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Hunting and Gathering

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  14,967 ratings  ·  1,200 reviews
Prize-winning author Anna Gavalda has galvanized the literary world with an exquisite genius for storytelling. Here, in her epic new novel of intimate lives-and filled with the "humanity and wit" (Marie Claire) that has made it a bestselling sensation in France-Gavalda explores the twists of fate that connect four people in Paris. Comprised of a starving artist, her shy, a
Paperback, 488 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Riverhead Books (first published January 1st 2004)
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Amanda I think if you like the Hedgehog, you'll like this one. Set in Paris, deep character development, multi-age characters with checkered and interesting…moreI think if you like the Hedgehog, you'll like this one. Set in Paris, deep character development, multi-age characters with checkered and interesting pasts, and small, quiet moments of pure beauty and joy.(less)

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4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  14,967 ratings  ·  1,200 reviews

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Feb 06, 2013 rated it liked it
Despite 1) several years spent in Indiana, 2) an unstinted enjoyment of meat, and 3) the fact that I at one time had a mustache (it was the 80’s), I am not a Ron Swanson replica. To prove this point, I read a book set in Europe. . . France, no less. And it didn’t even have one of those page-turning plots to drive it.

What it did have was a plenitude of French themes. Food, especially the fine dining variety, was foremost among them. Art was another. Cultural divides of the type pitting aristocr
Jul 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Leah by: Jamie
This book was recommended to me by Jamie, and it was a perfect rec, thank you so much, lady.

Translated from French to English, Hunting and Gathering is a character - rather than plot - driven, slice of life portrait. Somewhere within these pages, the main character finds herself at a bookstore, pouring over a collection of the French cartoonist Sempe's drawings (as I best know for his work in The New Yorker.) As I read further, I began to realize: There it is. This book is like a Sempe drawing.
Was ich wieder mal für mich persönlich gelernt habe: Hüte Dich vor Büchern, die in der Werbung als bittersüß beschrieben werden. Wobei - ganz so dramatisch war es auch nicht, aber der Roman von Anna Gawalda war für mich nur äußerst mittelmäßiger Roman mit einigen Ärgerfaktoren.

Aber beginnen wir am Anfang. Also der Plot ist zu Beginn sehr wirrr mit inflationären entbehrlichen Szenenwechseln aufgebaut, die teilweise im Halbseitentakt daherkommen und dadurch den Roman dekonstruieren. Das fand ich e
Nov 08, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I was worried that once I finished this book I would be filled with sadness over leaving these characters. I was sad to put it down, but the overall experience was so satisfying that I would highly recommend this book to others.

Hunting and Gathering made me miss having conversations with my old roommate from France. The characters' manner of speaking is so different from Americans and refreshing. I was surprised to see American references like Shrek and Angelina Jolie here and there, but they o
Nov 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
This will sound weird, but it's true: some books don't need plots.
Hunting and Gathering is a perfect example of a character-driven novel. Nothing really monumental or dramatic happens, and instead the story is supported entirely by the four main characters. They are: Camille, a cleaning lady (or "cleaning operative") who lives in a tiny apartment by herself and doesn't eat; Philibert, an aristocrat lacking social skills who lives in Camille's building; his roommate Franck, a temperamental but t
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-library-haves
درباره ى اين كتاب، دلايل زيادى دارم كه خوشحال باشم.
1. خوشحالم كه ساده خوان بود، و خوشحالم كه داستانش يك جور كليشه ى نو بود.
2. خوشحالم كه پر از اشتباهات تايپى و اشتباهات خود نويسنده بود ( گاوالدا نوشته بود كه كاميل دوست داشته وقتى بچه بوده، يعنى مثلا توى سالهاى ١٩٨٣ و اينا طرحى از جانى دپ در فيلم "٢١ جامپ استريت بكشه"، در صورتى كه اين فيلم تو سالهاى ٢٠١٠ اينا اومد).
3. خوشحالم كه احتمالا كلى از داستان توى هزارتو هاى سانسور ناقص شده بود، ولى اون لاشه اى كه ازش موند به دستم رسيد و خيلى دوستش داشتم.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Este libro ha sido justo el tipo de lectura que necesitaba en este momento, una historia muy bonita, real, como la vida misma, con unos personajes con una vida nada fácil, admirables. Es lo primero que leo de esta autora, pero no será lo último porque me ha gustado mucho su forma de escribir.
Apr 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maravilloso!!! Una historia llena de ironía y sentido del humor, de personajes geniales con una vida difícil. Realmente recomendable
Czarny Pies
Nov 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Ceux qui aiment des bonbons de temps en autre.
Shelves: french-lit
"Ensemble, c'est tout" remplit pleinement la promesse de sa couverture d'être "une histoire d'amour entre quatre éclopés de la vie. ... Des bons à rien, des cabossés, des cœurs purs." La plupart du temps ce roman décrit avec la justesse les problèmes et les défis des ses personnages. Parfois il est très lucide. Hélas, il tombe trop souvent dans les clichés et les fantaisies que l'on rencontre normalement dans "La fée carabine" et les autres romans de Daniel Pennac. "Ensemble, c'est tout" est cha ...more
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
J'essaie de trouver le mot juste mais je n'y arrive pas - le charme de ce livre est ineffable. Le retour à la simplicité narrative, peut-être? Les quatre personnages si vivantes bien que faits des croquis (c'est pas au hasard que Camille dessine)? Le je-ne-sais-quoi du tout? Elle parle de la vieillesse et de l'amour, de l'amitié et de la solitude et impressionne sans tomber en mélodrame, bien qu'elle ne se serve d'ironie non plus. La vie, c'est tout.
كاميل: رسامة لطيفة ذكية مثقفة نحيفة حد المرض منغلقة على نفسها غريبة الطباع تعمل في شركة تنظيف هربا من موهبتها و ذاتها.ه
فليبيير: طيب محتشم شهم مثقف خجول أخرق متلعثم يتعثر في خياله، ينحدر من أسرة نبيلة يعيش في ماضيها غير قادر على التكيف مع المجتمع، و بالتالي هو يعيش على بيع البطاقات البريدية، في شقة أرستقراطية عتيقة تعود لجدته مع كتبه الكثيرة. ه
فرانك: طباخ مجد في عمله مستهتر تافه سوقي انفعالي و لكنه يحب جدته.ه
بوليت: ثمانينية ظريفة عنيدة على أعتاب الإصابة بالخرف، و هي جدة فرانك.ه
جمعت الظروف هؤلاء ا
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Leah McKenzie
Recommended to Jamie by: Molly
This book.

This book, this book, this book.


It is lyrical in that way that only books translated from French can be. I rarely underline or highlight while reading fiction, but this book gave my pen a work out. It was just lovely.

The characters were complex and well developed and sweet. They were just so sweet.

It wasn't perfect, but it was just the thing. It was flawed, but still one of the best I'll read this year.

The biggest flaw for me was probably Philou's character. I don't like that
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to El by: Jennifer
I'm not great at reading contemporary novels for some reason. I think in a lot of ways I expect too much out of them, especially when I compare them to so many of their predecessors (totally unfair of me, I know, but that's how I roll). I usually see so much room for improvement, or "had this been tweaked just a bit..."'s, that I wind up wondering what everyone makes such a fuss about.

I don't wonder as much with this book. It's charming. It's heartbreaking in parts. It actually punched me in the
Jan 03, 2010 added it
Translated from the French -- I loved this novel about a group of isolated people who find in each other an odd kind of family. Highly recommended!
Alba Turunen
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Estrellitas. Antes de nada me gustaría decir que éste libro no es el tipo de literatura que suelo leer, y quizás, si no me hubiesen regalado éste libro, ni lo habría leído. Vergüenza la mía, porque me lo regalaron hace tres años, y aún no lo había cogido. Por fin le he encontrado un hueco, y su lectura me ha dejado muy satisfecha.

Estamos ante una novela de corte sentimental, con cierto romanticismo, pero no, no es novela romántica propiamente dicha. Es un libro sobre cuatro protagonistas, cuat
María Ángeles
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tenía este libro desde hace dos años y nunca me decidía a leerlo... ¡mal hecho!
Es muy bonito. Las dos primeras partes son magníficas, porque no entiendes la relación entre los cuatro protagonistas del libro y las páginas vuelan entre las dudas de ¿qué le ha pasado? ¿por qué está así? ¿que tienen que ver "las churras con merinas"?(esta última pregunta parafraseando a Franck...
Camille me ha encantado, una chica bohemia calcadita a cómo me imagino yo a una parisina. Me gusta mucho cómo escucha a
Kathleen Dixon
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kathleen by: Reading Seals
Shelves: novel
It's just possible that I couldn't put this book down because I'm into avoidance tactics at the moment (avoiding the study I need to do for my 4 exams coming up in 2 weeks time), but, nevertheless, I couldn't put it down. I just loved these poor, sad people and their wonderful specialities and their struggling to find some normal type of existence. The way Gavalda brings them together is very clever, and the way she takes the flaws in their characters and weaves in a realisation about friendship ...more
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: france
It was an okay read and more like a beach read: sweet, fun, and romantic. Towards the end, it simply moved far too slowly for me. I keep hearing how the movie is far better. I don’t think that I’ll be able to see that anytime soon. All in all, this wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood.

One of my favorite quotes:

“Our certainties never really hold water. One day you feel like dying and the next you realize all you had to do was go down a few stairs to fi
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una historia preciosa, llena de encanto.
Sus personajes son peculiares pero a la vez muy entrañables...Un libro de relaciones humanas.
Llena de luz, esperanza y ternura. Camille es fabulosa, ella y las buhardillas de París.

Una delicia de Anna Gavalda
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: فرنسي
انتهت رواية (معاً) وقد كنت حقا معهم علي مدار 670 صفحة تقريباً
وكأنني أشاهد فيلما أجنبياً طويلاً
واعترف كان من الممكن جدا اختصارها في كثير من الأحيان ،
ولكنك تنتظر وتصبر وتداوم علي القراءة لعلك تعرف إلي أين تتجه ،
وفجأة من منتصف الرواية تقريباً تبدأ الأحداث تأخذ مساراً واضحاً
فتعرف ما علاقة هؤلاء الأشخاص ببعضهم ، ولماذا هم معاً ، ولماذا أنت لاتزال معهم تصبر عليهم وتستمع إليهم بلا كلل أو ملل

هي قصة الجدة العجوز الطبية الموجودة في كل منزل ، الجدة التي تنام علي صدرها وتلهث إليها وأنت حزين ، تسمعك وأنت غ
Jan 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was translated from French, but was so beautifully written the translation was transparent to me. The characters were a motley assortment of wounded souls brought together to heal one another. A real gem. I was astounded by her descriptions of the world through Camille's artistic eyes and the ability to make you feel as though you were in the scene. She was able to make each character whole. You could picture the way they appeared to the world, but also the inner beauty and ...more
Oct 18, 2007 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best fiction books I've read in a long time -- the emotions captured in this novel are superb. I got so caught up in this book that I felt a huge let down when it was over. The weaving of the characters lives together speaks to some of the universal struggles of human existence, family, history, loneliness, connection, love in a very real and effortless way. Simply beautiful.
Not so good as expected. Or I am not in the right mood to enjoy it.

A movie was made based on this book: Ensemble chest tout (2007), with Audrey Tautou, Guillaume Canet, Laurent Stocker .
Wafaa Golden
رواية ( معاً)
ما بين صدّ وردّ..
وملل واكتئاب..
ونيّة بالتّرك.. لتأتي مصداقيتي تحثّني على إتمامها رغم كل شيء
وها أنا ذااا وبعد ثلاثة أشهر وست عشرة يوماً أتيت عليها وأنهيتها..
ماذا يمكن أن أسمّي ذلك..
هل يصنّف فعلي ضمن الفعل الإيجابي أم السّلبي..
هو مبدأ مشيت عليه أن لا أدع إتمام كتاب مهما كان.. كي يكون حكمي عليه في النّهاية موضوعيّا..
وهذا ما حصل هنا..
بعد أن قرّرت أن لا داعي لأن أعذّب نفسي أكثر من ذلك..
ركنت الرّواية جانباً وعزمت على عدم اتمامها..
ولكنّ ضميري الحي هذه المرّة لم يسمح لي بذلك.. وأرا
Ala Jadooa
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
هذا الكتاب وبالرغم من انه لا يعتبر كتاب رومانسي او قصة حب ، الا أنه يشدك للقراءة ويكون من الصعب ان تتركه ، فأنه يجمع بين اربع شخصيات تائهة محطمة النفس وشبه فاقدة الأمل بالحياة ، ولكن عند التقائهم ببعض يعالج كل منهم جروحات الآخر بدون أن يقصد لأن كلا منهم تصرف بانسانيه وتجرد عن الأنا التي في داخله .. أنه بمثابة السهل الممتنع … كلماته تدخل قلبك بسلاسة فائقة وتشدك أحداثه اليومية وتجعلك تعيش وتتواصل معهم ..
اسلوب وقدرة الكاتبة غافالدا بأعطاء وصف تام لكل شخصية من الشخصيات الاربعة بشكل دقيق ومحبب للقلب
This book will break your heart and then mend it and repeat the cycle. All I wanted to do was read it all day - I didn't want to put it down. This is the tale of four downtrodden individuals who are thrown together by fate or random chance, whatever you want to call it, and the unlikely friendships that develop (keeping the rags with the napkins, one might say).

This book makes me want to move to Paris and find three quirky roommates of my own.

There are many contenders, but my favorite quote from
Apr 18, 2011 rated it liked it
I don't mind books that are essentially character studies. The things is, to enjoy them I have to like the characters.
Ok, I did like 3 out of 4 of the main characters... I loved, loved, loved Philibert. What can I say? I have a weakness for stuttering history buffs, apparently. I liked Paulette and Camille (most of the time) but I just couldn't care about Franck. He was really a jerk. His foul mouth got on my nerves too. The first word in every sentence doesn't have to be an expletive, Franck d
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
من با ترجمه خجسته کیهان اصلا ارتباط برقرار نککردم ولی کتاب رو با این وجود دوست داشتم.
در ضمن گول تعداد صفحاتش رو نخورید.
خیلی زود تموم میشه
Jun 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 400-500, spl, french
I really enjoyed this book until about two-thirds of the way into it when it started to get predictable and I could easily picture it being made into a romantic comedy film (which it was made into in France, unfortunately).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a hater of romance or comedy or even romantic comedies. I just don't like it when they're predictable because it's formulaic and not very challenging to me as a story.

It starts off with Camille, who I really did sympathize with as this waif genius
Nov 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: translated
I started reading this with a certain amount of apprehension due to it's overwhelming popularity (anything widely and universally acclaimed usually makes me suspicious) and because of the obvious feel-good connotations. Despite this the first few chapters had me hooked, and I started to think that the book might actually be as wonderful as everyone claims. The characters are nuanced and flawed enough to feel believable (the language issues that inevitably mar all translated work are evident here ...more
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Anna Gavalda is a French teacher and award-winning novelist.

Referred to by Voici magazine as "a distant descendant of Dorothy Parker", Anna Gavalda was born in an upper-class suburb of Paris. While working as French teacher in high school, a collection of her short stories was first published in 1999 under the title "Je voudrais que quelqu'un m'attende quelque part" that met with both critical acc
“-Tu crois que c'est comme tes mines de crayon ? Tu crois que ça s'use quand on s'en sert ?
- De quoi ?
-Les sentiments.”
“She was sound asleep when he came to curl up next to her. She grunted.
"Don't worry. I'm too drunk, I won't do anything," he murmered.

As she had her back to him, he placed his nose on her neck and slid his arm underneath her to be as close to her as possible. Short strands of her hair tickled his nostrils.
Was she asleep? Was she pretending? No answer either way.
"I like being with you."
A little smile.
Was she dreaming? Was she asleep? Who knows...”
More quotes…