Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Review: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What an odd book. This is not something I would normally read, and yet I'm not sorry I did. The ending left me with a bittersweet feeling, like I'd been dropped off the edge without warning, and yet I felt it was telegraphed quite well from the beginning.

This is no light, fluffy read, and perhaps I've been reading too many of those. Very little happens in this book, and yet, so much is said. Friendships are formed. People learn to look beneath the surface. Many observations are made about Truth and Beauty and Class and Intelligence and Art and cats. I found myself wanting a physical copy of the book so I could flip through for my favorite passages whenever I wanted.

And yet, I can't see myself reading it again. The characters were exhausting. I can't imagine seeing the world the way they do without needing to lie down every hour. Everything has a universal meaning that ties in to Art and Philosophy in a way that made a pretty whistling noise as it sailed over my head.

It was enjoyable to read. It was also draining to read. It was not what I expected to read.

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