Saturday, February 5, 2011

Elegance of a Hedgehog

This story reminded of when I went to the play "Endgame" by Samuel Beckett where Nagg and Nell sit in a garbage can arguing and unhappy. Their unhappiness was supposed to be funny but I didn't get the humor. Same with this book.

Renee and Paloma live in a building with wealthy people. Both are brilliant and comment on what snobs everyone is around them. I think they were supposed to be funny but they came across as preachy, whiny, self-righteous characters. For instance, when Renee meets the Japanese man in the building they both flinch when a woman (who should know better being of high class) uses the word, bring, in a sentence incorrectly. Renee goes on and on about how the tenants don't use their commas properly or have split infinitives.  Later, the author softens the snobby tone regarding language and has Renee and Paloma discuss how they love language but it is too late after reading 300 pages of them putting down everyone around them. A story develops after they meet a Japanese man and there are less interior monologues. It was enough of a story to keep me turning the pages. The two characters do change at the end of the story.  

I disliked the voices of the main characters and Paloma is 12 years old but sounds too much like Renee. The beginning is about philosophy and reads like a bunch of essays not like the plot to a story.  The Japanese man is sterotypical - he's a "mysterious" Asian man.

If you like philosophy and pondering questions such as the meaning of life, beauty and Art you might love sections of this book. For me it was an endless merry-go-round where I kept wondering if the author would ever get to the point. 

:-) :-) 2 Smileys

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