The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)'s Reviews > The Elegance Of The Hedgehog

The Elegance Of The Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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's review
Aug 23, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: read-in-2009, comfort-reading, france, arc-and-review-copies
Read in April, 2009

I loved this book - perhaps even more so because I didn't expect to. I found it refreshing, funny, thought-provoking and very quirky.

There are two narrators, each taking a turn with a chapter or two. The first is 54 year old widowed Renee who is caretaker of a large Parisien appartment block with very well-to-do residents who largely ignore her unless barking orders. Renee has a secret though - she loves Tolstoy, classical music and Japanese films; but why upset the neighbours by confusing them by having an intelligent concierge? The second narrator is Paloma, aged 12, daugher of a government minister living in the entire 5th floor of the building, highly intelligent, cynical, bored and planning to commit suicide on her 13th birthday. Both go about their daily business as normal until a death in the building and subsequently a new resident arriving turns both their worlds upside down.

I found this book such a lovely read - it made me think, it made me question and it had plenty of laugh-out-loud moments (Paloma imparticular). I'm so glad I picked this book up and so glad it far surpassed my expectations.
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Reading Progress

03/30/2009 page 38
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Chrissie I hope you like it as much as me! I would love to look at some of the questions that I think this book poses. For me the primary question is why people will not open up and talk with each other. And I loved the humor!

The Book Whisperer (aka Boof) I'm only 38 pages in but I'm really enjoying it already. I love the humour too. And I really like Paloma!

Chrissie Oh good! It gets better and better. In the beginning I was kind of pissed off at the characters, but then I fell in love with them as they soften. I loved all the humor and the philosophical questions posed.

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