I can't wait for Muriel Barbery's next novel! I fell in love with this book and its characters. One of those books you can't put down and can't bear when it's over. The narrators, two of them, are fantastic. The contrast between the menopausal concierge and the suicidal young girl is fantastic. I can't decide whom I liked best. The girl I guess. I saw myself in her. Inquisitive, enthusiastic but at the same time questioning and seeking. Beyond her years, but we'll allow this to the author. Makes for a very interesting read. Funny, though, I also saw myself, as a menopausal woman, in the conceirge. Dual heriones but quite opposites. This book will appeal to the more intellectual, well-read listeners with its many references to classic literature and art. Highbrow but in a very good way! No down talking to the reader. Very lofty but still very funny.
Highly recommended...loved it, loved it, loved it!
This book is not for people who prefer action and adventure. For me, it was a quiet exploration of what it means to live a worthy and fulfilled human life, through the eyes of a 12 year old and a 54 year old. I enjoyed it thoroughly and will think back on it often. This one I might even listen to again, because the writing is so skillful that it's almost like poetry.
It is usually appropriate for a writer to occasionally side step the main story for a philosophical tangent that consists of no more than a few short paragraphs but this book is 90% tangents and only 10% story. Unfortunately this cute story with lovable characters is enveloped in various, sporadic philosophical thoughts that are very pretentious. There is nothing wrong with speculating, but there is such a thing as thinking way too much. It’s not a bad book; it just gives you way too much of the unnecessary to digest all at once.
It started slow, for me, wanted to give up reading a few times but it paid off by the end. The characters and their troubles didn't really resonate with me and it took almost half of book for me to really get into it. But by the end I was quite sad it ended and left me wishing for more. It's not a bad book.
Someone whose taste I trusted recommended this book. What a terrible disappointment. The story is static and the characters very predictable. The voices of the narrators are terrible and the whole tone of the story is so smug and self-satisfied, I found myself talking back to the book. I noticed the reviews on Amazon are also very divided. But as for me, there was no question: this was a dreadful waste of time. If I could rate it lower than 1 star I would.
This book was boring.... I gave up after the first half hour.... It was like being seated next to a pretentious person at a formal dinner. You are stuck sitting next to them and forced to listen while they talk, and talk and talk, about nothing of interest, while you wait hoping for some kind of a point to what they are droning on about.....
Don't bother getting this book!
This story is alternately told by the older French concigere (sp?) and the adolescent girl living in her building. Its strange because they seem unaware of each other for more than half the book. Instead both write reflections on life. If, like me, you are hoping for a tale about the interaction between the two main characters, you will have to wait until the very end of the book. I found the story interesting, but slow. However I kept listening and was rewarded by the end of the tale.
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It is one of the most beautiful books I've ever heard read. I love it! I'm sure I will listen to it over and over again.
The reader was amazing and the best part of audio books is that all of the foreign names are pronounced correctly.
What a variety of strong characters and a surprise ending. This is a great read.
Splendid complicated story -- had to listen to some passages repeatedly to get the gist, so very intellectual. I would NOT enjoy reading this book -- but the audio version is rich with 2 superb voices -- it gives the story dimension and life. Recommended without reservation for LISTENING.