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9781933372600

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Barbery, Muriel Author

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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.

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About the Author:

MURIEL BARBERY is a French novelist and professor of philosophy. Her second novel L'Élégance du hérisson (translated into English as The Elegance of the Hedgehog) topped the French best-seller lists for 30 consecutive weeks and is an international bestseller.

CASSANDRA MORRIS has done voiceover work for Disney, appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, and can be seen in the future film Double Parked.

Multiple Audie® Award winner Barbara Rosenblat has been named a "Voice of the Twentieth Century" by AudioFile magazine. The New York Times writes,"Watch Ms. Rosenblat work...and you get the sense that even an Oscar winner might not be able to pull this off." She created the role of "Mrs. Medlock" in the Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical The Secret Garden.

From AudioFile:

Barbara Rosenblat is the perfect choice to portray this novel's principal character, Renee, the concierge of a Paris apartment building who looks down her nose at the elites she must kowtow to while surreptitiously studying art, philosophy, and music. Avoiding any tone of pretentiousness, Rosenblat breathes a sense of vulnerability and empathy into this character, which comes through vividly with her impeccable timing. Paloma is a 12-year-old living on the fifth floor who is also appalled by what she sees around her and decides to kill herself on her thirteenth birthday. Cassandra Morris so deftly captures this character that you never for a moment doubt that she really is 12. Further, her light touch keeps Paloma's world-weariness from becoming maudlin. D.G. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine

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Book Description Europa Editions, 2008. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: The formula that made more than half a million readers in France fall in love with this book has, among other ingredients: intelligent humor, fine sentiments, an excellent literary and philosophical backdrop, good taste, sophistication and substance. La Repubblica Enthusiastically recommended for anyone who loves books that grow quietly and then blossom suddenly. Marie Claire (France) An exquisite book in the form of a philosophical fable that has enchanted hundreds of thousands of readers. Elle (Italy) Nobody ever imagined that this tender, funny book with a philosophical vein would have enjoyed such incredible success. For some, it is part Sophies World by Jostein Gaarder, part Monsieur Malaussene by Daniel Pennac. While for others it resembles a written version of the film Amelie. Either way, readers are responding in vast numbers. Le Monde. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_1933372605

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