Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery

I didn't love this book, but didn't hate it either.  I find the strong emotions expressed by reviewers on both sides kind of puzzling.  A couple of the philosophical musings of Mme. Michel and Paloma were interesting, if not particularly profound.  Unlike Sophie's World, The Elegance of the Hedgehog didn't compel me to further reading.  I read it as it was suggested as the first reading of a new book group, but I'm not sure what there is to discuss.  Phenomenology?  I think not.  The two things that irked me increasingly were the way the perceptions of 54-year-old Mme. Michel mirrored those of 12-year-old Paloma, and the precise match of M. Ozu's and Mme. Michel's tastes in literature, art, music and film.  When both saw the sushi bar in terms of the film Black Rain, my eyes rolled. The story is slight, but, who knows, perhaps it makes a perfect film.  Just looked online; there's a discussion guide for book groups!

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