Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

by Brian Selznick

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Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:29 am

Allez, mes amis! :frenchie: Time for our discussion of The Invention of Hugo Cabret! Sharpen up the #2 pencils :writer2: and be sure your keyboard is in good working order. :zoner:

For those of you new to ONBC the basic format is we will post one new question each day. Please keep your answers specific to that question so we don't discuss the entire book in a few days! You can always go back and revisit any question at any time. And of course the most important rule...there are no wrong answers! :cool:


Were you surprised by the identity of Professor Alcofrisbas?
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby trygirl » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:16 am

Yes, because the professor is detached from his description of Hugo. One imagines that he can recite the story but has no firsthand knowledge of the young protagonist. I was pleased to discover the boy and man inhabited the same body in the end.
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby Boo-Radley » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:32 am

No, I don't believe I was. It just seemed that as I read the book that the narrator had to be Hugo, so no I wasn't surprised.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:59 am

Thanks for getting us started, trygirl and Boobaba! I was surprised. I have to admit I never saw it coming. :-O I thought it was an excellent twist!
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 #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby IngridN » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:04 pm

I was surprised because I thought another person was telling the story.
At some point in the book I thought it was Etienne.
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby lizbet » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:30 pm

It's been a couple of years since I first read Hugo so if I was completely honest I'm going to have to say - yes - pleasantly surprised. I remember skimming over the introduction as I was captivated by the format of the book and it wasn't until a month or so ago when I first "listened" to Hugo and "heard" the narrator say he was Professor H Alcofrisbas that I realized we had been given a whole lot of information about the story by including that initial.

Great start DITHOT - I've had a copy of Hugo sitting on my shelf since I first heard a whisper here at the zone that it had been purchased and perhaps might make it to screen :frenchie: I was hoping it would be a ONBC choice.
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:42 pm

IngridN, that is interesting that Etienne crossed your mind as the narrator. I always thought it was just an omniscient third person point of view. For those of you that were surprised, who did you think might be the narrator?

Good catch, lizbet! I didn't pick up on the first initial at all. Glad you are pleased with the selection. We need an "easy" one now and then!
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby fansmom » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:30 pm

I'm with you, DITHOT. I just thought third person omniscient, but the revelation didn't really surprise me.

Lizbet, isn't it funny what you pick up when listening that you might miss while reading? I heard Keith Donohue reading from "Angels of Destruction" a couple of months ago and a bit of foreshadowing (that I had missed when I'd read the book) nearly made me laugh out loud. I complimented the author on it after the reading and he feigned ignorance, (which made me think I'd overanalyzed) but then he laughed and confirmed it had been deliberate.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby Buster » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:41 pm

I wasn't surprised, because I immediately cruised the net for information...I love that one of the passengers in A Trip to the Moon was named Alcofrisbas, as, of course, was the Magician in another of Melies' films.

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:04 pm

Oh, dear. I was afraid of that. I need to re-read the book! :dunce:

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby ladylinn » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:35 pm

Oh my - I missed the clue - so yes, I was surprized. I thought the story was being told by a third party - but missed the H. Alcofrisbas connection altogether!!!!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:54 pm

nebraska and ladylinn, the clue many of us missed is on the very first page, "A Brief Introduction", and the reveal is in the last Chapter 12, "Winding It Up".

Buster, it looks like Mr. Selznick did his homework too!
:reader:
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Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby Liz » Wed Jul 14, 2010 12:27 am

I embarrassed to admit that I never really thought much about it. I totally forgot about any Professor Alcofrisbas while reading the story. I just got into the story, not thinking much at all about the narrator. :blush:
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby gemini » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:12 am

Liz wrote:I embarrassed to admit that I never really thought much about it. I totally forgot about any Professor Alcofrisbas while reading the story. I just got into the story, not thinking much at all about the narrator. :blush:

When I read now I always make a list of characters as their name pops up so I wasn't too surprised trying to figure how he would fit in. Its a habit that you ladies got me started on when someone mentioned in a discussion way back. It also helps me keep characters straight when there are many.
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Re: Hugo Cabret Question #1 ~ Professor Alcofrisbas

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:46 am

I think that was a suggestion during our discussion of Shantaram. That was a book full of characters with unfamiliar sounding names and it was a huge help to me!
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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