13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
"I had a deal with SheAlmighty. To play all the notes. Including the black ones.",
This review is from: The Quiet Girl (Hardcover)
Peter Hoeg's first novel in ten years takes the reader on a trip through an almost psychedelic world of circus clowns, children with mystical abilities, powerful nuns, evil financiers, mysterious security agencies, and bizarre foundations. Kasper Krone, a circus clown, has discovered that "SheAlmighty has tuned each person in a musical key," and he is able to hear the music that SheAlmighty has created for each person. By tapping into the music of people's psyches, he can understand their moods and thoughts. Often the music he hears emanating from those around him is that of Bach, the ebb and flow of a person's inner spirit paralleling the changing moods of specific Bach masterpieces.
Complex and sometimes mystifying, The Quiet Girl builds its non-linear "story" through impressionistic scenes, presented seemingly at random from the past, present, future, and even the imagination. It is up to the reader to create a narrative from the scenes presented as the characters overlap and as additional information is revealed.
Kasper is being investigated for tax evasion and is about to be deported from Denmark to Spain. As he deals with governmental officials from Department H and other mysterious departments, people from the circus who may or may not want to help him, and the mysterious Rabia Institute, a convent of Praying Sisters, he, like the reader, tries to make sense of the world around him. When he sees a small girl, KlaraMaria, with her "family," she claims, virtually telepathically, that she has been kidnapped and wants Kaspar to help her. Eventually, he learns that the nuns from the Rabia Institute have been protecting a group of children, including KlaraMaria, believing that "Some children are born with a gift for coming close to God faster than others." All are possessed of mystic gifts, and a group of evil men, wanting to use these children for their own unstated purposes, have kidnapped six of them from around the world. The nuns seek Kasper's help.
As he searches for the missing children, Kasper encounters mortal dangers. He does not know whom he can trust, and neither does the reader. A large cast of characters, none of whom are fully developed, keep the mystery high but the reader's ability to identify with Kasper low, and when the grand finale finally occurs, and the loose ends get tied up, the reader may feel a sense of letdown by the coincidences. Hoeg's exploration of the science of sound as the key to understanding man's connections to the universe shows us a reality that is often violent and discordant. Love is fragile and fraught with peril, and the answers to life's biggest questions are often tantalizingly out of reach. Still, man must soldier on, trusting that SheAlmighty has a grander plan, a greater symphony underlying our individual fates. Mary Whipple
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 9 Jan 2011 20:35:28 GMT
Thanks for your explanation - I am really struggling with this book.
I have to read it for a book group but am on the verge of giving up.
I may soldier on for a bit thanks to your review but I'm finding it all a bit too far fetched and insubstantial, like reading a book through a haze!
And far too many coincidences already and I'm only on P80!
Posted on 9 Jan 2011 20:49:43 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 12 Jan 2011 19:29:59 GMT]
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2011 05:18:30 GMT
Mary Whipple says:
The book is definitely a challenge, DubaiReader, as are, I find, all of Peter Hoeg's books. Usually, however, I find myself caught up in the emotional experience, however, and that helps to get me over the hurdle of the often confusing narrative. Best, Mary
In reply to an earlier post on 24 Feb 2011 09:31:04 GMT
I'm afraid I have to confess I gave up on P 150 :(
There seemed to be a lot of directionless dashing about and I had lost the thread of the story.
We had a very interesting discussion at my book group, some really enjoyed it and some felt like me - defeated.
At least the rest of the book was explained to me so the effort I put into first half was in some way rewarded.
Thanks for your response to my comment.
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