I really don't have anything to complain about.
Anyways, Hedgehogs. Elegant ones.
This book had been on my "to-read" list for a while. I don't know why exactly. I think it was because it was one of those books that popped up everywhere, without any real reviews I could see. It had a nice cover. And it mentioned hedgehogs. I have read books for more ridiculous reasons.
This book sort of screamed self-indulgence for the first third of the book. The two main characters were incredibly intelligent. Like brain bleedingly so. But then they just tried as hard as they could to conceal it. I personally cannot fathom that. I feel that I am surrounded by stupidity so often, that intelligence should be embraced, encouraged and waved in everyone's faces.
What I ended up feeling like with this book was that the author made the characters that way to show off how clever *she* was. So maybe the waving it in everyone's face is a little obnoxious. All I wanted to do was shake her and yell "Yes! We all get how clever you are. Get on with the damn story!!"
Thank god someone listened and in comes Mr Kakuro Ozu who finally makes the book interesting, makes the book likable and somehow wiggles a plot out of the rest of the book. Everyone at 7 Rue de Grenelle is fascinated and in awe of him, and you as a reader are too. 1. Because he is infinitely likeable and a great human being, and 2. because he's made the 100 or so pages you have just struggled through worthwhile.
We had a ... lively discussion... over the book title in Sydney Airport. I said it was because hedgehogs are elegant in their own little way. My partner thought that this was ridiculous, and that it must be some metaphor on how something really wasn't elegant at all. It resulted in a "HAH!" moment when I came across:
“Madame Michel has the elegance of the hedgehog: on the outside she is covered in quills, a real fortress, but my gut feeling is that on the inside, she has the same simple refinement as the hedgehog: a deceptively indolent little creature, fiercely solitary--and terrible elegant.”
Take that Mr Hedgehogs-aren't-elegant. 3.5 stars from me.
Next: Japan with Norwegian Wood