A moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families Ren e, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge fat, cantankerous, addicted tA moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families Ren e, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge fat, cantankerous, addicted to television Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Ren e is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building s tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence Then there s Paloma, a twelve year old genius She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave a mediocre pre teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter Paloma and Ren e hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building Only he is able to gain Paloma s trust and to see through Ren e s timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her This is a moving, funny, trium
The Elegance of the Hedgehog A moving funny triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us We are in the center of Paris in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families Ren e t
I recently had a brief relationship with a young lady who had studied philosophy at a university in southern California The relationship was destined to be a brief one, as she left for the Philippines to join the Peace Corps just a week or so ago On one of our last evenings together, she thanked me for something that I found curious She said, Isaiah, have you ever met someone at a party or something who finds out you studied philosophy and then they just try to talk to you the whole rest of the [...]
My name is Renee, and I m the first protagonist of this book the hedgehog, as it were I m a 54 year old concierge who works in a building populated by rich and powerful people who barely notice my existence I m also a closet intellectual and I frequently try to prove that to you by digressing into asides about philosophy, culture, and other topics I alternate between sniping at the apartment owners for their snobbish indifference to my lowly concierge self an image I strive to maintain at every [...]
This is another moment when I wonder what is wrong with me Everyone in France recommends this book The premise is original enough that I was hoping the book would be a real find within the same super high end Parisian apartment building live 2 misfits the 54 year old concierge who reads Kant and Tolstoi in secret and a 12 year old girl with abnormally high IQ and suicidal tendencies The first half of the book is an excuse for the author s long academic digressions on Kant, phenomenology, William [...]
That so many people love this book makes me fear for the future of literature It is one of the most pretentious, banal novels I ve ever read In fact, novel is too good a word for its bloggishly self indulgent, smugly insipid meanderings Actually most blogs are much interesting than this book The two main characters the concierge Renee and the young girl, Paloma are hypocritical snobs who accuse others of snobbery This intolerance is forgiveable in a child perhaps, but not in a 53 year old conci [...]
if you are an artist, a thinker, someone who longs for , an aestheticist, a dreamer, a seeker then read this book it made me laugh and cry in a way that only a well crafted, well loved, well written book can.
I must admit this wasn t a 5 star read until the last 50 pages, which may actually make this a 6 star read This book is beautiful for its underlying truth we are all worthy of love, love that will surely be given, if we will but believe we are worthy.My friend Rose, repeated the quote that referenced Renee Michel as being prickly like a hedgehog, but so elegant on the inside For me, the section that spoke volumes was the Profound Thought by Paloma in defense of grammar Personally I think that gr [...]
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If you bite into this expecting a light, buttery, wholly unhealthy croissant, be forewarned it has some fiber in it, too It s about two unlikely intellectuals One is a dowdy concierge in an upscale Paris apartment and the other is an unusual 12 year old girl living there with her well to do family I like how their brainpower comes through in their ideas and observations rather than from the author just telling us how wicked smaht they are to borrow Chuckie s phrase from Good Will Hunting Their o [...]
An expert, uproarious parallel play of two extremely astute yet heartwarming consciousnesses There are so many quotable lines here, observations that are immeasurably insurmountably profound It is a book of paradigms, life lessons, needle point philosophies arriving from two different backgrounds The Point no matter where you are from, you can attain an envious intelligence plenty a poetic articulation.About the plot must be simplified by simpler minds my own, etc as la femme francois version of [...]
after giving this book a chance, i have decided that the only chance it deserves is to be methodically shredded page by page and subsequently dissolved, in its entirety, in a pool of ammoniae rampant fetishism of japanese culture aside which is seriously so disturbing and surprising to come across in a bestseller that was written within the past 5 years , the plot is entirely centered on the interior monologues of two characters, two characters who are so unctuously trite and platitudinizing in [...]
Philosophy is the disease for which it should be the cure, but isn t, said someone possibly H Feigl To me, this engaging book is above all an exploration of what it means to be a philosopher The author briskly dismisses common misconceptions to start with, you don t need to be an academic, and indeed this may well be harmful Really, being a philosopher is about having a certain kind of attitude to the world The two main characters, who alternately narrate the story, are both philosophers One is [...]
AFTER READING THE BOOK I just finished the book and I suppose it is better to let it sink in before I do a review, but since I do not think the following statements will be altered by further thought, I will state them now First of all I rhink many who read this book will say OMG, it s a fairy tale That couldn t happen Well I don t agree I am not going to give anything away, so don t worry What happens, could happen, although I agree perhaps not that often One has to believe and one has to have [...]
Even if I were to overlook the self obsessed, banal philosophical discourses that dominate this novel, I would still hate Elegance of the Hedgehog, mainly because its characters are contrived and unbelievable The main character, a concierge for a luxurious Parisian apartment complex, is a self taught expert in philosophy, art, and film, yet she pretends to be stupid Her behavior is apparently explained by her conviction that people from different social classes should not interact or become frie [...]
The Elegance of the Hedgehog is an absolutely breathtaking book Just stunning Light and airy, yet penetrating, with bits of soft brilliance on every page My goodness, what an astonishing book.There are two narrators The first is Ren e Michel, a middle aged concierge at an extremely opulent luxury apartment building in Paris She has spent her twenty five years there cultivating a careful persona of low class idiocy leaving the TV on at all times, maintaining an unkempt appearance, speaking in gru [...]
Initial review 12 11 2008 I may revisit the 5 star rating in a week or two, but after reading this book through all last night in a single sitting, it seems ungenerous to give it anything less Muriel Barbery walks the high wire throughout there were any number of places where things could have degenerated into mere sentimentality Not to mention the assorted philosophical digressions But the alternating narrators Renee the dumpy concierge and Paloma the precocious 12 year old are so charming that [...]
this is the fear, this is the dreadthese are the contents of my head I ve always loved that line from Annie Lennox s Why This book is about the contents of two characters heads Paloma, the 12 yr old suicidal prodigy, and Ren e, the 50 something cat lady concierge Be careful with these characters, and by that I mean take care of them, for they are fragile, sad souls in need of understanding and in need, over, of someone anyone to see through their facades and see them for who they really are And [...]
I ve had this on my bookshelf for years That s so typically me I ll buy a book tomorrow but I probably won t read it for at least a year I don t know why I do this because, as is the case with this novel, I seem to be putting off reading books that I quite enjoy.This is the first book I ve read this year which teeters on the edge between the three and four star rating I enjoyed all the characters in here Of course I loved Ren e I saw a lot of myself in her Which is odd because she is a French wo [...]
My friend, Elyse, sent me this wonderful book, and I found it extra sweet that she sent me a book with a poignant friendship theme This book was thought provoking, and the characters were endearing, philosophical, and super intellectual with crazy good vocabularies that kept me on my toes Seriously I m at a loss of how else to describe this book other than to say I really enjoyed it Thanks, Elyse
Five stars for the philosophy essays, four stars for the actual plot I have a feeling that the philosophy professor is dominating the novelist in this highly popular novel by Muriel Barbery, yet I have really enjoyed the time spent in the company of the two main characters and elderly concierge and a pre teen girl, both living in a high end Paris apartment, but at opposite ends of the social scale Madame Renee Michel hides in the basement while Paloma Josse plays hides and seek with her family i [...]
L elegance du herisson The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery 1969 1388 360 9789644162978 21
I really loved this little book The only reason it is not getting 5 stars is because of some of the long, boring, and i felt unnesscary philosophical parts Just droned on Like I get ityou are smart Enjoyed the short alternating chapters Loved the characters True friendship.
A text is written above all to be read and to arouse emotions Whether you like a book is the only question that could give meaning to the narrative points of view or the construction of the story This is a French confection that is light and pretty and sharp, but actually much, much skillful and substantial than it first seems The plot is slight and broadly predictable, but it gently leads the reader along philosophical lines, many of which probably went over my head, but which I enjoyed anywa [...]
Reading all the reviews for this book is hilarious They range from one star and this book deserves to be shredded one page at a time to 5 stars and this is the best book ever written I will go half way and say 3 stars and it has good points and bad ones The bad at first it comes across as pompous and trying far too hard to be clever There are long philosophical passages which add nothing to the characters or the story The good once the new tenant arrives the main characters all become likeable [...]
Onvan The Elegance of the Hedgehog Nevisande Muriel Barbery ISBN 1933372605 ISBN13 9781933372600 Dar 325 Safhe Saal e Chap 2006
What a wonderful book While reading, when I wasn t bobbing my head in agreement with the philosophical insights, I found myself consulting a dictionary to learn a new word or idea, or pausing to absorb and consider what I d just read I ll go through it again soon because I m sure there s so much I ve missed The pages I d like to reconsider are already marked and my next reading will probably be carried out with a highlighter This is on my list of best books read Thought provoking is an understat [...]
Such a lovely story The characters are pompous and judgmental but also totally endearing It took me a while, about 1 3 of the story, to get into it completely, but then I fell in love It s not often I underline in my books, but this one had so many beautiful sentiments that I couldn t leave unrecognized Where is beauty to be found In great things that, like everything else, are doomed to die, or in small things that aspire to nothing, yet know how to set a jewel of infinity in a single moment In [...]
Entonces, lluvia de verano.No me esperaba lo que sucede en las ltimas 50 p ginas y no cre que fuera a llorar con los ltimos 4 p rrafos.Sin palabras, me encant.Si me permiten ahora ver a pel cula.
Some asides before the review Ugh One of my pet peeves is when books don t start on page 1 and I think that this book starts farther ahead of page 1 than any book I ve ever read Enough said about that Also, in this edition there are some mistakes fourth and sixth floor residents get mixed up two times, the age difference direction of the sisters was given incorrectly in one instance, I think I tried, mostly successfully, not to be too OCD like Colombe, Paloma s sister, as I am normally bothered [...]
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