Book 3: The Child in the Shadow

We did it, cheers to Book 3, here’s hoping it’s better that Book Ocean is Scary Three. Also the title of this book reminds of the title of Hedgehog in the Fog, but that is just me. Highfives if you know that animation short (click here to watch)

Book 3, Chapter 1, Chesil

Chesil is a beach in Dorset, England. So we are back with our old/young pal, Ten-Year-old-Nameless-Boy. Basically this chapter tells us that our pal is stilling walking and it’s cold and snowy. He then sees smokes and head toward. At the end he finds the foot prints of a woman going in the direction of the smoke.

Book 3, Chapter 2,The Effect of Snow

Ten-Year-old-Nameless-Boy finds a friend, still no dialogue. In this chapter he finds his second corpse of the evening, a woman, the poor woman has a child with her, a little girl that the book says is about five or six but uses the word infant. Anyway this was a more interesting chapter.

Book 3, Chapter 3. A Burden Makes a Rough Road Rougher

Ten-Year-old-Nameless-Boy walk holding the little girl. We learn that it has been FOUR hours since Ten-Year-old-Nameless-Boy was left behind, and yet Hugo’s endless descriptions of the sea made it seem like it was so much longer. Anyway, he struggles more carrying the girl but he reaches a town however when he knocks on door no one answers.

Remember, Read The Man Who Laughs along with me and find the joy in Hugo’s very long descriptions about ocean waves, can’t seem to left this go.

Book 2: The Hooker At Sea

I gotta learn Roman Numerals……….if there isn’t a Final Fantasy number to it, I don’t know it and even then.

Book 2, Chapter 14; Ortach

Ok, I was kind of wrong with my guess of this chapter. Yes, Hugo explains the floating rock but no he doesn’t bog this chapter down with useless descriptions, he fills with useful ones. The crew of Maututina, our hooker, are being threatened by the rock but they managed to get away again, yay.

I will say this chapter uses some familiar Hugo-ism, like the word wretches and liking someone that is being led to the scaffolds.

Book 2, Chapter 15; Portentosum Mare

More storm, more scary rocks, more rough seas and then storm done and the people are safe. I skimmed this chapter, I confess.

Book 2, Chapter 16; The Problem Suddenly Works in Silence

The Storm ends, finally. I would make a House Baratheon reference here because their castle is called Storm’s end but the mention that I would mention it is enough.

Basically the chapter just explains that the storm is over until the end where they discover dun-dun-dun, a leak.

Book 2, Chapter 17; The Last Resource

In this chapter it is revealed that our new friends are fucked. I would feel more for them if you know we had ever learned their names. Well we learned one person name, the dude from southern Basque which is Ave Maria. And in the last chapter we learned the northern Basque guy is named Galdeazun. Though I remember them at all.

Book 2, Chapter 18; The Highest Resource

In this chapter we learn rest of the people names, like the doctor-Frollo-guy is named Gerbardus Geestemunde. Basically in this chapter he says that they being judged by the child they left behind, remember Ten-Year-old-Nameless-Boy, and they paying for the crime of perhaps leaving him to die in the night. I’m glad he is self-aware.

But isn’t that the problem? They left the kid which makes us not like them so I don’t care that they are dying now. We really only get to know the Doctor but with all the sea descriptions in this part of the book I don’t care anything for these people so it’s whatever if they live or die.

That ends Book 2, we did it my friends! And Book 3 only has six chapters, Hooray!

Book 2: The Hooker At Sea

I’m sorry, these chapters @@.  I feel Hugo is trying to lose me on purpose.

Book 2, Chapter 9; The Charge Confided to a Raging Sea

This chapter explains the bell that heard. Basically it’s a buoy and when it ring means rough sea, though if you can hear the bell you’re fucked anyway so it’s shit as a warning. Kudos Bell.

Book 2, Chapter 10; The Colossal savage, the Storm

At Last! We come to the storm messing up the boat. That is all really. I mean it’s exciting but that is pretty much all there is to this chapter. Oh wait, at the end they see the Light…house.

Book 2, Chapter 11; The Casket

This chapter is about the lighthouse because screw characters or plot, Lighthouse! The Caskets refers to the rock….I think.

Book 2, Chapter 12; Face to Face with the Rock

You know what just dawned on me, the ocean is the most well developed character in this book so far. The Second is that corpse that Ten Year Old Nameless boy found, the third I guess would be that night or the hooker. I know he had Homo and Ursus but it’s been 12 chapters since they were mentioned and it felt like a different book altogether.

Anyway this chapter, the people and crew try to make their way to the rocks and no one can swim not even the sailors, groans.  It’s a dangerous maneuver at they try to get the boat into a cave under the lighthouse. But they get away.

I gotta say, this chapter leaves me for a loop. I skimmed it and re-read it and shrugs.

Book 2, Chapter 13; Face to Face with Night

Ok, so they get way from Caskets and  then they see another rock, Ortach Rock which is the title for the next chapter, which no doubt will explain the formation of the rock in great detail and the history of all the boats that have ever seen it. I have no read this chapter yet but consider this book’s style I think it’s a good guess.

Book 2: The Hooker At Sea

Yup still snowing, though to be honest I’m writing this post on the same day as the last Man who Laughs post. High-Five for scheduling posts. (Though it probably is also snowing today.)

Book 2, Chapter 5; Hardquanonne

Ok, so Hardquanonne is the Doctor’s name or at least how he is credited which probably is a spoiler. More sea talk and a discussion about a gourd. The gourd belong to Hardquanonne and he was a friend of the cook. That’s all I got, Moving on.

Book 2, Chapter 6; They Think that Help is at Hand

If you said this chapter was more about the storm on the sea, you’d be right because it is. Seriously, book come on. Maybe storms on the sea was more exciting in 1869 but we’re are like at 15% with this book and it’s been like six chapters and prior to that the storm was starting and there is still more.

Book 2, Chapter 7; Superhuman Horrors

If like Hugo is just stalling. Was he payed by the word. Really, I got nothing. I mean this chapter was kind of fun to read fucks if it know what the point of it is. It’s a dark night, they’re at sea, there is storm, I’m not sure where that plot went, do you? I really hope this is adding to something because getting annoyed.

I should just say, I have never been much of a reader so pardon my ineptitude.

Book 2, Chapter 8; Nix et Nox

AGIAN, like the chapter before MORE on the storm at sea. I suppose in fairness to the book the Storm has mounted over the chapter to this chapter where it is the strongest and the people on the book think they are free and at the end they hear a bell. But 8 odd chapters of Sea and Storm imaginary is too much.

Ten more chapters in Book 2, I was wrong there are 17 chapters in Book 2 and not 12 but in my defense; Roman Numerals and Laziness.

Book 2: The Hooker At Sea

I know it’s a boat but I have to giggle at that title. And I’m REALLY starting to doubt my ability to blog about this book.

Book 2, Chapter 1; Superhuman Laws

So if you wanted to learn about the people on the boat and the group who abandoned our pal, ten year old nameless boy, well rejoice because you kind of get that but mostly these chapters are about the snow storm approaching, and living in New England I’m sick of Snow, in fact it’s snowing now as I’m writing this blog post and it more than likely will still be snowing when this gets posted.

Anyway I digress. This chapter is about the storm on the sea. That’s pretty much it. It’s getting redundant to talk about Hugo’s descriptions. If nothing else this gave me good night-time reading fodder, and that joke is getting redundant too.

Book 2, Chapter 2; Our First Rough Sketches Filled In

The title of this chapter is true. We learn something about the rag-tag team of people on this hooker, (giggles………phrasing). Mostly it’s not that super interesting until we get to the German dude and then it’s like “Oh, Hello Frollo fancy seeing you in this book.”
Hugo uses almost exactly the same description for this guy as he uses for Frollo. Like Baldness forming a tonsure. Also words associated with Frollo are flung in there, like Virgin and Cassock and dude isn’t a priest.

You can read the chapter here; it’s at the very end.

Book 2, Chapter 3; Troubled Men on the Trouble Sea

Oh, what is this? Could it be the mythical and legendary Dialogue? I heard about it once in a book that was all descriptions. Seriously though finally someone says something and it not that interesting and it’s in Spanish.

The skipper chats with the Chief of the group who abandoned Ten Year Old Nameless Boy about the the old German Frollo-esque dude, who is called both The Sage and the Madman, of course he is.

Book 2, Chapter 4; A Cloud Different from the Others Enters the Scene

Well if a Cloud enters the scene you know what that means? PARTY-TIME! Probably not.

Here we get a conversation between the Skipper and the German guy. The Old German guy is concerned about the weather which means his dialogue is descriptions. Oh, you clever author. But we do get more actual conversation, The Old German guy prefers to be called The Doctor. The conversation isn’t that reveling, it’s still mostly about the sea and the weather.

I’m sensing a theme to Book II……

Book 1; Night Not as Black as Man

Book 1, Chapter 5; The Tree of Human Invention

So our new friend, ten year old nameless boy, what a lovely name, comes upon a corpse in a tree. Isn’t that nice? Most and when I say most I mean pretty much all of the chapter, describes the corpse in tree. Of course through most of the chapter the corpse is concealed as a grotesque form from the tree so much that so that you know it’s a corpse but you’re not that sure.

Book 1, Chapter 6; Struggle Between Death and Night

Hey was there not enough descriptions of the corpse in the tree from the last chapter? Heck no, this is Victor Hugo damn it and we need all the descriptions.

To be fair this chapter is interesting as we learn stuff about the corpse in question that it was the fashion is England to hang smuggler on the coast as a warning to others. I also like how Hugo says that ten year old nameless boy (until this character gets name this is what i’m calling him or maybe just Tyonb for short), sees the corpse as a ghost and not a corpse.

In a previous chapter we learned there was storm approaching so in this chapter Ten year old nameless boy is nearly killed by the cold and the corpse saves him with the wind. I do like how Hugo describes the corpse in the tree even if I’m being goofy about it. There are some lovely prose in the book I just wish more was happening though it’s still early in the book.

Book 1, Chapter 7; The North Point of Portland

After the corpse saves ten year old nameless boy, he becomes so scared that he runs off. This fear induced flight saves him but he doesn’t know where is going. He turns up at the Isthmus of Portland. An Isthmus is a narrow stripe of land connecting two larger land area usually with water on either side, the more you know.

Basically this is just ten year old nameless boy running and not knowing where is he going. Though I suppose he has to get to somewhere before this part can end.

Book 2 has like a billion chapters…….okay only twelve.

Also being silly is the only way I can get through this @@

Book 1; Night Not as Black as Man

Book 1, Chapter 1; Portland Bill

Classic Victor Hugo long descriptions here. Not going to lie, it took my a while to get through this chapter. Like so long that I don’t recall it. I mean they are masterful descriptions but it didn’t pull me into the book.

Hugo describes harshness and cold of January 1690 in England along the Portland coast of cliffs. It is from the perspective of a hooker, a boat. At the end of the chapter we see a group of people in rags with a child.

The chapter does communicate a sense of dread and cruelty but it’s a chore to read then again Hunchback doesn’t have the most stellar opening chapters so I forgive it.

Book 1, Chapter 2; Left Alone

This chapter describes the group of people from the end of the last chapter more. They are Spanish in fashion as that is just the style in England at the time. The kid with them is a boy about ten years old and he is a slave of the group of people.

The boat docks and the group gets on leaving the boy behind.

It’s an okay chapter but I kinda forgot it as I was working on this post. Like I wrote the first paragraph for this chapter and did something else, thought I was done and wrote the next chapter and then looked back and forgot to included the part where the kid was left alone. In my defense though, I don’t have a defense.

Book 1, Chapter 3; Alone

If you haven’t guess it yet, this chapter is about how the boy is alone. Again it’s very nice descriptions of the cold dark night that this poor child is left in. The way Hugo describes it, it seems unpleasant yet very dream-like. You feel for the poor child in the dark but he also free from the people he worked for.

I liked this chapter more than the other two so far but the descriptions of the boat leaving went on forever but it was to indicate that as the boy watches the ship leave the reality of being left alone is sinking in.

Book 1, Chapter 4; Questions

So no joke, I watched a bit of Love Never Dies the day I read this chapter and one of the songs is Devil Take the Hindmost and behold that expression is in this chapter (gleeful laugh). The expression is an imprecation that everyone should look after there own interests. And on a huge side note, I have been one a Phantom kick of late.

Anyway back to the chapter…

So this chapter is quite short, which I don’t mind admitting I like. It’s just tells us the since England and Europe are cracking down on the child-traders, the Comprachicos they and other vagabonds families started abandoning children out of fear and convenience. That’s it, though the chapter pretty flat says that they group who abandoned the boy were Comprachicos, so it answered its own question.

The next chapter is more preliminary parts about the Comprachicos. Comprachicos are child-buyers. This term was coined by Victor Hugo. The Comprachicos also disfigure the children.

They whole thing is very cruel but this all set-up for understand the character. I’m not sure I agree that these preliminary chapters are effective for the follow of the narrative but different styles and who am I to argue with Hugo.

That pretty much what this chapter boils down to.

Part 1
The book starts off with preliminary chapters, no idea what will come of these chapters but the first one, which is in four parts, is about a dude name Ursus and this wolf named Homo.

This part mainly focuses on Ursus. The only way I can think of to describe Ursus is think Frollo, Gringoire and Esmeralda all had a love child who grew up akin to Quasimodo. Ursus is a poet, doctor, vagabond who doesn’t like people. In fact he is called juggler-misanthrope. He also called a savant who is good at everything he does.

Part 2
This part is about Homo, the wolf. As far as wolves goes Homo is a gentle wolf who has intelligence enough to know that as long as he attends his master he do as he pleases as servant and not a beast. Homo also pulls Ursus’ van because it’s way cooler to have a wolf pull it than a donkey.

Part 3
This Part is about the what in Ursus’ mind are the only things necessary to know, which is English peers, with all their titles and estates. This part is so boring, like nothing happens. I did learn that the Earl of Grantham was a real title and not an invention of Downton Abbey , so that is something. Apparently the Grantham title went extinct in 1754. At the end Urusus writes that Lord Clancharlie was a rebel in exile and his holdings are sequestrated.

Was there a point to this part? Is Ursus, the juggler-misanthrope, a snob who loves the British aristocracy? Or is this Hugo being Hugo? On a positive side, this part made me good and sleepy for bedtime.

Part 4
The last part tells us that Ursus love of establish authority keeps him as vagabond. So they whole thing about the British peers that Hugo made us read is part of his grand master plan to keep people way from him. Ursus really is a misanthrope and when he does help people he gives them sarcasm back. I like this misanthrope philosopher.

I have decided to do another blog series on reading a book and since this blog is on The Hunchback of Notre Dame it is only fitting that it should be by Victor Hugo. I was thinking of reading Les Mis since it’s Hugo’s masterwork but I’m not really ready to tackle that book, saying it’s massive is putting it lightly so instead we’re going to look at The Man Who Laughs.

I have never read it nor have I seen any of the film versions, so it will be all new for me. Once I finish I may look at the film versions, of which there is like five including one from 2012 staring Gerald Dippty Do erm I mean Gérard Depardieu.

Kindle Vs Book picture image

Kindle Vs Book

Technically I own two copies of this book but one is part of a 1 in 3 book of Victor Hugo’s works which includes Les Mis and Hunchback so the book is big and heavy, so I will be reading it on my new Kindle Fire HD that I got for Christmas.

So for the every Monday for a while Enjoy The Man who Laughs with me!