The Elegance of the Hedgehog, Muriel Barbery
Muriel Barbery

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

283 printed pages
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The phenomenal New York Times bestseller that “explores the upstairs-downstairs goings-on of a posh Parisian apartment building” (Publishers Weekly).
In an elegant hôtel particulier in Paris, Renée, the concierge, is all but invisible—short, plump, middle-aged, with bunions on her feet and an addiction to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. In short, she’s everything society expects from a concierge at a bourgeois building in an upscale neighborhood. But Renée has a secret: She furtively, ferociously devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor, she scrutinizes the lives of the tenants—her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth.
Paloma is a twelve-year-old who lives on the fifth floor. Talented and precocious, she’s come to terms with life’s seeming futility and decided to end her own on her thirteenth birthday. Until then, she will continue hiding her extraordinary intelligence behind a mask of mediocrity, acting the part of an average pre-teen high on pop culture, a good but not outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.
Paloma and Renée hide their true talents and finest qualities from a world they believe cannot or will not appreciate them. But after a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building, they will begin to recognize each other as kindred souls, in a novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us, and “teaches philosophical lessons by shrewdly exposing rich secret lives hidden beneath conventional exteriors” (Kirkus Reviews).
“The narrators’ kinetic minds and engaging voices (in Alison Anderson’s fluent translation) propel us ahead.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Barbery’s sly wit . . . bestows lightness on the most ponderous cogitations.” —The New Yorker
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Fabiola Zurita
Fabiola Zuritashared an impression6 months ago
🙈Lost On Me
🔮Hidden Depths

I enjoyed it.. it took me a while to understand the characters so that made it difficult and slow once I finally caught on it was too late.... I enjoyed it but then again I hated the ending!

Roxana Pupeză
Roxana Pupezăshared an impression4 months ago
👍Worth reading

Alina Utkina
Alina Utkinashared an impressionlast year
👍Worth reading

now and again adults take the time to sit down and contemplate what a disaster their life is. They complain without understanding and, like flies constantly banging against the same old windowpane, they buzz around, suffer, waste away, get depressed then wonder how they got caught up in this spiral that is taking them where they don’t want to go.
Well, much good may it do you,
To understand Marx and understand why he is mistaken, one must read The German Ideology.
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