Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

by Brian Selznick

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:42 am

What did you think of the style of the book? How does the style enhance the story, or does it?
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby Boo-Radley » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:44 am

Good morning DITHOTbaba, great question, I loved the style of this book. I suppose on one level it's a picture book, like the kinds we have all read as children; but it's also more than that, to me the pictures seem to tell the story so much more vividly than the usual picture book or even perhaps just words on a page could have. What's more on those pages where the pictures are substitutes for the words, for me it made the story more real and less like you were reading a children's book; if that makes any sense.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby IngridN » Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:59 am

The alternation between drawings and text was very surprising.
I don’t know very well how to explain it but, when I was looking at the drawings and then arrived at the text which continued the story I was very surprised that I my head I had formed my own text of the book and it connected perfectly when the book continued with the written text.
Also, the drawings are so beautiful and detailed.
Then there is another thing which doesn't have anything to do with the style but.......
This book smells very nice. :blush:
OK, I'm weird, can't help it. :perplexed:
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:29 pm

Boobaba, yes, what you say makes sense to me. While he was moving the story forward it still allowed the reader the chance to use their own imagination but still follow the story...if that makes sense! :lol:

IngridN, what you say makes sense too. And yes, the pictures are beautifully done with amazing detail. Smell? I'm afraid your version is better than mine!
:lol:
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Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:47 pm

I lOVED the book from the minute I first opened it and saw the beautiful illustrations. The style was totally unlike anything I ever read before. I really liked the small amount of text per page, it gave me a sense of movement, and the parts that were moved forward with pictures drew me into the story even deeper. It was absolutely delightful!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:45 pm

When I first received my book I thought - sooo thick!!! :ohno: But the story moved so well and the illiustrations gave more depth to the words. The illustrations made me feel more connected with the story. I also enjoyed the way the short worded pages moved the story into the illustrations. I really liked the style of the book.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby Boo-Radley » Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:23 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:Boobaba, yes, what you say makes sense to me. While he was moving the story forward it still allowed the reader the chance to use their own imagination but still follow the story...if that makes sense! :lol:




Yes, I get it DITHOTbaba! :lol:


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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby fireflydances » Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:28 pm

It's kind of a cross between an extended work of art and a book. I am wondering how he convinced any publisher to take on something so bulkly. It also seems to be for a certain kind of kid, the type who pour over detail and are never intimidated by the size of anything (perhaps Potterish fans). Sometimes I wanted to be able to lay it out flatter than I could get it -- kind of ala a genuine picture book.

I loved how the two, text and drawings, merge and compliment each other. The grainy quality of charcoal and pencil too, I haven't had the book open in days and I can still see the texture of the drawings, those countless cross hatches. I do wonder why he chose the medium of pencils and charcoal, and I'm assuming it may have something to do with both trains (very black smoke years ago) and also the fact that many films were in black and white.

It's the kind of book you never forget I think, unique and worth placing in your collection of beloved books. I am glad it's a hardback.
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:00 pm

nebraska and ladylinn, I had not thought about how the words placed on the page convey movement forward but they certainly do! :cool:

firefly, (just FYI) we will be discussing his choice of black and white choice of medium tomorrow and I am excited to hear everyone's ideas. I have a theory too! :artist:

As far as the type of child that would like the book I think it can be tailored to many different ages. In a previous profession, I used to read to kindergartners every day and this would be a wonderful read aloud book. You could get the kids to use their imaginations and tell you what was happening in the story as you looked at the pictures with them. For older kids there is the fun stuff like the automaton and magic. And it appears even us older "kids" found it enjoyable!
:lol:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby fansmom » Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:36 pm

I am a word person, not a picture person. I've never been able to read a graphic novel. It's easier for me to grasp a concept if it's given to me in words than if it's an image, so I was a litle apprehensive about the book. I'm also easily sidetracked while looking at illustrations. ("Are those magnolias around the crucifixion? Do they really have magnolias in Jerusalem?") The illustrations in Hugo Cabret were simple enough, and so beautifully done, though, that I had no difficulty at all.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby Bix » Tue Jul 13, 2010 9:09 pm

Bon soir, Noodlemantras! To say that I am way behind is an understatement. I only got my book today! But even though I have only read two chapters so far, I had to weigh in to say that I am absolutely blown away by drawings. Reading the introduction and then looking at the first series of drawings - coming closer and closer and closer - was something I have not ever experienced in a book. When I was young we had tiny picture books that you flipped with your finger and it made it look as if the pictures were moving. (Americans who watch PBS might know the commerical where the guy take his photo in a booth lipsynching a Carouso aria and makes it into one of those.) That's what this reminded me of, even though the book is too big to flip efficiently. Anyway, I just need to go read some more now. But, wow!
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby lizbet » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:28 pm

My initial reaction was uncertainty. Even now with realizing the author's intention for his illustrations and my love for pencial drawings I am still uncertain. This is the kind of book I wish I had read as a child. I would have liked to know what kind of reaction I would have had to it then.

I love many of the illustrations for the pieces of art that they are (Hugo in the bookshop with shelves and stacks of books, the bobbypin in Isabelle's hand picking a lock, and of course the man in the moon), I love that Mr. Selznick draws as if his point of view were like that of a cinematographer (close up, full back and everything in between), I love that he is able to change styles and even give us Papa George's drawings. However I'm not sure that I have been able to use the drawings as replacement for text. They still are for me in addition to the story.

Having said this - the book as a whole is an incredible gift - from the jewel case or chocolate sampler box like dustcover to the drawings to the story itself through to the acknowlegements and credits. Its a book that will have pride of place in my library. I'm just afraid that for now I still haven't read Hugo in the manner which Mr. Selznick has hoped I might. While Isabelle may have often preferred the movie posters to the movies themselves because she could make up her own stories - I guess I still prefer the movies themselves!? :eyebrow:
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby Buster » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:33 pm

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to articulate this, but something about the book immediately brought to mind stop-motion black and white film, with those elegant and amusing black-edged bits of clarifying narrative (Meanwhile....) on placards.
There's a suspension of disbelief - we want to be sucked into the story, just as a camera zooms in on a set. The cover, too, helps set the mood. The bright colors and curlicues (are those clock-towers running around the edge?) seems almost theatrical, and the eye on the spine promises mystery within. Do you think that seeing only one side of Hugo on the back means anything? Only by opening the book is the whole Hugo revealed.
And I've got to say, what struck me first of all was the black edges on the pages. Perfect.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:50 pm

Very interesting to see all the different reactions to the use of the drawings! I suppose it depends on your learning style, some people are visual some are aural some are readers. Also interesting to note that those people who are not visual per se are able to enjoy it as well.

lizbet, sometimes during a discussion I have an "aha!" moment when someone sees something I don't and I see the book from a different perspective.

:wave: Bix! Good to see you back. I remember those flip books. We used to make them in school when we were supposed to be doing something else... :whistle: The book is an easy read so you really aren't behind at all.

Buster I had not noticed that about the cover but good catch and good question. I think you and I are walking down the same path as far as film goes. Be sure and check in tomorrow...
:grin:
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #2 ~ Style

Unread postby nebraska » Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:53 pm

Buster wrote:I'm not sure I'm going to be able to articulate this, but something about the book immediately brought to mind stop-motion black and white film, with those elegant and amusing black-edged bits of clarifying narrative (Meanwhile....) on placards.
There's a suspension of disbelief - we want to be sucked into the story, just as a camera zooms in on a set. The cover, too, helps set the mood. The bright colors and curlicues (are those clock-towers running around the edge?) seems almost theatrical, and the eye on the spine promises mystery within. Do you think that seeing only one side of Hugo on the back means anything? Only by opening the book is the whole Hugo revealed.
And I've got to say, what struck me first of all was the black edges on the pages. Perfect.


Oh, yes! the black edges on the pages gave it such a rich and elegant look! I can't explain it all exactly, but the book is intoxicatingly beautiful!
When family members came to visit I pushed the book at them and said "LOOK!" It is truly one of the most beautiful books I have ever seen, and as pointed out earlier, a book that deserves a place in my permanent collection! :cool:


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