The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

3.74 (123,278 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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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 and insightful novel is now an international publishing sensation, with sales of over 10 million copies.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 128 x 202 x 26mm | 320g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1906040184
  • 9781906040185
  • 10,262

Review quote

'Resistance is futile ... you might as well buy it before someone recommends it for your book group. Its charm will make you say yes' The Guardian 'Clever, informative and moving ... this is an admirable novel which deserves as wide a readership here as it had in France.' The Observer 'The novel wins over its fans with a life-affirming message, a generous portion of heart and Barbery's frequently wicked sense of humor' Time Magazine 'A book of great charm and grace.' The Metro 'The book's attractive, Am lie-esque Parisian setting and cast of eccentrics will appeal to many' Sunday Telegraph 'This breathtakingly singular novel ... is totally French yet completely universal' Good Housekeeping 'Reveals itself as a version of the Cinderella fairytale' Financial Times
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About Muriel Barbery

Muriel Barbery is a former lecturer in philosophy and bestselling author. The Elegance of the Hedgehog has gone on to sell more than 6 million copies worldwide and has been described by Le Figaro as 'the publishing phenomenon of the decade'.
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Rating details

123,278 ratings
3.74 out of 5 stars
5 31% (37,678)
4 33% (40,913)
3 21% (26,423)
2 9% (11,601)
1 5% (6,663)

Our customer reviews

This book, whilst the language was occasionally exclusive, was utterly beautiful. It builds upon a rich history of philosophy, culture, and comments on the restrictive nature of social convention. The main characters were ultimately likeable, truthful, and tragic to the very end. It was impossible not to feel for either of them, which to me is a mark of a very talented author. It felt genuine, if a little too introspective and philosophical at times, and the characters interacted flawlessly together, to create a rich tapestry of life in No 7. Rue de Grenelle. It was an interesting look at the lives of the modern Bourgeoisie, with a commentary that was at times heartbreaking, and consistently poignant. I will recommend this book to as many people as I more
by Ashleigh Kissane
I was not happy with this book. It was just too intense for me. I could not relate to the characters at all. The young girl is completely unbelievable. I just could not picture a young girl being so philosophical yet unable to see the grand flaws of her 'master plan'. This book is too philosophical and the characters are unlikeable. The concierge is probably the only one whom you end up liking in the tragic end. I almost gave up reading several times, but i spent money on this thing so had to finish more
by shilpa raza
I found the book a bit boring, the plot developed very slowly and in the first few chapters I was struggling with the urge to put it down. However, by the end of the book it got interesting and the ending was partly sad. It is more intended to get you thinking about the meaning of life, social status and stereotypes. The ending in its self was not rewardingshow more
by mona abed algani
I loved the story about Renee and the people who lived in the apartment block in France. It was beautifully crafted and fascinating. You don't want the story to end. And it gave such pleasure to know that others in the book could see the beauty of Renee. A fabulous more
by Vivienne Breen
I LOVED this amazing beautifully written book. I loved the language and I loved the main character. I have read it twice. I don't read many books twice. I didn't want this book to end. Pamshow more
by pam
The language is very complicated, you need a dictionary to hand!show more
by linda mcsweeney
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