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Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee by…
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Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee (original 1992; edition 1994)

by Peter Hoeg

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,809122731 (3.76)354
Member:buchstabendompteurin
Title:Fräulein Smillas Gespür für Schnee
Authors:Peter Hoeg
Info:Erscheinungsort: GüterslohErscheinungsort: Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Verlag, 1994 (1994), Gebundene Ausgabe
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***
Tags:Roman, Thriller, Kopenhagen, Dänemark, Grönland

Work details

Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg (1992)

  1. 121
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    taz_: Charm school drop-outs Lisbeth Salander of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" and Smilla Qaaviqaaq Jaspersen of "Smilla's Sense of Snow" strike me as unconventional soul sisters of the detective mystery. Each haunted by demons of the past, fiercely independent, armored in cynicism and misanthropy, they share a certain psychic landscape and brilliant, icy resourcefulness. If you love one, I predict you'll love the other.… (more)
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» See also 354 mentions

English (107)  Dutch (4)  Danish (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
This is an interesting book. I found the first two thirds really gripping but then for me it lost its way a bit. The insight into snow and ice and the Denmark-Greenland history are what made it different for me, and that's why enjoyed it. But the plot was ultimately a bit of a disappointment; that may be partly because I found it confusing to follow, which was in part due to the Danish and Inuit names.
So I would say read it if you are inclined to and like something a bit different :) ( )
  PeterWhitfield | May 19, 2016 |
At times overloaded with tedious detail, at times luminous with images of snow and ice, and profound with statements about human beings, a real page turner for the last 200 pages, Smilla's Sense of Snow lured me all the way to Greenland, to the fateful island of Gela Alta and the mysterious rock. For the first couple 100 pages, I kept wondering why I didn't just put the book down. But I am glad I didn't. It proved its worth as a thriller, and there were some images and thoughts I actually highlighted. Worth the read. ( )
1 vote fromthecomfychair | Feb 11, 2016 |
A book that takes place in a cold country that I read in one of the hottest cities in the world (Bangkok). This book creates a mood that is mysterious and a setting where one feels almost anything could happen [on the next page]. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Interesting info about Greenland, but I hated the ending.
  morsch | Jan 22, 2016 |
The story follows Smilla Jaspersen, a 37-year-old Greenlander living in Copenhagen. Smilla is a loner by nature, but there is one person in her life she feels a connection to, her young neighbor, Isaiah. We get numerous glimpses into their close relationship through a series of flashbacks, for in the novel’s opening scene it is revealed that Isaiah has fallen off the snowy roof of their apartment building and is dead. The police view Isaiah’s death as an accident but Smilla, doesn't believe it. She notices the texture of his tread, noting specific details about the way his feet must have fled across the roof. Isaiah wasn’t playing......he was running from something. Her investigation into Isaiah’s death is met with resistance, leading her to conclude that she has stumbled on something much larger than the murder of a Greenlandic child.

I read this book a number of years ago when it first came out but I remember little about it. This time around I noticed the beautiful writing and the descriptions of the snow and ice. Smilla was unlikable in many ways, yet remained a fascinating character, especially her special relationship with snow. One of the best parts of the book was learning about the history and culture of Greenland. The author gave us a lot of detail exploring the problems of the colonization of Greenland, weaving social and historical context into his story. I started the novel knowing nothing at all about the relationship between Denmark and Greenland, so it was a fascinating introduction to an uneasy history. It's was a very enjoyable book and I'm glad I gave it a second chance.
( )
1 vote Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 107 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (26 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Høegprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berni, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cruys, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, FelicityTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hassiepen, Peter-AndreasCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haughton, RichardPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nunnally, TinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pascual, Ana SofíaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wesemann, Monikasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Краснова, ЕленаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Tr. Tiina Nunnally, US publication:

It's freezing - an extraordinary 0 Fahrenheit - and it's snowing, and in the language that is no longer mine, the snow is qanik - big, almost weightless crystals falling in clumps and covering the ground with a layer of pulverized white frost.
Tr. 'F. David' (Tiina Nunnally, plus changes by the publisher and author), UK publication:

It is freezing, an extraordinary -18°C, and it's snowing, and in the language which is no longer mine, the snow is qanik - big, almost weightless crystals falling in stacks and covering the ground with a layer of pulverized white frost.
Det fryser ekstraordinære 18 grader celcius, og det sner, og på det sprog som ikke mere er mit, er sneen qanik, store næsten vægtløse krystaller, der falder i stabler, og dækker jorden med et lag af pulveriseret, hvid frost.
Quotations
This winter I've been able to watch the ice forming
"Even if they ripped off your arms and legs, you'd find some way to kick back,"~ Verlaine to Smilla
The bad thing about death is not that it changes the future. It's that it leaves us alone with our memories.
The number system is like human life. First you have the natural numbers. The ones that are whole and positive. The numbers of the small child. But human consciousness expands. The child discovers longing. The mathematical expression for longing is the negative numbers. The formalization of the feeling that you are missing something. Human consciousness expands and grows even more, and the child discovers the in-between spaces. Between stones, between pieces of moss on the stones, between people. And between numbers. ... That leads to fractions. Whole numbers plus fractions produce the rational numbers. Human consciousness doesn't stop there. It wants to go beyond reason. It adds an operation as absurd as the extraction of roots. And produces irrational numbers. ... It's a form of madness. Because the irrational numbers are infinite. They can't be written down. They force human consciousness out beyond the limits. And by adding irrational numbers to rational numbers, you get real numbers. ... It never stops. ... We expand the real numbers with the imaginary ones, square roots of negative numbers. these are numbers that normal human consciousness cannot comprehend. And when we add the imaginary numbers to the real numbers, we have the complex number system.
The problem with being able to hate the colonization of Greenland with a pure hatred is that, no matter what you may detest about it, the colonization irrefutably improved the material needs of an existence that was one of the most difficult in the world.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Original title: Frøken Smilla’s fornemmelse for sne
US Title: Smilla's Sense of Snow
UK title: Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow
Publisher's editors
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary
Smilla's friend is dead
After falling from a roof.
She investigates.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385315147, Paperback)

In this international bestseller, Peter Høeg successfully combines the pleasures of literary fiction with those of the thriller. Smilla Jaspersen, half Danish, half Greenlander, attempts to understand the death of a small boy who falls from the roof of her apartment building. Her childhood in Greenland gives her an appreciation for the complex structures of snow, and when she notices that the boy's footprints show he ran to his death, she decides to find out who was chasing him. As she attempts to solve the mystery, she uncovers a series of conspiracies and cover-ups and quickly realizes that she can trust nobody. Her investigation takes her from the streets of Copenhagen to an icebound island off the coast of Greenland. What she finds there has implications far beyond the death of a single child. The unusual setting, gripping plot, and compelling central character add up to one of the most fascinating and literate thrillers of recent years.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:47 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen investigates the mysterious death of a six year old Inuit neighbor in Copenhagen.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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