bookworm wednesday – the invention of hugo cabret
usually i like to read the book before i see the movie it inspired, but in the case of scorsese’s epic film Hugo, i didn’t know i was dying to read the book until i was captivated by the story through the magic of 3D and other cinematic technical feats. this week’s bookworm review will inevitably be more of a comparison of the written and filmed versions than a true book review since i’ve seen the movie, but there is no doubt that the story is a gem: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (4 of 5 stars).
reading the book was a sort of deja-vu of watching it on screen, because the script stuck so closely to the novel. the biggest delight was drinking in the author’s drawings, or “mini-movies,” throughout the pages. it’s obvious that these illustrated scenes are not used just to supplement the story, but to actually drive the action forward without words. and the super-detailed hand-drawn pictures had a clear influence (gladly) on the movie adaptation.
i thought reading the book might give me more of the story that could not fit into the film, but what i got instead was a deeper look into hugo’s world. the book is focused more on hugo’s journey and point-of-view, with all the other characters playing a supporting role. the movie placed several characters in the spotlight, investing the viewer more in the feelings and struggles of isabelle and papa georges as well.
selznick’s drawings truly enhanced the book for me. they gave the extra-thick volume an enchanting effect that made me want to read the book lying on the floor on my stomach with my legs kicking up behind me like a kid engrossed in a treasure map. sitting in a chair or in bed with a side lamp seemed to grown-up.
do you like to read books that have inspired movies before or after you’ve seen the film? do you enjoy it when authors include illustrations in novels, or does it distract you?