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The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Barbery, Muriel, 1969- Book - 2008 Fiction None on shelf 1 request on 3 copies Community Rating: 3.6 out of 5

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Hedgehogs Are Great, Really submitted by Caser on October 28, 2010, 4:44pm Elegance of the Hedgehog falls into that rare shelf of books that I really enjoyed while reading -- I was quite invested in the outcomes of the characters -- but whenever I think about why I liked it I can only come up with what I didn't like about it. The philosophy 101 segments I largely skimmed over when they didn't seem pertinent to the the concierge Renee's immediate situation, which was more often than not the case here. At times it elevated the relevance of a particular relationship, but mostly it seemed like too much exposition and not enough pertinence. Also, I liked the young girl, Paloma, but she sounded too much like the old woman to be an independent, fully realized character, and instead seemed like Barbery had never written from a youth character before. The ending was both lazy and silly, though it aimed for transcendent. See how it's hard to now write that I really did like it?

Hedgehogs are Great submitted by johnnyringo on July 2, 2013, 10:18am I thought it was a great youth character.

Nothing happens for half the book... but then...! submitted by Susan4Pax -prev. sueij- on July 11, 2014, 8:03pm Given all the great reviews of this book, I expected a great deal more from it.

I heard an interview on NPR's "Fresh Air" yesterday, in which Edward Norton quoted someone (oh! I missed who!) as saying, "A story is when something happens, and therefore something changes."

I think my biggest problem with _The Elegance of the Hedgehog_ is that for at least half of the book NOTHING HAPPENS. There are two main characters who don't interact at all. Each thinks lots of thoughts but doesn't DO anything.

But the very end of the book is so absolutely amazing that it very nearly redeems the whole thing. Or it would, if the rest of the book hadn't annoyed me so much.

I do love this book submitted by LibraryMaven on July 28, 2014, 4:29pm I held off on reading Elegance of the Hedgehog when it was getting all of its initial publicity and only circled back around to it a few years later. I love it. I actually really enjoy the philosophy segments and how they inform the characters, I love Paloma and how despite her brilliance she is still a ten year old with a lot to learn, and Renee with her fervent love for learning and her equally fervent belief that she must hide that learning. I bought a copy (a rare event for me) and reread it once a year or so, and in between, the characters stick in my head.

Original Characters submitted by kferguson on July 22, 2019, 6:47pm Original characters make unlikely connections in Paris

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New York Europa Editions Inc 2008.
Year Published: 2008
Description: 325 p. ; 21 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book


Apartment concierges -- Paris -- Fiction.
Apartment dwellers -- Paris -- Fiction.
France -- Fiction.