Both Les Mis and Notre Dame have grand endings. I haven't read any other Hugo novels - is it just his style, to set up the situation for half the book and then to bombard you with emotional artillery for the second half? Anyways, I think both books are fabulous, but I have a slight preference for Notre Dame.
Les Mis seems to be more about ideals. It's large-scale. People die for their causes, or live for their lack of such. It's about a country and a people. Notre Dame is a personal book. It's more about personal struggles and individual lives. And both perspectives come out very powerful, they just have a different focus.
FortressDoor wrote:However after reading this book, expecting something with the quality of Les Mis I was disappointing. The one thing I dislike about Hugos stlye is his digressions, and while the ones in Les Mis usually had substance, the ones in the Notre Dame seem pointless and strange. When he focusing on the story he seemed to jump around randomly, introduce random characters that we'd never see or care about again and then go back to digressing.
I feel the opposite way. I did shamelessly skip the two sections on Parisian geography and the cathedral's architecture, but I feel like in Notre Dame Hugo's detours blend in better with the text and provide a better understanding and feel of the time. In Les Mis, though, he just goes on rants, half of which don't seem relevant and the other half I can't understand because he keeps referring to people and places I've never heard before.
C'est tellement mystérieux, le pays des larmes. ~Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry