Smilla's Sense of Snow - Peter H√łeg, Tiina Nunnally

This is a pretense: actually 150 pages were dividing me from the end, not 0 like the target "finished" would suggest. I hate doing it, I swear, I can bear nails on the blackboard, titanic non-sense, lethal lethargy or even coma just to finish a book completely. 

But recently the time has been tyrannic and I don't have anymore the health for dedicating it to useless readings by now, particulary in cases like those where the books is near to 500 pages. It's already happened with Cloud Atlas this year, and now with Smilla's Sense of Snow.

Given that it passes itself off as a thriller, one would be spurred to give an ultimatum and drag oneself in the last minute of run to the end of this damned book, but in this case I can say lightly that I don't give a fuck about what happened to the poor Esajas.

I would not have claimed it if the story took care of inciting a little interest in the middle of its infinite slowness. Better, this is a specific kind of slowness: a sour mush with all inside.

The acidity is due not to possible annoying characters, but for the intestinal mixing which one bears during the wait for a unhoped twist.

And it is unhoped because at a certain point it's clear that the book does not have the standard intentions of a thriller: a story which works for the tickled mystery, little hints during the plot, bewilderments, twists and maybe an interesting case.

The performed investigations by Smilla are as boring as the bureaucracy in which she immerses herself in order to get to the point. Surely this "point" is what I'm waiting for as much as Smilla, but no satisfactions are given to me. It's possible that the book has made me so giddy with its costant inconclusiveness that I wasn't anymore in my right mind, but after 300 pages I've understood only one thing: there's the mafia behind Esajas's death. The rest is boredom. And this is suggested more or less since the beginning (mafia or boredom? ..both). 

Smilla rings around unendly, cracks jokes that even she doesn't find funny, and then archives on archives, clandestine transfers whose action-pathos treshold is -  , idle traffics of names and readressing, personal lives without any appeal. I mean: a morning in the office is more excting than this book. 


We could do a right move, deleting a reductive and rigid reasoning for genres and thinking this novel as a book where the atmosphere counts, but then we enter in an embarassing territory.

What atmosphere? Smilla's inner world? Well then!

Maybe for others it has the charm which Hoeg has hoped to exercise, but to me the coldness of Smilla and her pills of wiseness a bit crude doesn't have much effect. She'll have her reasons and innate features to result like she is, but what she has to say to me was not enough interesting to not sink in the general boredom.

Her indipendence given by her origins creaks with the events, because I wanted the characters near to be treated better than that, because all this psychological portrait seemed to me a bit contrived since the beginning. It's unnatural in an affective relationship that "the mechanic" does not acquires a name, an identity. Poor sod. And I say it because in my opinion calling by name and not by generic epithet who is close to one's heart is spontaneous, beyond a natural coldness. Just to quote a example of her attitude.

I let the pleasure of "an entire atmosphere" definitely to others who can appreciate it, because I pass the ball, the last 150 pages, the "point" of the entire story which doesn't want to arrive and starts to demands too much from my resistance. And, like with Cloud Atlas, I don't think I'll regret it, given that I've read how it ends in a summary and I didn't see anything spectacular, only in line with the irritating "spirit" of the book.