Hunting and Gathering The first of her books to cross my path was Hunting and Gathering and was loaned to me by a friend who clearly knew my reading tastes well and as a result is still my friend. What I found wonderful about the communion of these four characters was that, as different as they all may seem at the outset, you eventually come to discover how similar they all are. Gradually each of them lets down the barricades with which they have fortified themselves and the four of them come to form an unexpected kind of family. By that time I had begun to brave the pages of books in French and I thought to myself, why not give it a go? Well, much the same as with Hunting and Gathering, I ended up choosing the pages of this book over my daily views of Parisian monuments for a week or two I am so spoilt, I know. The first and completely uninteresting for anyone other than myself was that I learnt a lot of useful French vocab.
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To prove this point, I read a book set in Europe. France, no less. What it did have was a plenitude of French themes. Food, especially the fine dining variety, was foremost among them. Art was another. Cultural divides of the type pitting aristocrats against republicans also featured. Romance was another theme, but not in an entirely typical way. We all know about love triangles. Well, this was more of an appreciation tetrahedron, where the sides denoting closeness among the four main characters would vary in length at any given time.
It seemed like the point of the book and the pleasure to be derived from it was in watching the tetrahedron change shape. Anyway, these four interact in the ways real people do. It takes time and intermittent acts of kindness for the bonds to form, and it proceeds in fits and starts. The author even sprinkles in a bit of philosophy, though nothing heavy. January 1, Leah This book was recommended to me by Jamie, and it was a perfect rec, thank you so much, lady.
Translated from French to English, Hunting and Gathering is a character - rather than plot - driven, slice of life portrait. As I read further, I began to realize: There it is. This book is like a Sempe drawing. This book was recommended to me by Jamie, and it was a perfect rec, thank you so much, lady.
It is graceful and gentle and detailed, despite looking right into the heart of something that would otherwise revolt or depress. Rather, Gavalda makes it seem as though the beauty in these characters is actually due TO their dejection. I appreciate this, because it really is our muli-dimensional nature that makes us human.
As a reward for her discipline, her characters really come to life, flaws and all, and allow the reader to develop a relationship with them as if they really are "friends", as the characters themselves grow to know and love one another. It is how we are in life: we understand each other as complex beings and recognize that this is what draws us together. Shared pain of past experiences, shared joy and frustration and kindnesses.
I fear that through this review, I could be making this story seem way too darling, when it is far from that sort of tone. I guess that is that je ne sais quoi ha that comes from balancing sentiment with the reality of burden, as well as the candid sharp wit of dialogue, both between characters and in their internal conversation. The perspective is balanced, and never takes you too far to one side or another without bringing you right back.
Such is life! This book is now well dog-eared with pages I want to revisit, and I never do that. I guess maybe at the bottom of it all I read this book at just the right time. I needed that.
January 1, Erin I was worried that once I finished this book I would be filled with sadness over leaving these characters. I was sad to put it down, but the overall experience was so satisfying that I would highly recommend this book to others. Hunting and Gathering made me miss having conversations with my old roommate from France.
I was surprised to see American references like Shrek and Angelina Jolie here and there, but they o I was worried that once I finished this book I would be filled with sadness over leaving these characters. I was surprised to see American references like Shrek and Angelina Jolie here and there, but they only added to the realistic experience.
The book is filled with conversations from its four characters and is about how each of them change and grow over the course of time. Hunting and Gathering is a perfect example of a character-driven novel. Nothing really monumental or dramatic happens, and instead the story is supported entirely by the four main characters. All in all, a lovely story.
January 1, Jamie This book. This book, this book, this book. I rarely underline or highlight while reading fiction, but this book gave my pen a work out. It was just lovely. The characters were complex and well developed and sweet.
They were just so sweet. Other than that? I usually see so much room for improvement, or "had this been tweaked just a bit It actually punched me in the heart a few times. Camille is wonderful. I love the way she sees the world, and the way her art is an extension of her character. Everyone else in the story paled in comparison.
I just wanted Camille. Now this is where I get obnoxious: I see that 10 Goodreads members have shelved this book as "chick lit". This might be because my own definition of "chick lit" is less forgiving than I think it is according to most of the readers of the world. This was deeper than that. There are the occasional fuzzy elements, but Camille is not a chick. Something else she and I have in common. Most characters in what I define as "chick lit" do not appreciate the beauty in an ugly knitted scarf.
Camille could. I just hate that someone might be led astray by that. And I worry that the label "chick lit" could be a real turn-off for most.
I often find that an easy way out; Gavalda, however, manages to throw in an occasional paragraph or few pages that are not as superficial as straight conversation, and for that alone I hung on. Now, really. Can Gavalda write a book just about Camille? For me? Please and thank you. And the doubt, her body always in hiding, and the taste of ether and the fear of never being good enough.
That, right there. That one is just for me. January 1, Laini Translated from the French -- I loved this novel about a group of isolated people who find in each other an odd kind of family. Highly recommended!
I just loved these poor, sad people and their wonderful specialities and their struggling to find some normal type of existence. The way Gavalda brings them together is very clever, and the way she takes the flaws in their characters and weaves in a realisation about friendship and belonging, is delightful. And the transformation of the angry young Franck into an inspired chef each time he cooks or thinks of cooking is fabulous.
Oh yes - a friend read the book and then saw the movie. She found the movie disappointing - "sweet," she said, "but In the book there is no mistaking them. Neither of these two highly necessary parts of the book development came out in the film.
January 1, Negin It was an okay read and more like a beach read: sweet, fun, and romantic. Towards the end, it simply moved far too slowly for me. I keep hearing how the movie is far better. One day you feel like dying and the next you realize all you had to do was go down a few stairs to fi It was an okay read and more like a beach read: sweet, fun, and romantic.
One day you feel like dying and the next you realize all you had to do was go down a few stairs to find the light switch so you could see things a bit more clearly. This is the tale of four downtrodden individuals who are thrown together by fate or random chance, whatever you want to call it, and the unlikely friendships that develop keeping the rags with the napkins, one might say.
This book makes me want to move to Paris and find three quirky roommates of my own. There are many contenders, but my favorite quote from This book will break your heart and then mend it and repeat the cycle.
Really easy. All you have to do is rip the book from their hands, or the guitar, or the pencil, or the camera, and instantly they turn into useless, hopeless oafs. Really proud, even. January 1, JoAnne I loved this book. It was translated from French, but was so beautifully written the translation was transparent to me. The characters were a motley assortment of wounded souls brought together to heal one another. A real gem.
She was able to make each character whole. You could picture the way they appeared to the world, but also the inner beauty and I loved this book. You could picture the way they appeared to the world, but also the inner beauty and talent and character that each had. I got so caught up in this book that I felt a huge let down when it was over. The weaving of the characters lives together speaks to some of the universal struggles of human existence, family, history, loneliness, connection, love in a very real and effortless way.
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Jul 14, Leah rated it it was amazing Recommended to Leah by: Jamie Shelves: general-fiction , heartbreaking This book was recommended to me by Jamie, and it was a perfect rec, thank you so much, lady. Translated from French to English, Hunting and Gathering is a character - rather than plot - driven, slice of life portrait. As I read further, I began to realize: There it is. This book is like a Sempe drawing. This book was recommended to me by Jamie, and it was a perfect rec, thank you so much, lady.
Hunting and Gathering
Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda (Book Analysis)