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Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow [Paperback]

Peter Hoeg , Felicity David
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
Price: £6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

4 April 1996 Harvill Panther

One snowy day in Copenhagen, six-year-old Isaiah falls to his death from a city rooftop.The police pronounce it an accident. But Isaiah's neighbour, Smilla, an expert in the ways of snow and ice, suspects murder. She embarks on a dangerous quest to find the truth, following a path of clues as clear to her as footsteps in the snow.

21 years after its first UK publication, Vintage are reissuing this classic Scandinavian crime novel for a whole new audience.

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Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow + The Quiet Girl + Smilla's Sense Of Snow - Julia Ormond [DVD]
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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill; New Ed edition (4 April 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1860461670
  • ISBN-13: 978-1860461675
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,469 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A subtle novel, yet direct, clever, wistful, unforgettable - Ruth Rendell, Daily Telegraph"

"Unusual and enveloping. Extraordinarily evocative, atmospheric and poetic - Sunday Times"

"On one level, both a whodunnit and a thriller - ingeniously plotted. Extremely hard to put down. Peter Høeg's novel is already making for classic status - Independent"

"Read Høeg's delicious, icy-cool, Scandinavian detective story while sunbathing on a Caribbean beach. We guarantee it will make you shiver." (Independent on Sunday, Greatest Holiday Reads Ever)

"An Arctic tale worthy of Conrad - New Statesman"

Book Description

A beautifully packaged reissue of this classic Scandinavian crime novel, to celebrate 21 years since its first UK publication

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
The original, witty, intelligent, unconventional character of Smilla Jasperson is well drawn and quite unlike any other character I have ever met in life or fiction... and yet, given her background, she just could be real.
Apart from the wonderful Smilla, I was fascinated with the descriptions of Greenland, the people who survive in its hostile climate and its relationship with (a largely unsympathetic) Denmark.
There is also a very exciting and intricate plot which keeps you guessing until the end. Clues are introduced to the reader all the way through and because of this, it is not a book to pick up and put down over a long period of time. In fact I wish I could have had the time to read it in just one or two sessions. I also wish I had made notes on the various characters as they were introduced because you tend to forget where they came in: Partly due to the complex nature of the plot-weaving and partly the unfamiliar Scandinavian names.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A really great read! 21 Jan 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I loved this book for many reasons. The reluctant heroine Miss Smilla is sometimes charming and funny, sometimes touchingly honest, always very human and easy to identify with. The narration is precise and atmospheric, and the mixture of Greenland culture and Danish society is fascinating. The world through the eyes of the sometimes over-dramatic Smilla is a dark and hostile place, full of threats and tentative bonds with people which break too easily. Her relationship with the little boy is descibed with great tenderness and honesty, whic perfectly validates her heartbreak when he dies and her extreme actions following his death. Also, the sweet love story between Smilla and the mechanic adds softness and warmth in the middle of all the hostile chill.

My reservations relate to the plot mostly - It starts out very simply, the boy falls to his death from a roof, and when the police decide it is an accidental death, Smilla disagrees and decides to dig further. From then on the plot grows into a bit of a beast, all conspiracy theories and mad scientists. I feel like the book lost some of its beauty along with it's simplicity. Also, the 'baddies' aren't very strong characters, so in the middle of all the action I found it quite hard to tell them apart.

But mainly it is a very very good book, I was totally absorbed and would recommend it to everyone.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A shiver of pleasure 3 April 2005
Peter Høeg's Smilla is a fairly unique sort of person. Her experiences have made her wise in the ways of snow and ice and cynical and distrustful of people. An Inuit upbringing in the cold climate of Greenland had ill-prepared her for the chilly atmosphere of Danish society when her father took her there after her mother died. At 37 she is single, solitary and unemployed - even though she's one of the world's leading experts on ice and snow. She has just one friend that she loves: a small boy, Isaiah, who is, like her, a Greenlander out of place in Denmark. When Isaiah falls to his death from a rooftop, Smilla knows it cannot have been a simple accident. She can read his footprints in the snow and she knew the child well. The authorities cannot be allowed to write it off as an accidental death so she sets out to discover what really happened.
The feeling of snow and ice: the cold, the motion and gradual stiffening of the sea, the changing quality of the light - are conveyed so that, with a little imagination, it's possible to feel it. I put on an extra jumper and turned the heating up a bit. The description of Smilla's journey from the desolation of the lonely city to the desolation of the ice fields west of Greenland generate strong visual and emotional impressions. The plot is quite complicated to follow and there are a few coincidences that might require the brief suspension of disbelief. It can also be rather a bumpy ride for an English speaking reader because of the many Danish and Greenlandic words and names that can slow you down as you try to puzzle out how they should be pronounced. Even so, it's a splendid book, full of tragic and colourful characters, most of them deeply or slightly flawed (even the goodies) but all of them interesting and plausible.
I highly recommend this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Reading in the first person of a female greenlander was a refreshing change of perspective, but I didn't feel at any point like I was reading something alien to me. This book left me touched for weeks after finishing it, and I was captivated until the very end. I'd strongly recomend it to anyone who enjoys engaging with a text, as opposed to letting one wash over them like so many of todays novels. Excellent.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking... 21 Oct 2003
By Mrs. A. C. Whiteley VINE VOICE
As one other reviewer has commented, it does take about 200 pages or so to pick up the various strands which constitute the thread of narrative in this marvellous book.
Until I read this novel, I had never considered the multifacetedness of snow and ice. A multifacetnedness, moreover, which is reflected in the nature of our hero, Miss Smilla Jaspersen, by turns kind, generous, giving, understanding, gritty, determined, forthwright, violent, gentle, humorous, intelligent etc etc. She is wholly unique, and just fabulous.
To summarise this as a murder mystery or crime thriller is to do it a severe injustice. So much wisdom is here, so much raw human nature, that it is possible to become a little overwhelmed by it. However, Hoeg steers you through it all, as competently as a seasoned sea captain. And, despite its occasional brutality, on is left with an extraordinary sense of beauty and conscious of the value of human life. We should reflect on these more often, Hoeg appears to be saying, and I cannot help but agree.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Decent start - then Jane Bond style nonsense ruins it
I thought this was going to be so much better than it was - very disappointing.

The start is decent and slowly grabs your attention but once she makes the nonsensical... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Damo Green
4.0 out of 5 stars Original, flawed but so worth reading!
I bought the book again, my copy having been borrowed and lost. Friends who read it were all, unusually, for people with a wide range of reading tastes, fascinated by it. Read more
Published 2 months ago by C. Brooks
3.0 out of 5 stars I finished it, but ...
... I have to say it that took a tremendous effort, and the further in I got the harder the reading became. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rosemary
5.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable read
Read this book years ago when it was first written and it was even more relevant now I have relations living in Copenhagen. I could place everywhere which helped with the plot.
Published 4 months ago by balls
3.0 out of 5 stars Flashes of Brilliance
This seemed like a book of two halves. The first is a simple story of a boy falling to his death and the subsequent investigation by Smilla Jaspersen, who has great insight into... Read more
Published 4 months ago by funnyjaybird
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly favourite book ever.
Smilla Jasperson, a big big character who is unique, endearing, exasperating right in the middle of a whodunnit puzzle. Read more
Published 6 months ago by P. Barnett
5.0 out of 5 stars Real bargain for book lovers!
SO cheap that I even cannot say that the price is worth the quality. In this case it is a total bargain! And arrived on time!
Published 6 months ago by Mante Zelvyte
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb! The best novel I have read for a long time
This was an outstanding novel, a fascinating approach and detailed research about Greenland. More like this please. It will be hard to beat, however
Published 7 months ago by Sue Lewis
2.0 out of 5 stars A bit boring.
I'm finding this book a bit boring and hard to follow. I haven't finished it yet so it may improve, but I keep putting off reading it as I'm not enjoying it!
Published 7 months ago by Jax
1.0 out of 5 stars Hugely Disappointing
I've been wanting to read this book for over two decades and was glad when I finally got my hands on it. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Annette Kupke
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