The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should... show more
Renee is the concierge of a grand Parisian apartment building, home to members of the great and the good. Over the years she has maintained her carefully constructed persona as someone reliable but totally uncultivated, in keeping, she feels, with society's expectations of what a concierge should be. But beneath this facade lies the real Renee: passionate about culture and the arts, and more knowledgeable in many ways than her employers with their outwardly successful but emotionally void lives. Down in her lodge, apart from weekly visits by her one friend Manuela, Renee lives resigned to her lonely lot with only her cat for company. Meanwhile, several floors up, twelve-year-old Paloma Josse is determined to avoid the pampered and vacuous future laid out for her, and decides to end her life on her thirteenth birthday. But unknown to them both, the sudden death of one of their privileged neighbours will dramatically alter their lives forever. By turn moving and hilarious, this unusual novel became the top-selling book in France in 2007 with sales of over 900,000 copies to-date.
Publish date: 2008-09-02
Publisher: Europa Editions
Pages no: 336
Edition language: English
This charming French novel first published in 2006 happens to be one of my favourites of all time. It's imbued with philosophy from beginning to end and everything revolves around the meaning of life from the point of view of a well-read French concierge who hides behind the façade of a typical spec...
Renee Marchel is a 54 year old woman who is the concierge of an upper-crust apartment building in France. We are introduced to Renee in all her self-described frumpiness as she tells us: “I am a widow, I am short, ugly, and plump, I have bunions on my feet and, if I am to credit certain early mo...
Upon finishing, there was only one word that stuck in my mind to describe this book: sophisticated. "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" is a perfect fit as a title for the truly magnificent piece of literature that lay within. What's more, I couldn't believe my luck when I came across it at a used bookst...
This was a very unsettling reading experience. The story deals with two female protagonists, one the 54-year-old concierge of a Paris apartment house, the other a 12-year-old school girl who lives in one of these apartments with her family. Both women are granted enormous intelligence beyond their s...
So everyone that came to this party before me is right. This is a rather get you hooked, stomp on your heart and give you back life type of a book. Though the secret wasn’t that secret, and it could have focused on race and class a bit more.