Two tormented geniuses, both struggling to find joy and fulfillment in this world, have just begun to reveal the many intricacies of beauty and intellectualism found in their daily lives, leading to discovery after discovery that is impossible to turn away from. In this first section of The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, these two intellectuals living in the same French Hotel have already pointed out many hypocrisies and simple facts of life that, hitherto, I had no inkling existed. This is not to say that I agree with all of the philosophical thoughts presented so far, but I am fascinated by them and can’t wait to keep reading. Despite this praise, there is one aspect of the book that bothers me. Though there are two of these radical geniuses residing in the same building, neither knows of the genius of the other. It is intriguing as well as disappointing that these two, who claim to be so far beyond the average intelligence, are unaware of this fact before them. Surely they cannot be as smart as they claim if they are so oblivious that they are unable to spot the presence of another like themselves, even if that other is attempting to mask their intelligence. It is also a subject of concern to me that the younger of the two geniuses is contemplating suicide because she feels that life has no meaning. It is odd for a child to be so cold and calculating, and perhaps that is a way that Barbary wishes to depict her unique intelligence. However, if she were to become acquainted with this other woman who shares her passion and proficiency intellectually, I feel that she may find something worth living for after all.