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The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Book rating: 04 Paperback

By (author) Muriel Barbery, Translated by Alison Anderson

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  • Publisher: Gallic Books
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 26mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1906040184
  • ISBN 13: 9781906040185
  • Sales rank: 24

Product description

Rene is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building. She maintains a carefully constructed persona as someone uncultivated but reliable, in keeping with what she feels a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Rene: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Rene lives with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever. By turns moving and hilarious, this unusual novel became the top-selling book in France in 2007.

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Customer reviews

By linda mcsweeney 25 Apr 2013 1

The language is very complicated, you need a dictionary to hand!

By Dee Jones 01 Oct 2012 5

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 Nechama 25 Apr 2012 5

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 Karyn Williams 05 Feb 2012 5

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 Fiona Smith 18 Jan 2012 5

It took a long time for me to get into the rhythm of this book but I'm glad I persevered. The story was like a lovely melody; quietly, gently leading the reader on towards the crushing conclusion. I was devastated and yet strangely soothed by the language in the final pages. Yes, a lovely book but not for everyone.