Peter Hoeg

"Smilla's Sense of Snow"

(Reviewed by Judi Clark FEB 7, 1998)

This murder mystery/thriller takes place between Denmark and Greenland.  Six year old Isaiah leaps to his death from the roof of the apartment building in which he lives with his mother.  Smilla Jaspersen, who lives in thesame building and has come to love the little boy as her own, does not believe Isaiah would go willingly on the roof as he's very afraid of heights. Although there is only one set of footprints on the roof, she still suspects foul play as supported by her "reading" of the footprints.  Her investigations begin in Copenhagen, but eventually lead to an adventure on an ice breaking ship and then to an island in the northern part of Greenland and a very surprising, almost sci-fi ending.  The motive of her initial investigation lies in the kindred spirit she shares with Isaiah, both having been born in Greenland and then brought to Copenhagen after a parent died. But as she learns more, the more intent she is to find the real answer behind this boy's death.

I highly recommend this book, not only does it have a unique insight into the relationships of the Danes and Greenlanders, but it's a real page turner.  I've seen the movie and it is fairly true to the book - but as per usual, the movie is not as in depth nor as detailed.  Read the book first, then rent the movie for the scenery. 

  • Amazon readers rating: from 207 reviews

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"The History of Danish Dreams"

(Reviewed by Judi Clark FEB 7, 1998)

Since my husband and his family are from Denmark, as a birthday present, we had send a copy of Danish Dreams to Grethe, his mom.  She liked it, mostly because geographically it is located near where John (her husband) grew up. So when we finally got back up North, I borrowed the book. I have to admit that it is one of the handful of books that I did not finish.  The writing is good and the imagination is fantastic, but it just didn't hold my interest. After Smilla's Sense of Snow, I wanted to read more from Peter Hoeg, but I was expecting similar style and genre, which this isn't.

Note: This novel was translated by Barbara Haveland who also translated Stella Descending.

  • Amazon readers rating: from 18 reviews

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About the Author:

Peter HoegPeter Hoeg was born in 1957 in Copenhagen.  Before he devoted his time to writing he was a sailor, dancer and actor.  He now lives in a fishing town outside Copenhagen with his wife and two daughters. About Us | Subscribe | Review Team | History | ©1998-2014