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The Elegance of the Hedgehog

By Muriel Barbery

(379)

| Paperback | 9781933372600

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Book Description

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: Continue

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, 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, Renée 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 Renée 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 Renée’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.

4536 Reviews

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  • 1 person finds this helpful

    ben scritto

    davvero ben scritto: sembra semplice ma induce a riflettere tanto.

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    Claudia_nt said on Jul 30, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 3 people find this helpful

    Un buon regalo, se volete offendere qualcuno

    Una protagonista vittima della stessa grettezza e della stessa arroganza di cui accusa gli altri personaggi (per carità, tutti hanno diritto a sentirsi superiori a qualcuno, anche i personaggi letterari, e chi li recensisce… ) che tale rimane per tu ...(continue)

    Una protagonista vittima della stessa grettezza e della stessa arroganza di cui accusa gli altri personaggi (per carità, tutti hanno diritto a sentirsi superiori a qualcuno, anche i personaggi letterari, e chi li recensisce… ) che tale rimane per tutto il libro. Nessuna crescita, nessun cambiamento: è il mondo che sbaglia.
    Interi capoversi in cui sai già cosa c’è scritto prima di leggerli. Ragionamenti filosofici al limite dell’ovvio. Un buon regalo, se volete offendere qualcuno (che, con un po’ di fortuna, nemmeno se ne accorge).

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    Saltafosso said on Jul 26, 2014 | 1 feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    poetica storia tutta incentrata sull'importanza dell'essere e non dell'apparire .Non c'è il lieto fine ma ciò non ha importanza perchè nessuno muore finchè è nel ricordo di qualcuno e sicuramente moltai lettori ricorderanno la protagonista per sempre

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    Salvatifra said on Jul 21, 2014 | Add your feedback

  • 1 person finds this helpful

    molto bello!! mi e' piaciuto molto.. l'ho trovato estremamente elegante.

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    Annalu said on Jul 3, 2014 | Add your feedback

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