Monday, February 25, 2013

Teaser Tuesday 164: The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!


I have just started The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery for a GoodReads group read. I have seen this one mentioned a few times on Teaser Tuesday, and have wanted to read it for a while now. It seems almost as though I was fated to read this, as it was not only nominated but chosen as a group read (not by me!) soon after I found it at the library's monthly used book sale. I think this one is going to take me at least a week to read, though.


Apparently, now and again adults take the time to sit down and contemplate what a disaster their life is. They complain without understanding and, like flies constantly banging against the same old windowpane, they buzz around, suffer, waste away, get depressed then wonder how they got caught up in this spiral that is taking them where they don’t want to go. The most intelligent among them turn their malaise into a religion: oh, the despicable vacuousness of bourgeois existence!

(Chapter two)




ABOUT THE BOOK:

We are in the center of Paris, in an elegant apartment building inhabited by bourgeois families. Renée, the concierge, is witness to the lavish but vacuous lives of her numerous employers. Outwardly she conforms to every stereotype of the concierge: fat, cantankerous, addicted to television. Yet, unbeknownst to her employers, Renée is a cultured autodidact who adores art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With humor and intelligence she scrutinizes the lives of the building's tenants, who for their part are barely aware of her existence.

Then there's Paloma, a twelve-year-old genius. She is the daughter of a tedious parliamentarian, a talented and startlingly lucid child who has decided to end her life on the sixteenth of June, her thirteenth birthday. Until then she will continue behaving as everyone expects her to behave: a mediocre pre-teen high on adolescent subculture, a good but not an outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.

Paloma and Renée hide both their true talents and their finest qualities from a world they suspect cannot or will not appreciate them. They discover their kindred souls when a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building. Only he is able to gain Paloma's trust and to see through Renée's timeworn disguise to the secret that haunts her. This is a moving, funny, triumphant novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us.




26 comments:

Alice Audrey said...

There was a time when "oh, the despicable vacuousness of bourgeois existence!" could have become my mantra.

Melissa Owens said...

Great teaser -- definitely some truth to it!

Here's my teaser! :-)

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Love that teaser...I've been wanting to read this one.

Here's MY TUESDAY MEMES POST

Maria said...

Great teaser! Never heard of this book before but I'm adding it to my list!

Here's my TT

Tribute Books Mama said...

Nice teaser!

http://tributebooksmama.blogspot.com/2013/02/teaser-tuesday_26.html

Heather said...

Alice: I can easily believe that. *g*

Heather said...

Thanks, Melissa. I thought there was some truth there, too.

Heather said...

Maria: I've seen this one mentioned around the blogosphere and GoodReads for a couple of years, so it was a happy accident to find it at the used book sale for only $2. Now to carve out some time to read it!

Heather said...

Laurel-Rain: This definitely seems like the sort of book you would like. I hope you add it to your reading list!

Heather said...

Tribute Books Mama: Thank you!

Cyn said...

Very interesting and insightful teaser. I love the title of the book! haha

Here's my teaser at Bookmunchies & feel free to check out our Giveaway.

Kelley @ Another Novel Read said...

VERY intriguing teaser! I think I need to add this book to my TBR list.

Heather said...

Cyn: Thank you. I admit, the title was one of the things that first caught my attention, too.

Heather said...

Thanks, Kelley (ANR). I do hope you'll check it out!

CountryDew said...

I *loved* this book when my book club read it. But it is not something one reads quickly. Enjoy it ... no, savour it!

Catherine Healey said...

I just loved this book--my book club read it a while ago. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

I haven't posted a Tuesday Teaser yet, but plan to do so sometime soon. In the meantime, please visit my blog's Tuesday Chapter/First Paragraph Tuesday Intro: http://www.bookclublibrarian.com/2013/02/first-chapter-first-paragraph-tuesday_26.html

kelley jensen said...

sounds interesting, I've seen this book reviewed on a number of blogs. thanks for stopping by.

Christine Gail said...

A wonderful teaser. Makes me want to read more.

Yvonne said...

I haven't read this one, but it's a great teaser.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Loved the intro ~ loved the book; enjoy . Thanks so much for joining in.

Heather said...

Anita: No, certainly not a "fast" read. I am trying to savour, but at the same time I just want to be done, lol.

Heather said...

Thanks, Catherine! I've seen a few people combine First Paragraph with the Teaser Tuesday meme.

Heather said...

Kelley J: Yes, it's been reviewed and teased on a lot of blogs, and has also been chosen as a monthly read for many different groups, both online and off.

Heather said...

Christine: Thanks, I'm glad it piqued your curiosity!

Heather said...

Thanks, Yvonne -- I hope you'll give it a try!

Heather said...

Diane: Thanks, so far it had my attention and is drawing me in. Am interested in seeing where it goes...