Author: Brian Selznick
Hardcover, 526 pages
Publisher: Scholastic Press 2007
Book Summary: Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
My Review: Wow! First, obviously I picked up this book after falling in love with the film, Hugo, which is based on the novel. I might add, that Martin Scorsese followed the story to a T. In fact, the story in itself, is considerably short, but greatly enhanced by many, many graphic pictures in the novel.
The story is essentially about a young boy who becomes orphaned after his father is tragically killed in a fire. He is forced to live with his alcoholic uncle, who lives and works inside the Paris train station, maintaining all the clocks.
Depressed, and sadden by his new life, the only thing that Hugo has to be reminded of a time once was, is a unique artifact... An automaton that both he and his father were in the process of restoring. It becomes clear to Hugo, that his focus from this point on, should be completing the project the two started many months ago.
In his spare time, he steals from a toy maker, taking the spare parts to rebuild the automaton. His fears and dreams are all wrapped in this novelty contraption. Yet, it is through these actions that his fears and dreams become reality as he is caught by the toy maker and forced to work in his shop, until his debt has been paid. The unlikely friendship that builds between the toy maker and his goddaughter with Hugo becomes one of mystery, cleverly revealed in this wonderful story through written fiction, pictures and your imagination.
The book is simply fascinating and completely wondrous. I loved reading it and looking at the beautiful sketches. I think that any age will adore this story, whether it be the graphic portions, or the novel itself, it is a book for all ages.
It is a story about friendship and trust, packaged during the rise and fall of Golden Cinema, as Georges Méliès is a very important part of The Invention of Hugo Cabret. Excellent story and I give it nothing short, of five stars!