The Invention of Hugo Cabret blew me away when I read it back in 2008, so to say I was looking forward to this one, is an understatement. Of course there was a touch of nerves, in that could he do it a second time? Thankfully the reviews I did see, gave it a thumbs up!
Set fifty years apart, two independent stories—Ben’s told in words and Rose’s in pictures—weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.
Ever since his mom died, Ben feels lost.
At home with her father, Rose feels alone.
He is searching for someone, but he is not sure who.
She is searching for something, but she is not sure what.
When Ben finds a mysterious clue hidden in his mom’s room.
When a tempting opportunity presents itself to Rose
Both children risk everything to find what’s missing.
— Publisher’s Blurb
I was off work last week, so I knew I could settle down and spend a goodly amount of time (not that despite its physical size it’s a long read) sinking in to the story properly with this one
And, by god, does he do it again.
Of course there isn’t the sheer joy of discovering Selznick’s unique form for the first time again, but he weaves such a wonderful and emotional story out of the text and artwork once again, with characters that pull at your heartstrings and that you only wish the best for, that it really doesn’t matter.
Even though his writing is fantastic, for me it’s the way he uses the art to tell us the story that really does it for me. So much detail is conveyed in a three or four page sequence of art, that the text sometimes feels like the ‘less’ detailed part of the story.
There’s plenty of ‘wonder’ on offer here, from the story of Ben and Roses’s lives, the exhibitions Ben sees at the museum, and Selznick’s skill it pulling it altogether once again.
An utter delight.