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Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda

Hunting and Gathering (original 2004; edition 2007)

by Anna Gavalda

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1,773573,967 (4.03)69
Title:Hunting and Gathering
Authors:Anna Gavalda
Info:Riverhead Trade (2007), Paperback, 496 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, 2013 CC

Work details

Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda (2004)

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English (30)  Spanish (9)  French (7)  Swedish (5)  German (3)  Catalan (2)  Danish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
This was one of my oldest unread books, so I'm glad my TBR Jar finally pushed me to read it! It's set in the early 2000s in Paris, and follows four characters - a nervy young aristocrat, a motorbike-riding chef, his struggling granny, and an anorexic young artist-slash-office cleaner. It's a slow read, gradually pulling the four together into an odd kind of family, exploring their issues and back stories one layer at a time. Early on I kept putting off picking it back up, which is never a good sign, but I got more invested as the pages went by and ended up really enjoying it - though the end fizzled out a bit. Apparently it was being made into a film with Audrey Tatou, but I don't know if that ever happened? Recommended if you like gentle, quirky, character-driven novels with a strong sense of place. ( )
  elliepotten | Jun 2, 2015 |
This was a frustrating read for me. By turns, I couldn't stop reading and was somewhat bored. Telling the story of three people who have had difficult relationships with their parents but who find a tentative happiness as roommates in an enormous old Paris apartment. The three main characters were interesting enough. There's Philibert, the stammering, history-obsessed postcard seller, who has the apartment while his family fights over a will, Camille, the sensitive artist who has given up art and is working as a cleaner in an office and Franck, the tempestuous sous-chef who is run ragged between his arduous job and his grandmother, who lives hours away and may not be up to living on her own any more. Predictably, they become stronger as a group of misfits forming a sort of family.

There's a lot to like about this book. The setting is Paris and Camille, Franck and Franck's grandmother are quirky, endearing characters. The third resident of the apartment remains thinly drawn, to the point where his transformation and independence occur entirely off the page. And it's sometimes self-consciously quirky, as though the characters' actions and traits are there more for the effect they will have on the reader's heartstrings than fully realized parts of themselves. I like that in the aftermath of the success of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, more books seem to be making the leap from French into English translations. I just wish a better book had been chosen, but much of my dissatisfaction with this book is my dislike of whimsy and charm. Not everyone dislikes a happy ending. ( )
  RidgewayGirl | Nov 13, 2013 |
hilarious and a page turner. loved the paris references ( )
  Kathy.Newton | Sep 7, 2013 |
The original French title of this novel is Ensemble, C’est Tout, which is a much more fitting name for a book about a group of lost souls who eventually find happiness with each other. Camille is literally a starving artist, wasting away to skin and bones while working a completely unfulfilling job as an office cleaner in Paris. One day she falls ill and is rescued by Philibert, a sweet-natured but socially awkward aristocrat who is living in his family’s decaying ancestral home. Philibert also has a roommate named Franck, a talented chef whose filthy language is only matched by his even filthier lifestyle. Initially, the three of them living in one house seems like a recipe for disaster; but as they learn more about one another, they slowly build an unconventional family.

I think this is a perfect cold-weather book; it just begs to be read while snuggled up in a blanket and sipping something warm. At its core, it’s a fairly simple and predictable love story, with the hero and heroine hating each other at first, then slowly changing their minds. But Gavalda’s dreamy, transparent prose helps it to rise above a stereotypical chick-lit or romance novel. There’s something very thoughtful and smart about the book as a whole; I especially loved the descriptions of Camille’s art. The only thing that bugged me about the book is that sometimes the dialogue was hard to follow — there aren’t a lot of tags to indicate who’s saying what. There’s also a lot of jumping around between different characters’ perspectives, which can be distracting. Overall, though, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to fans of love stories or French literature.
  christina_reads | Jan 26, 2013 |
Bei dem Titel und dem Aufkleber "Spiegel Bestseller" hab ich nicht viel mehr erwartet als eine seichte Liebesgeschichte ohne Nachhall. Aber das Buch hat mich gepackt und ich habe es in weniger als einer Woche verschlungen! Wunderbare Figuren - wunderbar erzählt und ganz dicht dran am Leben und dem Wunsch nach Glück, der Angst vor der Einsamkeit wie wir es alle kennen.
Der Koch in dem Buch hat mir gut gefallen und sprüht vor Leben und Emotion und Schuldgefühlen gegenüber seiner alten Omi. Das Ende gleitet dann leider ins Kitschige ab, aber egal - das Buch ist schön. Bitte lesen! ( )
1 vote Kichererbse | Jan 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
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Book description
This international best-seller from one of France's rising literary stars is sure to be a popular book-club choice. Although Gavalda (Someone I Loved, 2005) amps up the pathos, she delivers a winning portrait of a group of misfits who band together to form their own family. There's socially awkward aristocrat Philibert, who is living in his dead grandmother's grand if sparely furnished Parisian apartment until her will has been sorted out; his handy but uncouth roommate, Franck, a talented cook who is heartsick over having to commit his grandmother to a nursing home; and gifted artist Camille, who works cleaning offices and suffers from anorexia. When Philibert finds Camille in her freezing attic apartment exhausted from a fever, he nurses her back to health. The chef and the artist take an immediate dislike to each other and then promptly fall in love, and the three then "embark on what might turn out to be the most beautiful days of their lives." Gavalda casts her immensely appealing story in such a sunny albeit sentimental light, readers will find it nearly impossible to resist.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159448144X, Paperback)

Prize-winning author Anna Gavalda has galvanized the literary world with an exquisite genius for storytelling. Here, in her epic new novel of intimate lives-and filled with the "humanity and wit" (Marie Claire) that has made it a bestselling sensation in France-Gavalda explores the twists of fate that connect four people in Paris. Comprised of a starving artist, her shy, aristocratic neighbor, his obnoxious but talented roommate, and a neglected grandmother, this curious, damaged quartet may be hopeless apart, but together, they may just be able to face the world.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:27 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Camille is doing her best to disappear. She barely eats, works at night as a cleaner, and lives in a tinyattic room. Philibert Marquet de La Durbelliere is a stammering, erudite aristocrat who sells postcards outside a museum. One evening, he overcomes his own execruciating reticence to rescue Camille, unconscious, from her freezing garret, and install her in the large, ornate apartment he is taking care of downstairs. He already has an unlikely flatmate--the foulmouthed, talented young chef Franck, who is made more obnoxious by guilt about his beloved grandmother--who in turn forms an unlikely bond with hes new friends. Apart, they may be hopeless, but together, this curious, damaged little quartet may be able to face the world.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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