The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Paperback)
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Short Description for The Elegance of the Hedgehog Rene is the concierge of a Parisian apartment building. She is passionate about culture and the arts. Several floors up, 12-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.
- Published: 01 May 2009
- Format: Paperback 320 pages
- ISBN 13: 9781906040185 ISBN 10: 1906040184
- Sales rank: 14
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Reviews for The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Not worth buying
The language is very complicated, you need a dictionary to hand! by linda mcsweeneyunder review
This is a really refreshing well written and original story - I bought this book and also Water for Elephants based on good reader reviews on Book Depository and I was not disappointed with either.
Great characterisations, the observations made in the story were very true. The book was so good - I wanted the story to continue for longer. by Dee Jonesunder review
This book is really stunning, the prose translates flawlessly and effortlessly from French and at times even sounds like poetry. Within the grander systems of the French bourgeoisie, the unhappy 'fate' of the concierge and the private disconcertment of Paloma, there are moments of hilarity and poignancy. This book is to be read both for its language but also its story, one which encompasses several characters all equally intriguing. by Nechamaunder review
I love this book. It does take a little effort to get used to the deept thoughts and concepts brought up, but well worth it. What a wonderful author! I look forward to reading her other novels. by Karyn Williamsunder review
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
What a beautiful metaphor (once revealed) in the title. Exquisitely crafted with such beautiful language. Unusual and interesting characters, and a slap-in-the-face ending. Though completely enjoyable and such a worthwhile read, I would have liked to see the three main characters' relationship evolve and deepen. I was inspired by the concierge's knowledge and sensitivity towards others; her insight and judgements was thought-provoking. Love the Japanese gentleman's awareness of and value of all human beings. And that young girl? What an awesome character who might, at first, come across as too sophisticated for her age.
Because the language is so rich, and in the beginning, seems quite verbose, it is a novel that I'd recommend to persevere as it's richness unfolds. This book goes into my "Favourites" list. by Beverley Colemanunder review
Felt Ripped off
I was totally drawn into this book, loved the style and the theme, it was such a delightful French novel and covered great swathes of philosophy and social commentary.
However the ending was such a slap in the face that I felt it detracted from the novel, it was so out of left field. I cant say too much more because I dont want any spoilers, but the ending left me feeling ripped off and manipulated. Or I felt the author was on a time line and had to finish the book that weekend.
Many of my favourite books do not have neat happy endings so its not that that I have a problem with, its more the fact the ending was like a shock tactic in an otherwise gentle and well observed novel. by Paul McGeownunder review
This book is entertaining, informative and truly delightful! A little different from the normal story and the ending was a surprise, I would highly recommend this book for anyone wishing to have an enjoyable, well written book to sit and read! by Hilary Bishopunder review
Book or Film?
I've read this book and loved it.
I've seen the film and loved it.
But I believe that the author dislikes the film intensely. I can't understand why - the film is as absorbing and subtle as the book.
Has anyone any idea why the author doesn't like the film? by lochaberunder review
Not My Style
I personally did not like this book. I usually judge my books by the '30 page rule' but decided to keep going with this book. By 130 I found myself bored and not looking forward to reading it so gave up.
I am usually into fast paced romance, historical or thriller type books so perhaps it just wasn't my style.
The book was written beautifully, but I found myself often turning to the dictionary - perhaps as I am young, or maybe I just have a terrible vocabulary. by Jamie Funder review
- Top review
I can honestly say that this book is one of the best I've ever read. It is incredibly human, deeply philosophical and highly intelligent. Barbery's use of language and evident joy in using it makes 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog' an absolute delight to read.
The author's deep appreciation for all the things that make us human is clearly conveyed and really makes you think. If you read one book this year, make it 'The Elegance of the Hedgehog'. by Jessicaunder review