The Elephant Keepers' Children: Book summary and reviews of The Elephant Keepers' Children by Peter Hoeg

The Elephant Keepers' Children

By Peter Hoeg

The Elephant Keepers' Children
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  • Published in USA  Oct 2012,
    512 pages.

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Book Summary

Told from the precocious perspective of fourteen-year-old Peter, The Elephant Keepers' Children is about three siblings and how they deal with life alongside their eccentric parents. Peter's father is a vicar, his mother is an artisan, and both are equally and profoundly devout. The family lives on the (fictional) island of Finø, where people of all religious faiths coexist peacefully. Yet, nothing is at it seems. 

When Peter's parents suddenly go missing, Peter and his siblings fear the worst - has their parents' relentless quest to boost church attendance finally put them in danger?

Told with poignancy and humor, The Elephant Keepers' Children is a fascinating exploration of fundamentalism versus spiritual freedom, the vicissitudes of romantic and familial love, and the triumph of the human spirit.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Under the madcap adventure story Hoeg poses serious issues about neglected children, venal church officials, and the paths to intellectual and spiritual freedom." - Publishers Weekly

"A picaresque tale that probes society's little hypocrisies while offering an original array of characters. At first glance, an utterly fun, absorbing read." - Library Journal

"Part comic teenage adventure story, part intellectual debate, the best-selling Danish author's sixth novel is a shaggy-dog story with a unique vision...Høeg has an endless menu of oddities to stir into his story; whether thriller, fantasy or disuisition on spiritual belief, love and parenting does successfully invent an inexhaustible landscape all its own" - Kirkus

"Peter Høeg displays a glorious facility for the absurd as well as the picaresque, and the hilarity of Peter Finø's narrative makes this a delightful novel..." —The Guardian

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Peter Høeg was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before becoming a writer, he worked variously as a sailor, ballet dancer, and actor. He published his first novel, A History of Danish Dreams (1988), to positive reviews. However, it was Smilla's Sense of Snow (1992), a million-copy best seller, that earned Høeg immediate and international literary celebrity. His books have been published in more than thirty countries.

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