Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Book Review # 3 - The Elegance of the Hedgehog

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The Elegance of the Hedgehog was written by Muriel Barbery in French and translated to English by Alison Anderson.  This is a superb translation.  It is clear that this is a difficult book to translate, there are many gramatical and language based references that could be difficult to translate to English. 

This is the story of a concierge in a small building in Paris.  Renee, the concierge, is utterly unassuming and resigns herself to what looks to be a simple life from the outside, but deep down there is more to this woman.  What starts out as a simple story becomes truly beautiful through  the amazing prose and touching plot.  The classic book references and philosophy intertwined into the narrative creates a story that actually engages the brain unlike so many novels of our time. 

Of course the best part is that the book is in Paris.  I love this city and dream of visiting again.  The Parisian reference, even when they are just mentions of the food, the museums, and the cafes are worth it.  This book is like living in Paris for a week.  It is utterly divine. 

By the second chapter I could not get enough.  Be prepared for some late nights because this one will keep you up.  It is completely worth the time.  I am now inspired to read Anna Karenina.

Have nay of you read this?  What did you think? 

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