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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
5,722122742 (3.76)350
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. 110
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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 350 mentions

English (108)  Dutch (4)  Danish (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (123)
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  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.
( )
  Olivermagnus | Jan 17, 2016 |
Smilla Jasperson has a Greenlander mother and a Danish father. She currently lives in Denmark but has spent a lot of time in Greenland researching the behavior of snow and ice, knowledge which is more than second nature in her. When a young Greenlander boy in her apartment dies from a fall from the roof of the building, the police write it off as an accident, but Smilla thinks he was murdered. She begins to investigate on her own and discovers that the situation is more complex than anyone could have imagined. This novel is a less extreme version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (which I liked even less than I liked this one).

I really enjoyed getting to know a different culture through the book, and the high point for me was the social commentary on Denmark's colonial relationship with Greenland. I'm now interested in doing some further research to find out how biased Smilla's political opinions on that matter are. What I didn't like about the book (and this may be partly a result of not being familiar with Danish culture) is that the plot was way too complicated. Hoeg gave us little bits and pieces here and there, but by the time he got around to connecting everything, I had forgotten a lot of the pieces. In addition, there wasn't a real resolution to the plot, which can be a very effective thing in a novel; however, since I was already struggling to figure out exactly what happened, the lack of resolution didn't help.

Overall, I'm going to chalk up my moderate dislike of this book to my bad memory and my lack of familiarity of the different cultures. I'm leaning toward the idea that the book is very well written and that it's just not my personal cup of tea. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 108 (next | show all)
Smilla Jasperson is half Danish, half Greenlander. Brought up in Greenland till her mother died, she now lives in Copenhagen and has a distant relationship with her Danish father. Isaiah, a boy she has befriended and also a fellow Greenlander, is found dead in the snow with no tracks near him, apparently having jumped off a roof. But Smilla has a feeling for snow, and she knows Isaiah had a fear of heights. The police mark his death down as a suicide despite her complaints. The novel explores her efforts to find out the truth about Isaiah’s death, a search which encompasses the Cryolite Corporation Danmark and several ill-fated expeditions to Greenland over the years since 1939.

The book is strong on the injustices suffered by the native peoples of Greenland yet acknowledges the improvements in Greenlandic existence brought about by Western influences.

Høeg presents Danish life as overly bureaucratic in comparison to the freer ways of Greenland – it seems there are forms to be filled for everything - but it certainly seems so even in relation to the UK. He has a marked tendency to introduce scenes part way through before flashing back to their entry point and also a prodigious habit of describing settings minutely. Smilla’s back story is interweaved with the scenes in such a way as to be almost integral, as if the story could not have been written in any other style and these digressions rarely, if ever, interrupt the flow. That this seemingly artless artfulness works and never becomes annoying is a tribute to Høeg’s skill as a writer.

While towards the end the book loses its focus slightly, even veering a little unconvincingly towards SF territory before drawing back, the novel is always engrossing.

Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow is not unputdownable (no book ever truly is) but it does get very close.
added by jackdeighton | editA Son Of The Rock, Jack Deighton
 

» 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.
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
Blurbers
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Smilla Jaspersen susjeda je maloga Grenlanđana koji je, po svim indicijama, nesretnim slučajem pao s krova punog snijega. Policija bi željela zaključiti slučaj, ali Smilla, inače znanstvenica koja se bavi istraživanjem prirode leda, analizirajući dječakove tragove zaključit će kako pad nije bio slučajan, i tako će početi njezina mala privatna istraga. Povezujući niz naoko nevažnih pojedinosti, Smilla će pokušati razotkriti sponu između nekad moćnog poduzeća Kriolit, odvjetničke tvrtke Hammer & Ving, profesora eskimskih jezika dr. Lichta i uvaženoga državnoga sudskog patologa Johannesa Loyena.
---------------------------------
TRANSLATION of the above:  Smilla Jaspersen's neighbor is a little Greenlander who, by all indications, accidentally fell from their snow-covered roof. Police would like to close the case, but Smilla, a scientist engaged in research on the nature of ice, analyzes the boy's tracks and concludes that the fall was not an accident. She starts her own private investigation. By linking a series of seemingly insignificant details, Smilla tries to uncover the link between the once mighty company Cryolite, the law firm of Hammer & Ving, Licht - a Professor of Eskimo language and a celebrated the state medical examiner Johannes Loyen.
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 8 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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