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L'elegance du Hérisson (French…
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L'elegance du Hérisson (French Edition) (original 2006; edition 2006)

by Muriel Barbery

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
8,358543371 (3.8)2 / 839
Member:chapeauchin
Title:L'elegance du Hérisson (French Edition)
Authors:Muriel Barbery
Info:French & European Pubns (2006), Paperback, 360 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:fiction, France

Work details

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery (2006)

  1. 151
    The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (labfs39, chrisharpe)
    labfs39: Both have incredibly well-drawn, quirky characters that are lovable in their unique humaness. Both have highly intelligent characters that are vulnerable because of their very gift. In both books I learned things in fields not particularly close to me: math in Housekeeper and philosophy in Elegance.… (more)
  2. 63
    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley (lauranav)
    lauranav: Both show relationships and point of view of a young girl.
  3. 30
    A Novel Bookstore by Laurence Cossé (morsecode)
    morsecode: The English-language editions (published by Europa Editions) of both novels are translated by Alison Andersen. There isn't a lot of similarity between the two novels (beyond the fact that both are quite literary), but I do think that someone who enjoys one will enjoy the other.… (more)
  4. 53
    Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (cransell)
  5. 10
    The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet by Reif Larsen (heterotopic)
  6. 10
    The last Samurai by Helen DeWitt (camillahoel)
  7. 10
    The Seven Fires of Mademoiselle by Esther Vilar (sanddancer)
  8. 10
    Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl (krist_ellis, tinyteaspoon)
    tinyteaspoon: Strong young female protagonist
  9. 00
    Lovesong by Alex Miller (jll1976)
    jll1976: There is the obvious 'Paris connection'. But, also a similar slow almost dreamlike quality. About the beauty of a 'simple' life.
  10. 00
    The Cleaner of Chartres by Salley Vickers (klerulo)
    klerulo: Not so much the commonality of a French setting but that of a very enigmatic, obscure heroine who attracts the attention of others who are discerning and sensitive enough to perceive the hidden depths.
  11. 01
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  12. 15
    Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (tandah)
  13. 16
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (albavirtual)
    albavirtual: Una historia oscura e intrigante y, al mismo tiempo, llena de profundas reflexiones sobre la risa, el arte y la libertad del hombre.
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English (441)  Spanish (28)  French (25)  Italian (23)  German (10)  Finnish (7)  Dutch (5)  Swedish (5)  Catalan (4)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (549)
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
I think if I had not listened to the audio version of this book I would have quit it early on. However the skills of the narrators and the beauty of the writing kept me listening, despite there not really appearing to be a plot for much of the book. Ended up loving the characters and the book despite myself. ( )
  readlifeaway | Aug 21, 2016 |
This novel is laden with copious complex vocabulary. I felt like I was reading the novel for a literary college course rather than for a casual book group. The premise is of an intellectual concierge in Paris hiding her true self from the residents due to the perceived and perpetuated social status separations. The story also involves a gifted 12 year old who waxes philosophical as much as the concierge. ( )
  niquetteb | Aug 17, 2016 |
what a wonderful book, it may break your heart ( )
  bytheseabchcmbr | Jul 28, 2016 |
This novel is a departure into the world of non-crime fiction.
Perhaps listening to the audio version was probably not my best move because it tends to turn the book into a series of short vignettes. Nevertheless I enjoyed the venture into philosophy in the form of the thoughts of both Renee the concierge and Paloma the teenage school girl.

The novel consists of items from Paloma's journal as she contemplates the meaning of life and Renee's narration about her life as the concierge of a large residential building. The two gradually interweave with each other and pictures are created of other residents in the building and there is a progression of events. In addition there is quite a bit of background about Renee's life over the years.

In the long run I enjoyed it more than I expected to, as I too thought about the philosophical issues they raised. ( )
  smik | Jun 25, 2016 |
This book was divine, is divine. The intelligence and perception of the author, the depth of the characters, and the eloquence of the humor, knowledge, and heartbreak contained is breathtaking. ( )
2 vote lamotamant | Jun 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 441 (next | show all)
Barbery’s sly wit, which bestows lightness on the most ponderous cogitations, keeps her tale aloft.
added by Nickelini | editthe New Yorker (Oct 20, 2008)
 
Le Figaro has described this book as 'the publishing phenomenon of the decade'. Elsewhere, there were comparisons to Proust. It sold more than a million copies in France last year and has won numerous awards. Does it match up to the hype? Almost. It is a profound but accessible book (not quite Proust, then), which elegantly treads the line between literary and commercial fiction.
added by Nickelini | editThe Guardian, Vicky Groskop (Sep 14, 2008)
 
Even when the novel is most essayistic, the narrators’ kinetic minds and engaging voices... propel us ahead.
 
Efter en något trög första del, förvandlades Igelkottens elegans till en liten pärla, till en bok som berörde mig. Och jag som sällan läser om böcker, funderar skarpt på att läsa om.
 
Därefter blir ”Igelkottens elegans” en fråga om ett ganska enkelt demaskerande och en ännu enklare trivialpsykologisk analys. Men fram till dess skrockar man förnöjt när Renée och Paloma var och en på sitt håll övertrumfar varandra i knivskarpa beskrivningar av den korkade och obildade parisiska överklassen och dess själsliv – tunt som en kålsoppa utan kål.
 

» Add other authors (49 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Muriel Barberyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Öjerskog, MarianneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Anderson, AlisonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Enqvist, HelénTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Stephane, with whom I wrote this book
First words
"Marx has completely changed the way I view the world," declared the Pallieres boy this morning, although ordinarily he says nary a word to me.
Quotations
Thus, the television in the front room, guardian of my clandestine activities, could bleat away and I was no longer forced to listen to inane nonsense fit for the brain of a clam - I was in the back room, perfectly euphoric, my eyes filling with tears, in the miraculous presence of Art.
(p.17)
In the heat of the cinema, on the verge of tears, happier than I had ever been, I was holding the faint warmth of his hand for the first time in months. I knew that an unexpected surge of energy had roused him from his bed, given him the strength to get dressed and the urge to go out, the desire for us to share a conjugal pleasure one more time - and I knew, too, that this was the sign that there was not much time left, a state of grace before the end. But that did not matter to me, I just wanted to make the most of it, of these moments stolen from the burden of illness, moments with his warm hand in mine and a shudder of pleasure going through both of us...'
(p.71)
I flinched when she said bring and at that very moment Monsieur Something also flinched, and our eyes met. And since that infinitesimal nanosecond when - of this I am sure - we were joined in linguistic solidarity by the shared pain that made our bodies shudder, Monsieur Something has been observing me with a very different gaze.
A watchful gaze.
And now he is speaking to me.
(p.130)
What is the purpose of Art? To give us the brief, dazzling illusion of the camellia; to carve from time an emotional aperture that cannot be reduced to animal logic. How is Art born? It is begotten in the mind's ability to sculpt the sensorial domain. What does Art do for us? It gives shape to our emotions, makes them visible and, in so doing, places a seal of eternity upon them, a seal representing all those works that, by means of a particular form, have incarnated the universal nature of human emotions.
(p.199)
... αναλογίζομαι τελικά ότι ίσως αυτό να είναι η ζωή: πολλή απελπισία, αλλά και μερικές στιγμές ομορφιάς, στις οποίες ο χρόνος δεν είναι πια ο ίδιος. Λες και οι νότες της μουσικής έβαλαν μια παρένθεση στον χρόνο, μια αναστολή, ένα αλλού ακόμη και εδώ, ένα πάντα μέσα στο ποτέ.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Original title: L'élégance du hérisson
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society s expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this façade lies the real Renée: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renée lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever.
Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

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.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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HighBridge

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