Mini Review: The Invention of Hugo Cabaret by Brian Selznick

Written by: Brian Selznick
Release Date: April 1st 2007
Pages: 533, Hardback
Series: Standalone
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Today is day one of a really fun weekend! I recently read all of Brian Selznick’s books and just fell head over heels in love with all of them, so I’ve decided to do something really fun, for the next three days there’s gonna be mini reviews of his books! I tried to combine them all into one post and it just didn’t work, so instead I’ve decided to make this awesome weekend of reviews, so without further ado here we go!



Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.



I picked up this book on a whim at Half Price books, the price was cheap, and so I decided to just snag it because I had a coupon, so why not? I am beyond thrilled that I did. Ever since Illuminae I’ve been hunting for books that are different, that aren’t the typical style of books. I haven’t been able to find a whole bunch of them (So if you know of more leave me a note in the comments!!) but this one was a very easy success.

I think the most surprising thing for me was the fact that the storyline was so simple, when we’re talking a 500+ page novel normally those books are in depth and crazy serious. But with so many pages of flipping through images not only was the storyline beautiful in its simplicity but it made for a very quick read, I finished it within a day.  I loved seeing this world that was created and the way the clocks and gears played a huge part throughout the entire book. I also loved how Selznick played with history as well, it was woven through the pages in such an excellent way that it felt real.

At the same time I think my downfall of the story was its simplicity as well. I can’t write up a large post about how great the characters were, because there wasn’t a lot of them. They each had their one really great central character focus, that one driving force behind what they chose to do and even did. But still there wasn’t a lot of character growth and change. It worked for the story, I feel, but I did come off wishing for a little bit more.

Overall this book left me with something that filled my entire day with a fantasy story that had me grinning and completely enthralled with the simple story. It was a perfect book to read while the rain came down outside.