book review – the elegance of the hedgehog

a couple of weeks ago i won this book over here at this amazing blog, the book club blog.

a free book – how cool is that?

anyway so here are my thoughts on the book.

let me know if you’ve read it what you thought, kay. i might be completely wrong about it.

BOOK REVIEW – ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG – By MURIEL BARBERY.

I don’t know.
I really don’t.

I was looking forward to reading this book for a couple of reasons.

1. I won it
2. It’s had lots of critical acclaim and loads of people have been talking about it
3. I like the title
4. I like the cover
5. It’s a New York Times Bestseller.

So I started out with high hopes.

At first I really didn’t like it at all. And then I liked bits of it and not other bits. And then by page 200 I was hooked and I raced on down to the last page, thoroughly enjoying the ride.

I was completely charmed by the story of the French concierge and the other characters living at number 7, rue de Grenelle, but the problem was that as soon as I got stuck into their lives I was pulled rudely away from them to go into pages and pages of philosophy, that if I’m honest, went right over my head.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but I feel like perhaps I’m just not smart enough for this book. I’ve never read any Tolstoy, Marx or Freud, so a lot of that stuff about ‘the meaning of life, etc.’ just came across as a little pretentious and boring to me.

I suppose a philosopher would say they liked the philosophical ideas in the book, but that the author kept interrupting it with all those pesky characters.

I often felt like the author only created these characters because she needed a framework within which to spout her philosophical ideas and show how smart she is.

Overall though I ended up really thoroughly enjoying it. (I know, sorry, it’s a bit of a schizophrenic review) and I’m so glad I read it. Curious to hear how others have felt about it.
I will now continue to ‘pass on the love’ by handing it over to A Million Miles from Normal reader, Chryssa, who won it by default, by being the only person who showed any interest in getting it after me. Maybe she’ll write us a review too, and we can compare them.

Thanks so much book club blog. I’m so glad I got to read it.



3 responses to “book review – the elegance of the hedgehog”

  1. pie says:

    i really really wanted it too, but my comment would not load, chryssa….maybe i can read it after you??

    pie

  2. Marc says:

    I’m not good at books which don’t grab me from the start. I have a poor attention span and if the book makes me feel dof I move on…

    Doesn’t look like my cup of tea!

  3. Paige says:

    yeah marc, i know what you mean. i’m normally like that too. but for some reason i kept going at this one.

    – either it held me, or i had such high hopes i couldn’t give up on it. not entirely sure which.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *