Last month, I read The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. I was super excited to read this, because I had already seen the movie adaptation (titled Hugo). The book is a mixture of sketches and text, which kind of makes it feel like a movie.
It tells the story of Hugo Cabret, who was orphaned at a young age. Hugo’s father was killed in a museum fire, where he was refurbishing an automaton. After his father’s death, Hugo’s uncle takes care of him (for lack of a better phrase, as he’s pretty neglectful) in a train station, where the uncle is the clock keeper.
After his uncle disappears on an alcohol binge (it’s assumed, since it’s implied that he’s alcoholic), Hugo finds the automaton in the wreckage of the museum, drags it back to the train station, and tries to fix it. He believes that the automaton, which is a mechanical man poised and ready to write something, will have a message from his father.
By pure coincidence, Hugo meets Isabelle and her grandfather Georges Méliès. Geoerges has been working in a toy shop located in the market of the train station, and his granddaughter Isabelle assists him. When Georges discovers Hugo trying to steal a small mechanical mouse from his toy shop (he was going to use it to fix the automaton), Georges takes Hugos’ precious notebook with his father’s notes on how to fix the mechanical man.
After that, a series of unfortunate events is put into motion and it’s apparent that Hugo is not the only one with a secret. At the end, you find out the message from the automaton, how it’s connected to Georges Méliès, and what happened to Hugo’s uncle when he disappeared.
I enjoyed this book so much! The fact that I saw the movie before I read the book didn’t affect my opinion at all. In fact, I think the book made more sense to me having already seen the movie.
Have you read this? What did you think of it?