- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (4 Sept. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099507358
- ISBN-13: 978-0099507352
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 284,815 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Quiet Girl Paperback – 4 Sep 2008
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"Superb new novel...At once intricate and explosive, The Quiet Girl is elegantly written and furiously plotted, resonant (though not acoustically) of Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy and also David Mamet's elaborately staged deceptions" (Independent on Sunday)
"In Høeg's hallucinatory prose, Copenhagen has a sinister near-future feel... there are also passages of lyrical beauty" (Financial Times)
"Striking and deeply felt... confirms that Høeg is a writer determined to make new footprints in the snow" (Mark Lawson Guardian)
"He writes entertainingly, at times lyrically, at times scathingly" (Scotland on Sunday)
"The Quiet Girl has Hoeg's best-selling hallmarks - including an off-kilter hero in the shape of Kasper Krone, a world-famous clown with a penchant for poker and mysticism" (Daily Mail)
A fast-paced philosophical thriller of rare quality from the author of Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As in his previous work, Hoeg takes the thriller genre and weaves a compelling story that emerges piece by piece, while gently teasing the reader at the same time, forcing his audience to question how much of the tale is a smokescreen. This is a book that doesn't cease to surprise and challenge and deserves to be read at least twice.
You do rather have to suspend disbelief, or a need for certainty, and just go along for an interior journey into the psyche of someone with preternatural sensitivity to the vibration of sound, and a deep connection with Bach.
Most of the time, once I got into the book, I loved the journey, though the first 30 or 40 pages I had to work hard to let the book's world grip me, and by the last 20 pages I'd got a bit tired by all the amazing synchronicities, and was thinking 'here we go again'; plus a slightly 'Boy's Own' comic book/Hollywood touch of unreality in how many times someone can have severe beatings/shootings etc administered and STILL be in a fit state to head-butt, shimmy through drains, etc etc. A more prosaic sense of how the body responds to injury had me saying 'NO WAY!' on a number of occasions!!!!!
Perhaps a firmer hand on the editing pencil could have inched me to the 5 star - too long, too repeating its devices, but gripping for all that, even if it doesn't quite match 'Miss Smilla'
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.Read more ›
Kasper Krone is (was?) a circus clown, seemingly quite famous, and also a talented violinist. At some point he has made enough money that the Inland Revenue is after him for tax evasion. He seems to be constantly just ahead of them, just out of reach, thanks to the help of various random people who he phones out of the blue, and a lot of luck.
There is also the Quiet Girl of the title, KlaraMaria, 9 years old, who drifts in and out of his life on some random chronology that I was unable to fathom. He is drawn to her because she has extrasensory abilities. She seems to be living with nuns, has apparently been kidnapped, yet is able to suddenly appear in his caravan, unaccompanied.
Kasper also has the ability to garner all sorts of information about people and places by their musical note, something that I found overused, well beyond the boundaries of believability. On top of this Kasper seems to have this amazing power over women by just flattering them - when actually, as a character he really has no appeal at all.
I'm really not at all clear what is going on, it's like reading a book through a haze. The coincidences are just piling up and my tolerance is failing. Enough is enough, I'm on to my next book!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent condition and arrived promptly. Love Peter Hoeg books, an author who is sensitive and intuitive.Published 3 months ago by J P
This writer was recommended to me by a new friend, whose favourite book is Miss Smilla's feeling for snow, which I read and loved. Read morePublished on 21 Jun. 2014 by Frosty feet
This book was chosen for a book club read - ultimately only one person out of the 10 book club members could finish the book. Read morePublished on 18 May 2014 by Fifi
This is an excellent dip into the more than slightly surreal mind of a one-time Danish clown who offers lessons in physical comedy as therapy. Read morePublished on 6 Mar. 2014 by Marran Grey
This is definitely to be compared to the curate's egg, which was "good in parts". I liked the audacity of the book - a circus clown who love Bach would usually be just my kind of... Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2013 by Vivian Tyler
I am still reading this book, it's a difficult read, and I am a seasoned reader, but very well written, so well written I have to re read some of it. Read morePublished on 18 Oct. 2013 by lolabubble
Another amazing Hoeg characterisation. I love the character.As ever, the plot is only plasible while you're reading the book but don't let that spoil your enjoyment!Published on 7 Jan. 2013 by Lizzie
Finding this in an Oxfam shop in Edinburgh, years after I thought I had devoured all of Hoeg's works, was one of those rare moments of true booklover ecstacy. Read morePublished on 7 Oct. 2012 by KT80
Having read Miss Smilla I was very disappointed with this.
- Poorly translated
- Disjointed and difficult to follow
- Ludicrous paper-thin characters
-... Read more