I loved this book. So thought provoking and you instantly care about the characters. I listened to it twice to absorb all the beautiful details and observations about life. A definite read!
I worked hard to finish. But when I did, it was worth it.
I persisted with this book for about a third of its length as I thought it MUST surely improve and engage me, but it didn't. The reviewer who said that it's like being trapped in a corner with a first-year philosophy student hit the nail on the head. I just wanted to escape!
I have no idea. I tried to like it....it was a chore to read even half of this book. I would not recommend it to anyone I know.
I'm not sure what genre this falls under.
Barbara--competent, believable, well-done; Cassandra--annoying, irritating, competent in reading the material.
Great disappointment--from the reviews I read and the sample I listened to I really thought I would like this book. The little girl made me angry. It made me sad that I wasted five dollars on this book...plus four hours of my life....gone.
Don't waste your money.
This tale of two women--or, rather, a woman and a girl--is indeed masterful. Each is not as she might appear on the surface, and the appreciation each has for the world in which she finds herself is wry and delightful. Fascinating to see the apparently dumpy concierge finally showing her true plumage as an unusual romance comes her way, while the child finds herself finally coming to appreciate the life given her as she finds herself caught up in her new friend's life.
Seeing these two each blossoming in the heart of a Parisian apartment complex is indeed a joy.
I know this book never would have never held my attention had I read it myself. The two narrators really brought it to life for me. Elegance of a Hedgehog is an engaging and often-times humorous story about misfits finding one another and trying to make not only sense of, but peace with the world that they live in. There are a few flaws (some of the characters' philosophical musings are bone dry), but overall the story really held my interest.
This book starts off slowly but becomes increasingly interesting. The language used is very beautiful and some of the ideas are interesting and thought provoking. I was ready to recommend the book to my friends and then I listened to the ending.
I obviously will not describe what happens, but I have no idea why the author took this direction at the end and managed to spoil the whole experience for me.
I should probably blame myself and my high expectations, but this was a big disappointment:
I found no literary value in the book - the characters are stereotypes. Both protagonists didn't draw empathy of any kind, and weren't interesting enough to either captivate or challenge.
The ideas are superficial - mass pseudo- philosophy for teenagers, and they are brought into the story line in the most simplistic manner.
A book that aspires to bring to life protagonists of exceptional intelligence should be deeper and more convincing.
There are two characters reading in this book but unfortunately, the teenager is badly cast. (She sounded like an annoying cheerleader). The other reader is fantastic, but I still cannot recommend this book; it is filled with the author's sometimes delightful, sometimes boring philosophy and totally unbelievable characters. I thought of quitting, but skipped ahead. The story finally picked up and although still not believable, ended up a surprising delight.
FYI, my book club chose this and those who read it versus listened were even more disappointed.
I'm a designer (interiors and graphics) with an English degree. I recovered my love of reading after a disastrous bout with grad school.
I cannot remember disliking a book on so many levels! By turns a treatise on philosophies, a naturalistic portrait of the bourgeoisie, a romantic comedy, a coming-of-age narrative and (briefly, and altogether unconvincingly, a Hardy-esque gothic), "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" veers among genres, stopping only to pick up the creakiest cliches from each, before hurtling to its reader-cheating end. I love genre fiction -- the sonnet-like formalism within which infinite changes can be rung. But I ended this book feeling irritated and tampered with. (And yes, I ended that sentence with a preposition, in honor of the two protagonist's fervent worship of grammar.)