Amber (Glendale AZ)
The premise of this book interested me, but I found it insurmountable in its delivery. I patiently waded through pages and pages - then reread them in the hope that basic elements (such as the plot) would become clear. No such luck. I’m sure there is a set of readers out there for which this book would be an exciting challenge that would yield something beautiful. But there was way too much investment asked for my taste. I couldn’t even follow basic elements of the plot. The coherent threads were too disparate and disjointed.
Sylvia (Scottsdale AZ)
Interesting and challenging
The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg was hypnotic and mysterious. The beginning is confusing with seemingly unconnected strings of plot and characters and for some readers that may be a deterrent, but if you stick with it, the end will be rewarding. Kasper Krone, the main character is fascinating, unusual, and sympathetic. I would recommend this to readers who have no trouble suspending disbelief , enjoy a bit of the fantastic, and have patience for not understanding everything from the beginning. I found it compelling and interesting.
Kathryn (Oceanside CA)
A Tough Read
Peter Hoeg's much anticipated fifth novel, The Quiet Girl, was an introduction for me to the author. Unlike many books translated into English, this one seemed to lose clarity in the transition. Although the plot was intriguing, the writers rather quirky writing style and the lack of standard English grammar was distracting to me. It was a tough read to finish. Hoeg fans may celebrate The Quiet Girl. I'm ready to move on to a new author.
Norma (Secaucus NJ)
Peter Hoeg's The Quiet Girl
This is the story of Kasper Krone a circus clown from Denmark. The book is set in the present time and centers around Krone's special gift. He is able to "hear peoples' music" and know what they are thinking and feeling. The plot has many twists and turns and I found the story difficult to follow. It follows the kidnapping of several children and Kasper's attempts to rescue them. There are some very touching scenes but I found that the book did not have a smooth flow.
Marta (Santa Ana CA)
A Mental Challenge
I usually review books for young adults so sitting down with Peter Hoeg's book was very challenging for me. It takes a lot of focus and mental prowess to read but it was worth it at the end. This is mainly a thriller and the main character is a clown and a brilliant musician who is fixated on the music of Bach. It is set in a very innocent world and explores love and what is real. If you would like a challenging read I recommend this book.
Judy (Marysville OH)
Not up to Smilla
I loved Smilla’s Sense of Snow and so started reading The Quiet Girl with great anticipation. I gave it 125 pages and had to stop reading. The story so disjointed and the characters so enigmatic and opaque that I lost all interest. The writing itself is bad (writer or translator?). I hope the editor of this American edition fixes the hundreds of sentence fragments. They don’t work. In most cases, just taking out a few periods and putting the fragments together make perfectly good sentences. This is all too bad. The book has potential. I saw hints of the kind of writing that made Smilla’s Sense of Snow so compelling. For example, this sentence resonated: “When for a moment we let ourselves feel deep, sudden joy or sudden sorrow, reality begins to disintegrate.” Some wonderful insights. Terrible book. (My own sentence fragments!)
Heather (Brooklyn NY)
Ambitious, but unsatisfying
Ahh, this was a baffling and disappointing novel. Reading it reminded me of James Joyce's Ulysses (and I loath James Joyce). The main character, Kasper Krone, debt-ridden Danish celebrity clown, is clever, physically adept, and blessed (or cursed) with extraordinary hearing. But he is not endearing, and with his fits of violence, particularly toward the woman he allegedly loves, is not even particularly likable. The mysterious children are shadowed figures and mostly unnamed, save for the oddly self-possessed KlaraMaria. Classical music, especially works by Bach, are endlessly referenced in the novel, and I had the sense that Hoeg wrote the novel -- or composed it -- the same way a composer would write a score of music. It does have a lyrical sense to it. But if I had to describe the novel in three words, I'd say: Ambitious, but unsatisfying.