Pamela Pickering's Reviews > The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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's review
Aug 13, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: book-club
Read from July 09 to August 03, 2012

2.5 stars Hmmm...what to say about a book written by someone who writes for herself, not others--she states "It's personal" yet she chooses to publish the book anyway? A book by a somewhat conflicted author surely can give some conflicting impressions. Within the first 150 pages I was feeling this book had striking similarities to "Catcher in the Rye" which did NOT endear it to me by any means. I found both of the main characters difficult to like and so critical of others that it just grated on me.

I also struggled with the translators choice of words. Was she trying to make things more difficult and muddy? Does anyone in real life really use words like autodidactic and loge? After sticking with the book I finally understood the author's tactics on how she portrayed the characters. After the new neighbor moves in we begin to see a change in the two main characters and the writing style also morphs to illustrate these changes.

Eventually we do get to the philosophy of the story: simple , yet important messages which could be communicated in easily ina children's book--don't judge a book by its cover, be yourself, and avoid stereotyping.

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Reading Progress

07/09/2012 "Might as well get started on this month's book club book. I've started 3 other books and just can't get into any of them. Not sure what to think of this one. It has some great reviews and a GR friend swears I'll like it, but my quantum twin has given it a one star rating. Hmmmm..."
20.0% "Took a break from this one to read The Hunger Games. Whoa! What a switch my brain is having to make to finish this one. Frankly, finding it a wee bit laborious."
32.0% "oy vey."
52.0% "Now that Monsieur Ozu is on the scene I'm hoping this will go a little faster."
62.0% "Getting closer!"
94.0% "Yes! 19 more pages to go! Woot woot!"
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Frank (new)

Frank Autodidact and loge are words you consider unusual?

Pamela Pickering I would say "not in common use would be more a more apt description==at least, not in my part of the country. As someone who works with a broad spectrum of the public, I don't recall ever encountering either in any discussions. In reading, yes, but not often.

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