This book could have been really depressing, but it's not. At least I didn't see it that way. I found Hugo's outlandish behavior to be perfectly acceptable, charming even, coming from him.. That makes no sense, I know, but the book did. Funny, wry, irreverent.. A critic I'm not, but I liked the book
An extremely well-written book. Wry, humorous, strange, and full of atmosphere and strange half-hidden emotions. It's true that it could have been a very depressing book, given the subject matter, but the main character does not allow us to sink into pity for him, because he declines to do so himself.
Masterfully handled, unusual tale of a curmudgeon who is more beloved - and more caring - than he knows or dares to admit.
Blah blah blah blah blah...my mind just got so over-filled with the enormity of the protagonist/author's love of words--big words--and obscure facts that I just could not keep reading.
Although We are set up to disapprove of Hugo, the main character, I would be surprised if any reader really disliked him. He is a self-described hermit who has little patience for other people, even his own family. But really he is charming, impish, subversive, and, most winningly, acutely aware of his own shortcomings. He knows himself, and he is comfortable with who he is and with his quiet life. The book's conflicts and tensions arise when other people in his family join him in his family home and bring their own dramas, chaos, methods, and expectations. But Hugo himself manages to maintain his dignity and his integrity.