The Elegance of the Hedgehog

The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery A 5-star rating cannot begin to herald the exquisiteness of this book. The two central protagonists are clearly introverted, and the book is written from their 1st person point-of-views. The introspective forays are delicious and delightful, erudite, grandiose, and even, pompous and ostentatious. The writing style is truly to be savored -- I alternated between straining at the bit to read on, but having to rein myself in and reread certain passages because they were so beautifully elucidated.

There is a yin-and-yang undercurrent throughout -- aesthetic, yet functional. It's like looking at Bernini's sculptures, for instance -- on the one hand, you realize the chuck of rough-hewn stone from which it was born, and at the same time seeing the fluid lines which make up its form. Or from the book, "... the most noble concepts often emerge from the most course and commonplace things."