Elegance of the Hedgehog, TheBarbery, Muriel
Appearances can be deceptive, something the privileged residents of number seven Rue de Grenelle would soon discover if they were to look beyond the seemingly stereotypical character of their concierge, Renee. Belied by her simple and humble persona, she is a closet intellectual and cultural enthusiast, which is fortuitously apparent to kindred spirits and fellow tenants, Kakuro Oza, a Japanese gentleman, and Paloma Fosse, a disenchanted twelve year old.
Rich with philosophical ponderings and 'Profound Thoughts, this is a clever and quirky story worthy of its Parisian setting.
Comments from GroupsA delightfully controversial sort of book, resulting in in-depth discussion, both of plot and content. After which I think some realized that they had got more out of it than they thought......Coromandel 002 Needs two readings to enjoy and understand. We liked the profound thoughts and excellent character portrayal. Our discussion was about how we all wear 'masks', the importance thereof and the occasions we lower our masks. Upper Hutt 001 A very mixed reception for this book. Some couldn't read much of it, some finished it and loved it, and others read it and only enjoyed parts of it. This led to great discussion, which in the end made people realize that there was more to the book than they had first thought. Putaruru 001 Most of the group found it took a while to work out the intent of the book, but gradually became immersed in the different characters - we all needed a dictionary at times! Napier 016 We had a lively discussion. The general feeling was that the book started well, but lost momentum towards the middle where the author seem to 'lecturing' the reader through Renee and Paloma. However when Kakuro entered the scene, the dynamics changed to make the second half of the book the reward for persevering . Wellington 123 This book had a very mixed reception. Some of us really enjoyed it. Some found Paloma and Renee annoying. Excellent discussion had on class and culture. Ngongotaha 001 Good prose. Slightly old-fashioned maybe due to the translation. Overall most of us enjoyed it once we got into it, but it requires an effort to read as you need to concentrate on each sentence. Cooks 001