April 14, 2008

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

It's a massive tome by Brian Selznick, the well-known illustrator. For more on this book go to the book's very own web site with all the information you could want. The dazzling interactive site fits the unique style of this, um, novel? It's a hybrid, obviously. It's over 500 pages long, but about 300 of those are drawings and photographs. It's hardly a picture book, though because the pictures mean little without the text. It could be called a graphic novel but it's definitely not a comic. My question is (and I'll return to the book's site and listen to and read the interviews with Mr. Selznick) to see if it's been answered), how did he get it published? I can't imagine it was an easy sell, even for someone as established as he is. It's a fat hardback and Mr. Selznick is no J.K. Rowling. It's listed for about $23, so there must have been some serious discussions at the publishing house.

They made the right call. It's picked up the Caldecott, other awards and a fistfull of great reviews. They're right. It's an exciting historical tale of a lonely and talented boy in Paris, 1931. It's got old movies, automatons, secrets, intrigue, death and the man in the moon.