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lorenzoberardi

The Library of Babel

A Spin-off of http://bookwormshead.blogspot.co.uk

Smilla's Sense of Snow - Peter Høeg, Tiina Nunnally I've to admit I've got a kind of prejudice towards the Danes. Lars Von Trier: it's the same for you, I beg your pardon. Dogma annoys me. I do prefer Norwegians, I'm sorry.

Perhaps it's just because I dislike Danish pronounciation which seems too rude to my ears.
Or maybe it's just because for a while I've worked for a company based in Lyngby and they've never paid me.
Who knows what the answer is.

Anyway this book has been a kind of bestseller years ago. I remember going to my school by bus and seeing a lot of people reading at the "Smilla's sense of snow". Surprising. Especially considering that Italian people don't read that much and generally they don't know anything about northern Europe literature.
It's pretty common Italians aren't able to distinguish among Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland. That "North" is like another Universe. Honestly, I've found the same situation in Norway where almost everyone refers at an unspecific "South" comprending Italy, Spain, Greece and Portugal.

Ok, but what's the point with this novel?
Smilla's sense of snow is written quite good, but in a plain style. This novel has taken me to the Greenland a place where I don't think I'll ever go in my whole life. But when it comes the moment to describe better that mysterious land with its own culture, its incredible nature and its unique inhabitants the book totally fails.
It looks like Peter Hoeg didn't want to turn his readers attention from the novel's spy story which is frankly boring.

Furthermore, the final of the novel on the icepack seems directly made for the screenplay of an action movie. This explains why Hollywood has immediately done a cinematrographical version of the book, but without the same success.