This story grew on me the more I listened. You have to some patience, however, since most for most of the story you are listening to the two main characters talking to themselves - thinking out loud. Both characters are amazingly smart and insightful - the young girl preternatually so. A touching but improbable ending is a bit of a disappointment. Fun if you enjoy learning more about class struggles in France.
This book was chosen as our November read in my book club. After 3 tries, I gave up reading it, just could not get into it. After some grief by the other members, I decided to just purchase it and try with the audio version. Very happy I did. From the first minute of listening to Barbara Rosenblat I was hooked. When it switch over to Casandra Morris, the book really came to life. I think the book lost a little of its interpretation in the translation from French to English, and then again to the audio, but was still a very good read. I try not to analize books to death and just appreciate the story for what it is. I found it very sweet and touching, the 3 main characters very endearing and left me with a hope that they would continue their friendship. Well worth it, enjoyed it very much.
Listen to about four audio books a months. Never without one.
The summary of this book had potential. The audible reviews I read were good but boy was I mislead. I didn't like this book. I'm just not intellectual enough. I don't like philosophy and 45% of this book is philosophy. 15" rambling on the meaning of a kitchen table. Pretentious people. Trick ending. Good narration but would have been better if they had French accents as it takes place in Paris. Not for my average mind.
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 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.
I had to keep rewinding this one because it would spark so many tangential trains of thought. Now, I almost sat the book down for that reason because initially I thought I was bored with it. Lofty language and haughty description almost turned me completely off, and then... when I decided not to give up; to stop fighting the urge to drift, I realized I wasn't rewinding because I'd turned out, but so I didn't miss anything. And that is the power of extraordinary literature. I will definitely listen again. It's not an "easy read", but it will elevate your thinking and evolve with you (I'm sure I'll gleam something more or different next time) if you let it. Love this book!
I would not even try to compare this book with another. It stands alone as a most delightful escape. The use of language, the story, the laughter and the tears. Amazing, wonderful. Thank you for this book!
The use of the comma. Incredible.
I was at 5-stars all around for this book right up until the last 20 minutes, during which the author and I had a significant difference of opinions about what should happen next!
The book is very charming, with great humor, characters, and narration. There are moments of Barbara Rosenblat's delivery that are both hilarious and timeless.
Alas, the ending doesn't work for me, but the rest of the book was lovely.