The Elegance of the Hedgehog

Muriel Barbery

Luckily I had some warning from Helena that the ending of this novel might be disappointing, so I wasn’t too annoyed when I felt letdown by it as well. The Elegance is definitely still worth a read, at least if the idea of two closet intellectuals unknowingly living in the same fancy Paris apartment building trading off solitary philosophies about life, class, and Japanese culture sounds at all appealing. The parallels between the two narratives are sometimes a little too clean, but it was hard not to be charmed.

I still wish the story were a bit longer, especially considering the bittersweet ending. There are a few revelations that you barely have time to savor before the lights go out, so to speak.