- Buy this product and stream 90 days of Amazon Music Unlimited for free. E-mail after purchase. Conditions apply. Learn more
The Elegance of the Hedgehog Paperback – 14 May 2009
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Resistance is futile ... you might as well buy it before someone recommends it for your book group. Its charm will make you say yes. --Guardian
This breathtakingly singular novel...is totally French yet completely universal. --Good Housekeeping
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
Reveals itself as a version of the Cinderella fairytale. --Financial Times
The book's attractive, Amélie-esque Parisian setting and cast of eccentrics will appeal to many. --Sunday Telegraph
About the Author
Muriel Barbery is a former lecturer in philosophy and the bestselling author of IMPAC-shortlisted novel The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Published in France in 2006 and in the UK in 2008, it 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'. Barbery's novel The Gourmet was published by Gallic in September 2009. Her latest novel, The Life of Elves, will be published by Gallic in May 2016.
Customers who bought this item also bought
428 customer reviews
Review this product
Read reviews that mention
Showing 1-8 of 428 reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
One point, though. I believe in the paper edition, different type faces are used to distinguish the chapters written by Renée and Paloma. This is not the case in the Kindle edition which can be quite confusing.
Set in a well-to-do Parisian apartment building on the Left Bank, our first narrator is Reneé; the deceptively clichéd middle-aged concierge, who listens to Mahler, reads philosophy and hides any inkling of intellectual curiosity behind her pinny and misshaped slippers.
A second occupant of No. 7 rue de Grenelle is Paloma, twelve years old and determined to get no older. She intends to die by her own hand when she reaches the age of thirteen, because what it the point of life?
Their alternating thoughts on the French class system, snobbery, ascription of value, sense of self and relative complacency in their own intelligence are thrown into disarray on the arrival of Mr Ozu. When this cultured Japanese man moves into the building, their distanced disguises proved not to be as convincing as they thought.
This is a pensive, mannered and well-constructed novel which weaves a gossamer web around the reader, involving you in concepts and characters you couldn’t leave if you wanted to.
I think I would have enjoyed the book more had it not been built up so much as it is actually in many ways just a rather ordinary but pleasant and ultimately moving story. I wasn't convinced by the fact Renee had to hide her learning - I couldn't see why - these days it's not a surprise at all who is interested in what, and learning is available to all. Unless things are different in France. Many of the references were obscure and Renee came over as rather an intellectual show-off while Paloma rather as a spoiled ungrateful brat. I almost gave up but liked the book more with the Japanese guy, although again I was entirely unconvinced by his interest in Renee purely because they liked the same books - it's not that rare to enjoy Tolstoy.
When he says to Renee "This is the twenty-first century for goodness sake!" I thought "hear hear."
There is a final twist and I'm glad there was resolution of a kind and I'm happy I stuck with it, the second half made it worth it. Incidentally, the translator must have had a really difficult job with this book, the text is so convoluted at times.