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15 Reviews
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Un super livre
J'ai adoré ce livre: de belles réflexions en perspective sans le style prétentieux qui caractérise trop souvent les ouvrages littéraires français. J'ai trouvé la concierge attachante et le thème assez original. Les clichés de la société contemporaine française sont abordés avec beaucoup...
Published on 27 April 2010 by MLE Lepers

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Too much phiosophy?
An interesting idea but not altogether well carried out. Alot of the incidents described by the two narrators don't really add anything to the storyline. And much the same could be said of the narrators' philosophising. Also the death of one of the narrators while still narrating stretches the suspension of disbelief a bit too far.
Published 5 months ago by E. M. Cashdan


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Un super livre, 27 April 2010
By 
MLE Lepers - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
J'ai adoré ce livre: de belles réflexions en perspective sans le style prétentieux qui caractérise trop souvent les ouvrages littéraires français. J'ai trouvé la concierge attachante et le thème assez original. Les clichés de la société contemporaine française sont abordés avec beaucoup d'intelligence, de perspicacité ...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!, 15 Feb 2010
This review is from: L'Elegance Du Herisson (Paperback)
such a lovely book, there aren't many like this. a real must read. No wonder she won so many awards for her book!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inside the Mind of a Hedgehog, 5 Dec 2010
This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
Brilliant novel - wonderful portrait of a French concierge in a swishy Paris
building. She's shy, reticent, does the bidding of all the snobs in the
apartments - but this is only surface. Underneath, she is life and thought,
blessed by an inquisitive mind.
She is witty and philosophical, but the one thing missing from her life is love.

Enter a new tenant, a Japanese man who sees her for what she really is: an elegant
woman, ready for love, and wise. I won't betray the ending. Anyone reading this book will
be taken on some mind-provoking asides into art, music, history and the stratification of French
society.
Funny, sad, a delightful book!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and motivating, 7 Nov 2010
By 
A Gouvras - See all my reviews
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This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
Beautifully written and it motivated me to read all those classical books and watch all those classic films I used to think would be boring or too difficult, instead I discovered beauty.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in the appartment, 22 Feb 2012
By 
Consumer A "ReaderAAA" (England. UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
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This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
Renee a 54 years old widow has been a Concierge of a grand Parisian apartment for over 20 years and appears to be your typical conventional almost anonymous person. In fact she takes great care to hide the secret that she is completely in love with knowledge. She is naturally passionate about culture and art and is much more well read than her employers. She takes care in making sure she acts and dresses as a 'typical' concierge - as this is what is expected. This is a very funny book in places as Renee cannot help herself at times in retorting or trying to conceal her re action to offensive use of grammar. She can go from disliking someone to accepting them if they address her properly and with respect to the language. Added to this a Monsieur Ozu becomes the new owner of one of the appartments and he realises that Renee is hiding behind her 'uniform'. Other members of the apartments also play a great part in this very moving story.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Favourite authoress, 16 Aug 2010
By 
Pat Clapp (Whittlebury, Northants, GB) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
Have recently discovered Muriel and she has become my favourite authoress. Such in depth understanding of people. Love the way you get the story from different points of view. Book arrived in good condition too! Thoroughly recommend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book of the film ..., 13 April 2012
By 
Doc Barbara "Barbara Daniels" (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
...is even more engaging as we have more of the inner thoughts of the two main characters. Renee, the concierge (who conceals her inner elegance and culture under the prickly surface of a hedgehog and who believes herself to be ugly) talks to us in an individual voice, revealing a deeply contemplative nature with profound insights into human beings. When she describes the death and illness of her husband she remarks: "Lucien etait une non-existence qui retournait a un neant.." which corresponds to the later perception that most people simply do not see a concierge. One exception is the new tenant Kakuro Ozu who recognises her learning from an exchange of a quotation from Tolstoy (and notes that her cat is called Leon!) He pursues an honest and affectionate friendship with her and she transforms her appearance for her meetings with him. The other point of view is that of Paloma who writes each "Pensee profonde" in chapters interspersed with Renee's: she intends to commit suicide on her next birthday, her thirteenth. She is alienated from her wealthy family who seem superficial although well-read and with whom she shares one sole interest: chocolate. Her ruminations take in cats, death, music and how to live or die. These three characters (there are others, including Paloma's family, Renee's friend Manuela, animals and other tenants) share a love of beauty and the integrity of their relationship binds them together until the shock of ... The book is superbly written and imagined - a modern classic.
There is another edition in the series "nrf" of Gallimard, more expensive but worth it for the appropriately elegant plain beige cover with its geometric edging, satisfyingly thick paper and the use of different fonts for the interwoven chapters with their differing points of view. I collect these editions and have never found a dud read amongst them but, if you want to buy one, contact the seller first as the photo is not always accurate.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Too much phiosophy?, 11 Feb 2014
By 
E. M. Cashdan "Liz Cashdan" (Sheffield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
An interesting idea but not altogether well carried out. Alot of the incidents described by the two narrators don't really add anything to the storyline. And much the same could be said of the narrators' philosophising. Also the death of one of the narrators while still narrating stretches the suspension of disbelief a bit too far.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable read, 3 Jan 2014
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This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
I thought this book was excellent, really entertaining and thought-provoking. At points a little pretentious and characters tended to be clichéd, but I didn't mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Original French, 1 Jan 2014
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This review is from: L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) (Mass Market Paperback)
We read the English translation and we liked it so much husband requested original for Christmas,so got it for him
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L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio)
L'elegance Du Herisson (Folio) by Muriel Barbery (Mass Market Paperback - 25 Jun 2009)
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