Set in Denmark in the here and now, The Quiet Girl centers around Kaspar Krone, a world-renowned circus clown with a deep love for the music of Johan Sebastian Bach, and an even deeper gambling debt. Wanted for tax evasion and on the verge of extradition, Krone is drafted into the service of a mysterious order of nuns who promise him reprieve from the international authorities in return for his help safeguarding a group of children with mystical abilities - abilities that Krone also shares. When one of the children goes missing, Krone sets off to find the young girl and bring her back, making a shocking series of discoveries along the way about her identity and the true intentions of his young wards. The result is a fast-paced, philosophical thriller blending social realism with the literary fantastic and pitting art and spirituality against corporate interests - and nothing less than the will to war by the industrialized world.
Translated by Nadia Christensen.
©2006 Peter Hoeg; Translation ©2007 Nadia Christensen, originally published in 2006 by Rosinante, Denmark as Den stille pige; (P)2007 Audio Renaissance, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC
I was entranced with Smilla's Sense of Snow, and enjoyed the magical realism of Woman and the Ape, so I looked forward to The Quiet Girl. But it disappoints. The strength of Hoeg's erudition, zest for eccentric characters, and interest in exploration of philosophy is overwhelmed by a contorted plot line and a too-willing capitulation to the seduction of fast-paced chases and narrow escapes. I was left wishing the Quiet Girl could have told me more about what the narrative was actually about.
It took about 3 chapters for me to get a handle on this book. It was really confusing for a while and I nearly gave up, but then I started to untangle the threads enough to understand the way memory, interpretation and events are enmeshed. Although I think this would be better read than listened to, it was quite engrossing and came to quite a satisfying end.
I have a listening addiction.
I am serious. This book has great prose and a good plot premise - but the execution is so clouded; I feel like there is a fog rolling over my brain when I try to listen to this book. I’ve restarted the first section of the book 4 times - trying to grasp the time line or to even follow the plot. Sorry - but this one needed more glue to hold it together.
I am moving on to another book – at this point I am not even curious about the end of the book.
This book is like going to an art museum , where the paintings are not arranged in any order or theme. It takes you more than 14 hours to wander through all the galleries; some of the art you love, some you don't, and some just totally mystify you. Though I loved the "music" of the words in this book, I always come back to my final thought, "Well, that was 14 hours of my life I'll never get back!"
Tempted by his earlier Miss Smiila's 'Feeling for Snow', I found this a difficult listen and finally switched off the iPhone after about 25 per cent. Plot too obscure.
I would have given this book 4 stars as I like Peter Høeg, I have read all his books so I am quite into his style and I like the story of the Quiet Girl. As usual the characters are intriguing, the plot twisted and I loved it.
The narrator however lets it down. Mr Gale should have done some research and practiced pronunciations. I struggled to recognise many if not any of the local names and spend too much time guessing and then being annoyed that I had to.
I have to admit I listened to the whole thing. What a waste of time. It really wasn't the narrator. It was tne book. Too wordy, and the story isn't worth it, Half way through I just wanted him to shut up.
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