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The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Book Review

AUTHOR: Muriel Barbery
ISBN: 1933372605

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         Editorial Reviews from Amazon

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
- Book Review,
by Muriel Barbery

Product 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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         Editorial Reviews from Barnes & Noble

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
- Book Reviews,
by Muriel Barbery

An enchanting New York Times and international bestseller about life, art, literature, philosophy, culture, class, privilege, and power, seen through the eyes of a 54-year old French concierge and a precocious but troubled 12-year-old girl. A moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us. The New York Times - Caryn James

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a best seller in France and several other countries, belongs to a distinct subgenre: the accessible book that flatters readers with its intellectual veneer…Renee's story is addressed to no one (that is, to us), while Paloma's takes the form of a notebook crammed with what she labels "profound thoughts." Both create eloquent little essays on time, beauty and the meaning of life…Even when the novel is most essayistic, the narrators' kinetic minds and engaging voices (in Alison Anderson's fluent translation) propel us ahead.More Reviews and RecommendationsBiography

The Elegance of the Hedgehog is Muriel Barbery's second novel. Her first book, Une gourmandize, has been translated into twelve languages. It will be published by Europa Editions in 2009. About the Translator Alison Anderson is the author of two novels, Hidden Latitudes and Darwin's Wink. She has translated two novels by S?lim Nassib for Europa Editions, I Loved You for Your Voice and The Palestinian Lover.

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