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    The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Paperback) By (author) Muriel Barbery, Translated by Alison Anderson


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    DescriptionThe enthralling international bestseller. We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Ren?e, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Ren?e is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building's tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence. Then there's Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter. Paloma and Ren?e hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma's trust and to see through Ren?e's timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.

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    Caitlin This book is a story about a self-conscious concierge and an introspective, suicidal 12 year old.

    I understand what this book was trying to be... beautiful and sophisticated. Something that read like a song and instilled deep, meaningful reactions from the reader - but it wasn't. It was BORING.

    The whole book just reeked of academic snobbery. Parts of the book prattled on so much that I'd just speed read the whole chapter. I got so bored with it I stopped half way through so I could take a break on another book before finishing this off.

    I felt the book used knowledge of Tolstoy as a scale of determining someone's value. Yes, parts of the book were lovely. I liked a few of the ideas it brought forward, and I liked the sence of magic. Yes, there were some sentences worthy of placing on a poster. However mostly, I just wanted to finish it. by Caitlin

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