Harriet's Reviews > The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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Nov 06, 14

Read from June 23, 2010 to July 30, 2012

Much of this takes place in the minds of two autodidacts; a well used concierge and a 12 year old girl contemplating suicide, both of them living in the same small Paris apartment building. In their individual isolation, they each worship at the alter of beauty and knowledge while viewing themselves with a certain contempt. As the novel evolves each discovers and accepts that there is beauty in herself and others as powerful as the heady beauty each finds in art, music, and philosophy.

Renee, the elder, has constructed a false persona of a stereotypical Parisian consierge which she present for the habitues of the building Part of the pleasure of this novel is the delicate unfolding of two souls. The first, Renee, has contructed


and part is the delicious writerly style of the author and the obvious joy she takes in language and the humanities.


This is not a book for the action oriented reader. Though it made me laugh out loud, it is, at it's core, a thoroughly satisfying, contemplative read.
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Reading Progress

06/21/2012 "I've finished the book 3 times and given it away twice."

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Dottie I really LOVE it when someone else LOVES this book!


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