Sunday, 25 November 2012

Peter Hoeg "Smilla’s Sense of Snow"

It is almost winter. Do you have snow? Look at these magnificent pictures.

Smilla's feeling for snow

The Chinese say that a dish must contain five tastes to be harmonized; in fact they apply five elements formula to everything in life. I think the Book of Peter Hoeg "Smilla’s Sense of Snow" brings together five elements. Just the way I like it. 

First, it is an unusual detective story.

Second, you learn a lot about Greenland and Denmark. I have not been to any of these countries, therefore it was very interesting to discover winter Copenhagen. Hoeg raises also a social theme (Greenland, the largest island in the world has been, for centuries, a colony of Denmark. So you do not expect to count on the kindness of Greenlanders). 

Third, I was literally fascinated by countless descriptions of snow; I did not know that there exist so many names for snow and ice. I wanted to post many more photographs of snow to transfer the feeling of snow, which remains after the book. 

Fourth, there are elements of science, I actually did not like it a lot, sometimes the characters speak as if they are Wikipedia, the dialogues are long and omniscient. But I think that it will satisfy the taste of those who love scientific explanations and technical descriptions (especially of ships).

And finally, the most important character is the fifth element:), Smilla. Her cold loneliness, endless and snowy, but not painful (maybe sometimes) appeals me. I like that she does not work as a detective agent and her extraordinary potential opens up because of the situation in which she found herself. I like her Nordic passionate nature, I like the way Hoeg (almost without epithets) was able to communicate his special feeling to the main character, to the reality in which Smilla lives. You plunge into silence masterfully created by Hoeg, you understand without quotes, you perceive snow as a special kind of silence. In short, I love an outstanding and brave character of Smilla and her wonderful descriptions of snow.

Now a little bit of critics, Hoeg went too far in pursuit of five elements. He lost quality in some of them. I thought the detective line is a little ragged and unfinished. But the rest: Greenland, Smilla and Snow are magnificent. Hoeg has written an extraordinary story, which deserves to be read.

If your winter is without snow or if you have snow and you want to feel it more - just take this book which hypnotizes by stunning ice and general Nordic atmosphere.

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