Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg

Smilla's Sense of Snow (original 1992; edition 1995)

by Peter Hoeg, Tiina Nunnally (Translator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,563113775 (3.77)321
Title:Smilla's Sense of Snow
Authors:Peter Hoeg
Other authors:Tiina Nunnally (Translator)
Info:Delta (1995), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:20th century, crime, crime fiction, danish literature. greenland, inuit, mystery, thriller

Work details

Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Høeg (1992)

  1. 100
    The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (taz_)
    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)
  2. 30
    In the Woods by Tana French (nysmith)
  3. 20
    Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indriðason (terran)
    terran: Winter atmosphere, immigrant alienation, slow-moving plot
  4. 11
    Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller (charl08)
    charl08: Thoughtful crime in Scandinavia
  5. 00
    Operation Eismeer by Patrick Osborn (viktoriaofbavaria)
  6. 00
    Kolymsky Heights by Lionel Davidson (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: More intrigue at sub-zero temperatures
  7. 11
    The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney (shelfoflisa)
    shelfoflisa: A mystery to be solved by a character on the edge of society, in an evocative setting.
  8. 01
    Slaap! by Annelies Verbeke (_eskarina)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 321 mentions

English (99)  Dutch (4)  Danish (3)  Italian (2)  Norwegian (1)  French (1)  Portuguese (1)  German (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (114)
Showing 1-5 of 99 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this book, but felt it got a little slow in the middle at times.

The first 200 pages had me gripped - the descriptions of Denmark, of Greenland, of the winter landscapes, were a vivid and tense scene in which to set the story, and I enjoyed being transported into lands I know little of, told from the perspective of the protagonist who has lived in both. The complexities of Smilla's relationships with the mechanic and her father were intriguing, and up to that point it was a definite page turner, both in terms of plot and depth of characterisation.

Somewhere around the middle of the book it lost pace, however. The period on the boat went on for at least 75 pages too long, and I found myself caring little for what happened to the protagonist, or for finding out what had really happened to the boy, which was the whole point of the book. Smilla became less believable - originally characterised as a fairly ordinary lady who wanted to see justice done, she began to enter the realms of being some kind of fantasy wonder woman.

In all, it became disappointingly far fetched and Hollywood-esque - perhaps the author had his eye on the movie that was to come all along. ( )
1 vote AlisonY | Jan 18, 2015 |
ICE ICE baby. Oh, these cold weather authors -- so alienated and contained. This is a fine mystery and very atmospheric. Have something warm to drink nearby because you will need the comfort -- but you might need to tear yourself away to microwave it when you realize that you are shivering and have let your drink go cold.
  Kelley.Logan | Jan 16, 2015 |
Smilla is part Eskimo but lives in Copenhagen and keeps to herself. When her six year old neighbor is killed, she refuses to believe that it was an accident and ventures off to investigate. ( )
  creighley | Oct 31, 2014 |
This book is a literary thriller, but eventually more of a thriller than a literary novel, which is a shame, because the underlying theme is quite interesting: the tension between a Greenlandic life of hunting and civilised Denmark. Main character and narrator is Smilla, a thirty-something woman living in Copenhagen, who grew up hunting with her Inuit mother. I had to warm up to her voice, both cheeky and bitter, but once I did, I really wanted her to stay alive and to succeed in solving the mystery, which is about the boy next door who has dropped dead from the roof. She finds out about some mysterious and suspicious expeditions to Greenland.

Although the language is sometimes quite technical, the plot got me hooked. I was satisfied on a non-thriller-level by Smilla's musings about snow and ice (she's a scientific expert) and the nomadic life – although these were secondary to the plot. The story starts in Copenhagen, moves on to a shady coaster ship, heading for Greenland, and ends on a small island covered in ice. The ending, presented as spectacular and full of suspense, disappointed me, and made me wish once more for the literary aspects (theme, character building) to have been more developed. ( )
  pingdjip | Sep 22, 2014 |
I finally got around to reading a book that predated the recent Scandinavian crime fiction boom. A Greenlandic woman (child of a stormy relationship between an Inuit hunter and a Danish medical entrepreneur) lives a depressing life in a depressing council flat in Copenhagen, called out of her cultural and spiritual impasse by the death of a Greenlandic boy who the police say fell to his death from a roof while playing. Smilla reads something else in the child's footprints left in the snow. This takes her on a quest to find out what's really going on, leading into a mix of conspiracy thriller, medical thriller, and philosophical rumination. I enjoyed Smilla's prickly intelligence and the contrast of cultures; didn't much enjoy the way things got stranger and more grandiose as we ventured into the icy world where the perspective of the Other gets entangled with 20th century meaning-through-conspiracy-thinking. I wanted a more grounded Inuit take on that sense of snow. In many ways, it's brilliant, though.
  bfister | Sep 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 99 (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 (27 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Peter Høegprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berni, BrunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cruys, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
David, FelicityTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haughton, RichardPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nunnally, TinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pascual, Ana SofíaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Краснова, ЕленаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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.
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
Publisher series
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.
Haiku summary
Smilla's friend is dead
After falling from a roof.
She investigates.

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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:12 -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

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
349 avail.
37 wanted
4 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.77)
0.5 3
1 21
1.5 9
2 86
2.5 35
3 311
3.5 135
4 606
4.5 83
5 288

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 95,093,199 books! | Top bar: Always visible