Retired Political Science professor from a community college. Especially like Legal Thrillers.
There are some friends that could benefit greatly from this book, but most would not have the patience to uncover the beauty within.
Likely, depends upon my mood.
The final scene.
No, it would be too much to tackle in one setting.
I agree with other reviewers who said that it was very difficult to get through the first half of the book, however the patient lister is rewarded for the effort. Throughout the book there are many nuggets of insight into philosophical understanding. The author is able to write with literary eloquence.
I could not listen to the entire audio. There was too much philosophical musing. Even the excellent narrators could not keep my interest.
I bought this book after reading the reviews touting it as touching and funny. There were some truly touching and really funny moments and I enjoyed those very much. The problem was, I needed a degree in French and philosophy to understand the rest of the book. More intellectual babbling than I would have ever imagined I would tolerate. But I did tolerate it because despite all the blah-blah, I came to care for the characters.
I finished the book but it left me wishing I had never picked it up, because it made me very sad.
Rosenblat's narration was absolutely fabulous, and the only reason I will remember this book fondly.
I bought this book because it showed up on Daily Deal. I have looked at its description many times in the past, but it didn't give me a clue as to what it is really about. One of the best books I have read in last 10 yes. Philosophy has never been presented in a more palative form!
I didn't like any of the characters in this book. The concepts of the novel were presented as lofty intellectualism, when in reality they were little more than subjects addressed in my introductory philosophy classes at university.
What is this genre? Drab? This is not the usual kind of book that I read. It was a book club requirement. and I would not gravitate to something like this in the future unless compelled by some outside force.
Acceptable, non-invasive, unremarkable.
Anything with the self appointed autodidact apartment manager. OR the self important over valued teenager.
Avid listener. Favorites are stories without war/ gratuitous violence. Nevil Shute: my favorite author: one of his books every other choice.
No- because it did not move me, and was not memorable. The setting was interesting, being Paris, but the setting was not a big enough part of the book: no descriptions. The ending was a bummer.
The language. It was a beautiful story to listen to. It's actually fairly astonishing, for a translation to have been so deftly handled!
I thought Barbara had the absolute best range, ready to carry her character through the terrific transition. She was wonderful. Cassandra Morris drove spikes through my ears.
I really didn't like it - I was frustrated and annoyed - for the first third of the book. I detested all the characters. I was so put off by their judgment and disdain for everyone around them. I really had to battle through that, and was pleased to eventually see the story develop so that I could understand that.
I never did really like the 13-year-old angst or buy into it, but the rest of the story was terrific.
While the narrators were very good, the story wasn't something I could finish. It just didn't work for me despite really wanting to like it. I abandoned this one.
Readers were fine. Story, plot, and character development were sorely lacking.
The entire first book. Nothing consequential happened until the last couple chapters.
Lacking protagonists and scenarios which incited change in main characters. No significant change in setting. Plot was drawn out for no apparent reason.
This is the kind of styles I like: good pace, cerebral, well-documented, meaty, mind-bending.
An interesting experiment, this a blend of many flavors:
- part social commentary, the way of life and futility of the French bourgeoisie,
- part coming-of-age, the life of young but spunky Paloma.
- part philosophy, the inner thoughts of the intellectually muscular Renee
- part romance, the nascent love story between a concierge and a handsome older gentleman.
I so much this had worked. The main characters have flesh, the environment of the concierge in a high-standing building has potential and the writing is lively. Yet, in the end, the blend is not successful mainly because these four main topics do not blend in any meaningful way. I'll give here a few illustrative examples.
1. Renee's romance is entirely taken from the booklet of pink literature: the poor misunderstood maiden, the rich handsome man, the artificial crisis, etc. (and of course, on top of this, the ingenuity toward these affairs that only a pink novel could come up with).
2. The thoughts about culture or philosophy often stated by Renee and sometimes by Paloma have absolutely no connection to the rest of narrative, and they mostly appear as completely random thoughts that could have just been placed in any order, or even outside of the book.
3. Whether coming-of-age or social commentary, the intrigue is completely static. The entire character set do not change, at all. They remain true at the end to what they were at the beginning.
Finally, to complete this disappointment, it becomes quickly apparent that there are only two characters that exist in the novel, the rest being mere reflections. Now, that would be fine until, after very little time reading, one realizes that Paloma and Renee are just the same character. It just does not ring true.. So much potential for a great book wasted by poor writing!