant spleen as in her organ which could have been some weird 1860’s slang or something  but silly me, she meant as bad temper or spite which makes more sense. I won’t lie this confused me for a while.

So let’s be really real for a minute. I think It’s pretty damn apparent that I am not digging The Man Who Laughs but it more could be that blogging about X many chapters per week isn’t REALLY working with this book so much as it’s slow paced. Also I have just been getting my ass-kicked in my day-to- day life with personal stuff and other stuff, so reading this book isn’t really high on my list of how I want to use my time and while I don’t get a ton of comments  mostly, I do just get the feeling that no one REALLY cares about these posts.

More or less the reason why I do a few chapters at a time is that I’m a notoriously slow reader so it just made sense to do that way and it gives me content for a few months and content is what blogs need to live. But it’s a double edge sword, it’s giving me content but if it’s boring people then it’s no good to any of us.

I’m just really disappointed because I have wanted to read this book for awhile and I thought it was a good idea but ultimately it’s not working and I’m not really enjoying the book, I sort of enjoyed blogging about the lack of interesting plot but at 37% a little more than four things should have happen and this English Court stuff is dull.

So here are some questions, I’m I wrong and are this post working and enjoyable? Or Should I just read the book and do one post on that and watch the movies/mini-series like I intended? For the record, I have a bad track record of not finishing things so I do want to finish what I have started.

Are the Man who Laugh Post working?

  • Yeah, keep at them (56%, 5 Votes)
  • No, move on (44%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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And then after that, two options, Read The Phantom of the Opera, which I have read before and is more enjoyable and it connects to Hunchback or take a break from books post for awhile and blog about a certain TV show that deals with fairy tales (you can guess it). Or something else, make a suggestion but please be serious about it, I’m not really in the mood for silliness.

After the Man who Laughs posts

  • Phantom of the Opera book (63%, 5 Votes)
  • Tv Show (25%, 2 Votes)
  • Other (leave a comment with suggestion) (13%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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Let me know what you think!

Part II:  Book I: The Everlasting Presence of the Past

Part II:  Book I: Chapter 6: Barkilphedro
Ok, I’m REALLY disappointed that Barkiphedro isn’t a puppy-dog. Instead he is old guy who is a spy for Queen Anne on her bastard half sister Josiana and her fiancee. And goody more talk of the ocean. Basically Barkiphedro gets Josiana to get him a job at the admiralty.

Part II: Book I: Chapter 7: Barkilphedro Gnaws His Way

So Barkiphedro is a jerk-face power hungry dude who dislikes Josiana. He is kinda Frollo-y in the way that he prides himself on his vitures which include self-control. Frankly I skimmed this one, Barkiphedora could be interesting but I’m still mad that he’s not a dog, though he is an awful person so it’s probably a good thing he isn’t a dog but that name, how could you not think it was dog? I suppose it being a classic novel is a good indication.

Part II: Book I: Chapter 8: Inferi
This chapter explains court hierarchy, much like school cafeteria and teenage girls. You have the super popular ones who are simply rich and pretty and then you have the type who befriends them by using evil cunning, they’re are the bitches who have the real power through manipulation of the super popular ones.

Part II: Book I: The Everlasting Presence of the Past

Part II: Book I; Chapter 1: Lord Clancharlie
Part II: Book I; Chapter 2: Lord David Dirry-Moir
Part II: Book I; Chapter 3: The Duchess Josiana
Part II: Book I; Chapter 4: The Leader of Fashion
Part II: Book I; Chapter 5: Queen Anne

We’re doing something a little different, instead of me going by chapters I’m just going to do it all at once. Why? Well for one thing one these chapter are broken into four parts making them too long and second I’m not sure about these chapters. They have some mild interest like the history and Josiana was amusing but I scarily recall anything work talking about.

I will say some parts remind me of Hunchback, like Josiana being a prude and proud. Though she is not all that much like Esmeralda. Though what REALLY stood out that was like “Hello, I’m Victor Hugo and I wrote Hunchback” were Josiana’s fiancee, Lord David, belonging to a club where they discuss ugly men, oh if only they could have seen Quasimodo. He also belongs to teh Hell-fire club, (snickers). But what really caused he to stop was in the Queen Anne chapter when it said and I quote;

She rather liked fun, teasing, and practical jokes. Could she have made Apollo a hunchback, it would have delighted her.”

Just in case you didn’t know Phoebus is another way to say Apollo. Anyway I hope these chapter add to the plot because true be told I would rather read about Lady Josiana and he court pals and shenanigans that starving freezing child who don’t have names and certainly over descriptions of the ocean. If I wanted to read about the ocean I will read Oceans (Ecosystems (Facts on File)) or I will continue reading Your Inner Fish
which is more about evolution but specific about ocean  are mentioned albeit  frozen ones but it’s very interesting.