Ja-hae's Reviews > The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
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's review
Apr 18, 2012

did not like it

It's pretentious. It's boring. This "novel"is nothing more than just ramblings of a self-righteous and preachy writer. The two 'protagonists', an elderly concierge and a child, seem to be the author's modern representatives of the 'noble savage': outsiders / 'natural human beings' who have truly understood what life is about(as opposed to all those rich and educated hypocrites who are only pretending). However, it's not done in style of 'blessed are the poor and let the children come to me'.
According to the author, the true 'nobleness' of these outsiders seems to lie in their amazing knowledge of philosophy, art, classical music, and any other knowledge a snob would like to boast with. "Look at this concierge! She knows more about all that stuff than you, rich guy, ha!"
'Noble savage' might not be the right term. Maybe 'noble poor intellectual'. Because the common Poor are just ignorant as the Rich? Many of these philosophical monologues are random, fragmentary, and only loosely connected by a weak story line. The characters have no character.
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