16 member(s) found this review helpful.
What a stunning, gorgeously-written book! I've placed it on my All-Time Top 5 List without hesitation. The narrative perspective switches back and forth between a cranky, secretly-erudite Concierge at a high-end French luxury building and the genius-but-equally-cranky 12-year-old daughter of one of the residents, a Socialist member of the French government. With equal parts Ignatius J. Reilly'esque laugh-out-loud outrage at the world & people's stupidity mixed with a survey of modern literature and key philosophical ideas, this elegant book covers everything from profound ideas to the profound ways that people hide - from each other and themselves. The sudden ending actually made me cry, which was when I realized how invested I had become in the characters.
11 member(s) found this review helpful.
I chose this book as our book club read last month. The reviews were spectacular but I found this book difficult to read at best. Unlike other reviewers, I didn't find the characters engaging in the least as well as snobby, whiny and pretentious. I usually devour this type of book but this is one of the very few I couldn't even finish reading it. Of our eight book club members, nobody enjoyed the read and few wanted to finish it. Perhaps we're simply not refined or educated enough, but half a star is already too generous in my opinion.
7 member(s) found this review helpful.
I really liked this one, although I did skip over a few of the more "abstract" of the tiny chapters. Paloma, the younger co-protagonist did come off as a tad too precocious at times, so I could understand folks disliking her for that reason; Renee, the other main character, wasn't nearly as over-the-top. Moreover, the supporting characters carry their own weight, not just two-dimensional props.
The book has been described as a "fable", but I'd say it's as much a parody, though there's a moral to the story.