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The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Barbery, Muriel

(Book - 2008)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Print
The enthralling international bestseller. 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.
Publisher: New York : Europa Editions, 2008
ISBN: 9781933372600
1933372605
Branch Call Number: FICTION BARBERY 2008
Characteristics: 325 p. ;,21 cm
Additional Contributors: Anderson, Alison

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From Library Staff

Renée, the concierge of an apartment building, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she appears to be a barely-there presence, yet, she is actually a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture.

Rene, the concierge of an elegant Paris apartment building, 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; but this veneer of normality hides a rich inner life. Paloma, ... Read More »


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The lives of fifty-four-year-old concierge Rene Michel and extremely bright, suicidal twelve-year-old Paloma Josse are transformed by the arrival of a new tenant, Kakuro Ozu. 336p.

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app02 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52