Thursday, November 26, 2009

Cannonball Read - Book 81

Book 81 was The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. I think this was the first translation I've read this year - originally published in French, TEotH is the tale of Renee, an apartment concierge (sort of like a building super, only less maintenance-y) who acts the part of slightly stupid matron while secretly appreciates the finest of fine things, particularly philosophy, Dutch painting and Japanese film; and Paloma, a precocious 12-year-old in Renee's building who has determined that life is not worth living and plans to kill herself on her 13th birthday unless she can find something beautiful in this world, be it movement or art. When Mr. Ozu, a Japanese aesthete, moves into their building, both Renee and Paloma have new worlds opened to them, and while the ending isn't exactly what a reader hopes for, both women realize the joy in their lives.

So, it was good, but I struggled. In fact, I'm pretty sure I outright skipped a couple pages. I'm sure the sections on philosophy furthered the plot, but I'll be damned if they didn't lose me from time to time. I'm no dummy, but even three pages of theory can remove me from the story.

Please, send me something fluffy that I can read in one sitting! Don't forget, at least two hundred pages...

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - B

1 comment:

Erin said...

Does it have to be all actual prose? If you want something that's so fluffy I'm not sure it counts but was highly enjoyable and rings in at 256 pages, I'd recommend Freakin' Fabulous by the one and only Clinton Kelly.