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The Quiet Girl: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, September 30, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; First Edition edition (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312427778
  • ASIN: B003R4ZGTQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,926,372 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With his cool intelligence, James Gale is an ideal choice to read Hoeg's latest intellectual thriller. Like Smilla's Sense of Snow, Hoeg has created a Fellini-like world of bizarre and dreamlike landscapes and events. Gale wisely underplays just enough to make listeners eager to find out more. In a flooded part of Copenhagen, Kasper Krone—a famous clown, psychic and passionate lover of the music of Bach—has run afoul of the tax authorities and faces deportation. But a bureaucrat from the Kafkaesque Department H promises to make the charges disappear if Krone will help them locate a young girl who was once Krone's pupil, now being looked after by a society of nuns. Gale guides the characters through a tangled tale of music and mystery without missing a beat or overstating a point. Gale makes Krone a wonderful mixture of motives and passions, and his villainous bureaucrat reeks with the banality of evil.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

When first published in Denmark, The Quiet Girl -- a thriller and love story with elements of magical realism -- provoked debate between conservative and liberal critics; the former accused Peter Høeg of literary pretension, while the latter praised his experimental techniques. No such dispute divided American critics, who embraced this remarkable novel: from the quirky characters, gripping action, compelling settings, and eloquent writing to the author's impressive ruminations on philosophy, pop culture, earthquakes, music, and feminist theology. British critics, citing dense, labyrinthine passages and an overly ornate style, greeted the novel only slightly less enthusiastically. Compared to Høeg's masterpiece Smilla's Sense of Snow, The Quiet Girl is a small jewel of avant-garde literature.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I really wanted to like the book, after enjoying Smilla so much.
Charles Throckmorton
And what's more, the plot seems to veer off-course time and again, and often characters are so poorly sketched that I couldn't keep track of who was whom.
J. Anderson
The dialogue is rife with pithy cryptic statements that make no sense, and the descriptions often contain words that don't fit the context.
Oliver Twist

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By Tom S. TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The new novel by the author of SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW is demanding, elliptical, tangential, confusing, and not always grounded in reality. In other words, it's difficult to read. Set in Copenhagen in the near future, after a natural disaster has destroyed much of the city, it concerns Kasper Krone, a 42-year-old circus clown/violinist/psychic healer/gambling addict/con artist/womanizer/tax dodger/Bach fanatic (I'm not making this up) with a rare form of ESP: he can "hear" the natural "music" that emanates from everyone and everything (I'm not making this up, either). He is particularly good at psychic healing, and his gift works best on children. One child in particular--a little girl who shares his powers of ESP, who is being held against her will by a secret government organization that wants to use her abilities for sinister purposes. She gets a message to Kasper, and he decides to locate her and rescue her from the bad guys using all of his talents (listed above), with the help of his dying father, some weird circus colleagues, and at least three angry ex-girlfriends. Meanwhile, some *other* sinister people are trying to deport him or imprison him, apparently for unpaid taxes. Did I mention the group of kids straight out of VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED who can manipulate the time/space continuum? Well, he has to rescue them, too....

As you can see, the plot is convoluted, and Hoeg's writing style is not always easy to follow, even in Nadia Christensen's (presumably) faithful translation from Danish. And Kasper Krone is, by any definition, a creep and a loser. But--like Smilla before him--he's oddly fascinating, and his story is full of surprises. I stayed with this offbeat novel long after I would normally have given up in despair, and I'm glad I did.
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40 of 46 people found the following review helpful By pg on January 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Peter Høeg's previous novel, SMILLA'S SENSE OF SNOW, is on my top ten list of all time favorite novels. THE QUIET GIRL won't be, not because of the plot but because of the English language. SMILLA was translated by Tiina Nunnally for the US market and GIRL by Nadia Christensen. SMILLA'S US translation turned the unknown Høeg into an international best-seller and won Nunnally the top prize given by American translators, a prize not given every year. I happened on a copy of the UK translation of SMILLA in London a few years ago and read it to compare to Nunnally's. Nunnally's English was more fluid, less awkward and beautifully poetic in places, that all-too-rare synchronicity of author and translator. Logic would have dictated that Nunnally should have translated GIRL but Høeg, who does not speak English well, had not liked Nunnally's translation so another translator was chosen. A large mistake, I feel, for the same problem of language that is awkward, flat or imprecise that marked the UK edition of SMILLA afflicts GIRL. An author is always at the mercy of a translator; it's too bad that Høeg didn't appreciate the "mercy" Nunnally showed SMILLA.
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Format: 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 scenes-out-of-sequence as the thinly drawn characters overlap and additional information is revealed, an often frustrating effort.

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, almost telepathically, that she has been kidnapped and wants Kasper to help her.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By R. Jamison on December 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
Loved Hoeg's Smilla's Sense of Snow but after trying his other books, I realized the translator of Smilla deserved equal credit for its brillance.

I have no idea what was happening in this book. The real should've been somehow distinguished from his imaginings (or hearings?) by italics or something. very confounding, confusing. I guess I'm not up to this esoteric kind of book.
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