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The Quiet Girl

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,471 ratings  ·  461 reviews
Kaspar Krone is a world-renowned circus clown, and a man in some deep trouble. Drowning in gambling debt and wanted for tax evasion, Krone is drafted into the service of a mysterious order of nuns who promise him reprieve in return for his help safeguarding a group of children with mystical abilities that Krone also shares. When one of the children goes missing, Krone sets ...more
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published December 3rd 2007 by Farrar Straus Giroux (first published 2006)
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Average rating 3.23  · 
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 ·  2,471 ratings  ·  461 reviews

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Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it
I checked this book out because I wanted to read something different and I succeeded beyond what I had expected.

Besides a passing familiarity with Hans Christian Anderson, I had never read a Danish author to my knowledge, and I knew only that Copenhagen was a city in Northern Europe, so this fit the description of something different.

But what exactly this book is still eludes me.

I read some reviews and I was somewhat relieved to see that I am not the only reader trying to figure out what we
Jan 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
I am a huge fan of Peter Hoeg. He manages to create a strange blend of brittle intellectualism and dreamy philosophy that I find fascinating. The Quiet Girl, like Smilla's Sense of Snow and Borderliners, is a kind of mystery novel with an almost translucent layer of the occult. And as in those books, the supernatural is revealed and translated through thinking; it has to do with people's minds, and understanding of the world, and attempts to establish and clarify their attachments to other human ...more
Jan 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
I loved Smilla's Sense of Snow and expected good things from this. And really was intrigued by the main character: his ability to hear emotions and feelings others don't, in tones, musical references, and across distances, and very usefully, what's going on behind someone's voice during a phone call. A good quality for a man trying to hunt down some child snatchers. And his profession - a clown who is wanted across Europe for tax evasion - was inventive and surprisingly useful when inserted into ...more
Oct 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Ahhh... So after 4 days of semi-forcing myself to finish this book, I'm finally done. There are nice quotes throughout the book, but aside from that, I didn't really get anything from the story aside from a splitting headache and disappointment. Though I got this secondhand, I wish I hadn't bought it at all. It's that bad (for me, at least).

CONFUSING. If I had to use just one word to describe how I feel about The Quiet Girl, that would definitely be it. Looking at my notes, that's the most used
Apr 25, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, mysteries
Not sure why I picked this one up at the library. I did not appreciate Smilla's Sense of Snow a few years back. But I'm muddling along here in Denmark with an outlaw famed clown who has the ability to know all things through absolute hearing. He's searching for a missing child or two and trying to avoid extradition and various court cases and legal issues. Way beyond weird. I can't tell when I'm in the present or if we're visiting the recent past. Not sure if it's the writing, the translation or ...more
Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Smila's Sense of Snow, Hoeg's first novel, was unforgettable but in The Quiet Girl, he has surpassed even that. Once again there is a special child, once again there is a strong, intelligent, capable heroine, there are dastardly villains and the sense of a thriller but there is also so much more. I suppose some critic could complain that there is a bit too much more but I like a story that works on various levels.

Kaspar Krone is a world famous clown, a professional violinist and a free spirit
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Mar 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
I wanted so much to like this one, to read something similar to my old favorite (Smilla and her snow sense) . Many times I felt the story of Kasper - the supernatural clown with perfect hearing - was flirting with greatness, and then something happened and I put the book down in order to pick something else. That's how it took me three weeks to read a book I should have finished in 2 or 3 sittings.

The Quiet Girl uses a similar frame to Smilla : an investigation into the murder / disparition of a
The kind of book I loathe: one that sets out to assert the intellectual superiority of the author and make the reader feel stupid. I only finished it out of the sheer dogged determination that's part of my character and honed by three years as an English undergraduate.

The novel is about a clown, Kaspar, who is able to hear people and objects as music and is able to reach sounds that other people can't, and is in trouble for debt and tax evasion. There is a young girl who, along with a number of
Annabel Smith
Apr 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: translation
The Quiet Girl is, in many ways, an amazing novel. The depth of research alone is astounding: the life and work of Bach; the interactions of various Danish governmental, financial and judicial organisations; the history of the circus; seismology; the actual, physical underbelly of Copenhagen.

Hoeg has a fascination with people who possess extraordinary mental or psychological powers – Smilla’s ‘sense of snow’, the children in Borderliners – and this book is no exception. Kasper Krone’s hearing is
Jonathan Ashworth
Sep 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly dashing with many moments of sublimity.

The Quiet Girl is a quirky book and is not going to be everyone's cup of tea. It's not a crowd pleaser, like The Time Traveler's WIfe. But when a book calls itself a philosophical thriller what do you expect?

What Peter Hoeg gives you is a deliciously unique read that contains reflections on sound, classical music, spirituality, mysticism, psychology, and love. A fantastic combination. You have fast pacing, and you have moments of reflection. This
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
I'm listening to this, and really, truly, I have very little idea what is going on. I"m on CD two. There are clowns and a man who feels music in people. Two or one quiet girls. I intend to keep going, but I feel as though I'm in one of those bad dreams from which awakening is prohibited. Sort of interesting, but very disconcerting.

Okay, folks, I finished this wild, bizarre, strange story, that ended up making sense out of non-sense. Really intriguing, very funny, smart, ironic, spiritual,
Marius van Blerck
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Littered with brilliant scenes, this novel simply does not hang together. A pity, but the author deliberately crafted it like this, so cannot be to surprised at the reaction. With a slightly different approach by the author, this book could have been outstanding.
Chris Dietzel
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had a nice idea but I was never able to become invested in it. There was nothing wrong with the plot but I never found myself really caring what happened next. Maybe the biggest reason for this was that it felt like the story was waffling between being a mystery, suspense, etc. and could never figure out what exactly it wanted to be.
Aug 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About ten years ago, I had a friend who recommended the works of this author, told me Smilla's Sense of Snow was one of his favorite books. So I started reading it, but at fourteen/fifteen, I just didn’t have the patience with the postmodern fragmentary construction of the text. I ended up just skimming through it, and later watched the film in order to put all of the pieces together. But the one aspect of the book that’s stayed with me after all those years was Høeg’s poetic style. Imbedded in ...more
Aug 21, 2011 rated it liked it
I loved Borderliners and The Woman and the Ape. Hoeg's style is still there but I got a little exhausted, and also misled, by every. single. moment. being super suspenseful and high-octane. I know to expect that Hoeg protagonists will have practically superhuman abilities, to stay awake not eating for a week, to get shot and act like it's nothing, etc. But the reader doesn't have that kind of stamina. The reader wants to be able to figure out how close we are to the climax. You can't in this ...more
Jan 01, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of people seem to have really enjoyed this book, but I just didn't get it. Being a musician I appreciated all the musical references and glad I had an understanding of what he was talking about in that respect or the book would have had no meaning for me. Simply put I just didn't get the point of the book. There were a few lines or quotes that I thought were interesting on true to life but the overall story was just odd to me. The characters didn't feel like real people, or seem to do the ...more
Jan 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again, a masterpiece by Hoeg. This book was wery engaging and it had a flow that carried me through the book with ease. The protagonist, Kaspar Krone, is an intriguing character and Hoeg excels in describing the world through his eyes and ears.

All the important aspects of a good story are present in the book: adventure, romance, love, sex, philosophy, religion and music. As is often the case with great art, this book offers a new way to look at world. The protagonist perceives the world mostly
S. Baker
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
I know someone who loves this book and has bought several copies to give away to his friends (I'm one of them). He would give it six stars if he could. I give it three out of respect for the author who clearly has an impressive talent but the simple fact is this book is not for me. I don't enjoy being thrown around and confused, no matter how expertly, and I felt frustrated for most of the time.

If you enjoy being led down an evocative, obscur path and prefer the journey to the destination, you
Henna Pääkkönen
Wierd mystical artistic and confusing book. Not really my style, a bit too far out there.... Hence the difficulty in getting through it... (Took me a month...)
Crzy D
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it
It was sooo good right up until the end. I picked it up because Smilla's sense of Snow was an absolute masterpiece and I figured anyone who writes like that would not be disappointing but I stand corrected. The premise, through vague, was promising. A modern day superhero (with insane hearing powers) out to rescue some supernaturally gifted children being exploited for greed. Because sound is his superpower, the motifs of classical music are woven through the book and that is kinda of ...more
Sherri F.
CD version: It was an interesting concept and original story that I was trying to enjoy for the most part. It is very intelligently written and covers a few topics I'm strongly familiar with so my simpleton mind was struggling. I learned early on that it definitely was an audiobook that I couldn't multi-task while listening (so it was remanded to car time & rest time, as with today sick time). There was some things that were related to Denmark and maybe the narration accent added to some of ...more
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
You know how confusing it is to listen to someone else's dream? "So there was this clown, but he wasn't funny exactly, more like he could do sleight of hand and stuff, and it was in Denmark and there were earthquakes and they were worried about flooding, and he was trying to rescue these kids that had some kind of supernatural powers I think? Oh, and the clown could hear everything, like people's heartbeats and personalities and what time of day it was, so he was trying to use his powers to find ...more
May 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this a very strange book, and perhaps this is one that did not lend it's self to the audio version, at least for me. There are many characters, and I got lost trying to keep them all straight. The central character Kaspar Krone, is a circus clown, although he is not in the ring during this book, but is pursuing a group of children whose lives he believes are in danger. These children, along with Kaspar, have a beyond normal sense of hearing, and can hear things the rest of us cannot, ...more
Louise Silk
May 06, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I listened to The Quiet Girl, danish writer Peter Hoeg's most recent novel, while driving a long distance in the car. It was exciting to hear the book because the main character, Kaspar Krone, is a clown with exceptional hearing abilities. A devotee of Bach, Kaspar is blessed with the ability to hear anything when having contact with people from their emotions to their personalities. When he talks on the phone, he can gather a person's physical appearance, their distinct landscape and other ...more
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
Peter Hoeg has some great ideas, the kind of ideas that could make for really brilliant books. Unfortunately, in this case at least, his execution doesn't do justice to those ideas. The main character, Kasper Krone, is a famous circus clown, although we don't actually get to see him in the ring. He is also gifted with an incredible sense of hearing that allows him to hear sounds in things that most of us didn't even realize had sounds, and also allows him to hear details that most would miss. It ...more
Dec 30, 2007 rated it it was ok
A hard to classify novel,partially manic chase, partially James Bond, partially science fiction, partially magical realism, partially serious observations about human nature. The mix never quite gels for me. The reality is too real, the unreality even less believable because of the real parts (for instance, the hero who has recently recovered from a skull fracture, head-butts the villain and walks away from the encounter). The hero (Kasper Krone), narrator, a circus clown and gambler, attempts ...more
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, novel
Maybe I was just expecting too much. The first book I read written by Peter Høeg was Smilla's Sense of Snow, a book published in 1992 and still as fresh and impressively beautiful in my memory as 20 years ago. So the problem is mine that I could not warm up to The Quiet Girl, not enough to get lost in the book. Peter Høeg tells the story of a quiet girl who has the capability of sensing the melody of every human being. The second lead character in this book is Kaspar Krone, a former clown ...more
Kartik Sharma
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
My first Peter Hoeg novel. Really fast paced, action packed psychological thriller - a genre that I am surprised is still in its nascence! Although the writing is very complex with unspecified time jumps, magical realism, no clear distinction between dream, hallucinations and reality (a who-cares-for-what's-real outlook) made a book a collection of too many first time reading experiences for me. I would love to read the book again. I believe the book requires to be read at least twice to be ...more
Aug 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers who like a mind-bend
Futuristic sci fi magical realism psychological thriller/mystery. A deep dive into the mind of a character you probably would never want to meet - even in daylight - because he could read you like you were medieval sheet music. Peter Hoeg's concept of people identifiable by the tunes their souls play - this one's "sound was now like the aria from the Goldberg Variations, that one's "being was E-major. The higher aspect of E-major," while Nature one night plays"the Ricercare from Ein ...more
Dec 03, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: crime-loving philosophy students, alchemists, conspiracy-theorists, mystics
Enjoyable mud-pie of Jungian trickster-clown meets gumshoe.

Quite extraordinary, but like Smilla, you can hear the sound of the author chewing furiously what he has bitten off.

The book it most reminds me of is Jim Dodge's Stone Junction, an alchemical thriller that almost broke the author because he tried to make all the pieces fit the puzzle. Unfortunately the puzzle had been built by Escher.

This book is riddled with physical labyrinths and shaggy-dog subplots, but if you just go with it and
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The Quiet Girl, by Peter Hoeg 5 30 Jul 31, 2013 09:38PM  

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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 ...more
“She was transparent, like a watercolor. As if she were about to dissolve in sound, in tones not yet created.” 15 likes
“No matter how close people get, they never reach each other. Including us now. Even now, there's a place where each of us is alone.” 12 likes
More quotes…