The History of Danish Dreams

The History of Danish Dreams Peter H eg s first novel is an interweaving of the lives and loves of four families within which histories time expands clocks stop or race forward at will The dreams and disappointments of the chil

Peter H eg s first novel is an interweaving of the lives and loves of four families, within which histories time expands, clocks stop or race forward at will The dreams and disappointments of the children of the author s magnificent imagination foreshadow the themes of Miss Smilla s Feeling for Snow and Borderliners

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The History of Danish Dreams

  1. Peter H eg 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 H eg immediate and international literary celebrity His books have been published in than thirty countries.

191 Reply to “The History of Danish Dreams”

  1. I ve read and enjoyed two others by this author, but this book his first defeated me in many ways I was intrigued at the beginning, lost focus in the middle, and just wanted it over by the end Too befuddled to say I usually need two readings to really get what he is talking about anyway, but I don t think I have the energy to face this one again.

  2. It isn t the fault of this book I ve just read all this before depths of European mourning of the past, the freezing of the present, the absurdities that go along with ancient cultures I only got to the first two chapters and I didn t feel that I needed to go any farther The first chapter was a straightforward metaphor with one or two grotesque images and nothing surprised me in the second.Just read Gormenghast instead You ll get the same message, less nationally specific, and with even grotesq [...]

  3. This book has been called The Danish Gormenghast, which intrigued me I love Denmark I love Gormenghast Sign me up It started strong The opening stories had a fairy tale quality that felt very much like a journey through a nation s collective unconscious To my delight, there were echoes of Andersen And it was because of Andersen s influence that I gave H eg the benefit of the doubt when he started talking shit about spoiled princesseswhich segued into talking shit about eating disorderswhich segu [...]

  4. This book is such a literature delight, Marquez scaled saga, situated in two century scope of the Danish history H eg observes the changes in the social environment along with the inner ties of life, penetrating the lives of the characters, embodying the places they abide, vibing in the tunes of their dreams A pure delicacy of slow reading adventure.

  5. I loved this book The story was so rich that I often would fall asleep after reading only a few pages Thus, reading it took forever but I was glad to be immersed in this book For about how the author uses ambiguity to create layers of meaning in a dreamworld, check out my blog.

  6. My bookshelves were missing a Danish flavour, so I purchased this volume to fill that rather glaring hole Rather like Denmark itself, I was left somewhat ambivalent after finishing thist sure if it was really great magical realism or just too much northern depression.Hoeg sketches a family representing the Danish transition from medieval times and charm to modern society 20th century conformity I was completely absorbed in the story of the aristocrat who seals off his estate and makes time stop [...]

  7. I know H eg only through Smilla s Sense of Snow, an entertaining and well done work that never exactly blew me away This book, though, blew away It feels like Calvino or Marquez mixed with something not at all like either The writing is stunning and surreal and H eg plays game after game with the reader s expectations It moves from fairytale to a weird Danish Gatsby to a piercing psychological study and back And in the end, it is deeply moving I pretty clearly need to reevaluate my opinion of H [...]

  8. La storia dei sogni danesi un romanzo magico che ricostruisce le storie di una famiglia attraverso le varie generazioni, a partire dal 1500 fino agli Sessanta del Novecento non vi un narratore onnisciente a raccontarci le vicende ma una ricostruzione in prima persona basata su testimonianze, documenti e storie tramandate, cosicch il narratore ci mette a parte di quanto ha scoperto e prova a ipotizzare le motivazioni dei vari personaggi basandosi sui rispettivi caratteri, ambienti sociali e perio [...]

  9. I know little of Denmark and Danish history, so much of this novel probably went over my head Here and there, though, the commentary on Denmark is so broad and direct that it can hardly be missed, and it is both funny and bitter For example, While her guests discuss the excellent warming qualities of angora and the merits of sulfur powder and how Copenhagen museums have so many lovely plaster figures, what they are in actuality discussing is the big questions of life love and money and religion [...]

  10. I don t have much to say about this novel I think I enjoyed it because it held me hostage most of the fall and winter a type of literary Stockholm Syndrome It was funny and absurd at times, with ridiculous, larger than life characters In the end, though, none of the absurdity led to any meaningful conclusions or resolutions just gratitude at finally being free.

  11. In the beginning, I was completely taken with the magical realism especially the thief who mustrusted the rich and so only stole used shoes and the like unfortunately, the quality of surreality came to feel strained, and I lost my feeling for the characters The book just never carried me away.

  12. I tried I really did I keep trying to convince myself to pick this book up again, but it s just so boring It s been compared to Italo Calvino, who I also find incredibly dull, so I should ve known better H eg s and Calvino s brand of magical realism tends to be a bit too absurdist for my taste with an obsessive focus on eccentric rich people whom I am not in the least bit interested Life s too short.

  13. P edstavy o 20 stolet podle m pat mezi jednu z nejlep ch knih, co v Evrop za posledn roky vy ly Je to takov ch d nsk ch 100 rok samoty etla jsem ji n kolikr t a v ele v m doporu uju tot.

  14. This is just far to out there and dense for me at the moment I admit that I just can t seem to finish it but his ideas are interesting.

  15. Sorry Mr Hoeg, I loved the weird in the Elephant Keeper s Children But this might be a little too far out for me Got through the first two sections but couldn t really get hooked.

  16. I read the first story, and found it interesting, but work I did not like the pace and the extensive use of the third person narrative, which did not grab me.

  17. You may be familiar with that seminal work of English literature, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies , by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame Smith This proceeds on the assumption that any work of literature can be improved by adding zombies I wonder if something similar could be done with Peter Hoeg s A history of danish dreams , which as it stands is an interminable family saga starting well, with a mad Count who walls himself off from the world around him, but then degenerating into an and then and the [...]

  18. A sort of Danish 100 Years of Solitude , this ambitious novel romps and meanders through fantastical events, up to the present day It is both an epic and a magical realist novel, its form allowing Hoeg free rein to let his imagination run riot This he assuredly does, encompassing crazed aristocrats, lovable thieves, religious mania, zeppelins, love affairs, and a village so poor that its residents eat the seaweed off their hovel roofs It gives him license for fantasy, satire, romance and moments [...]

  19. I d wanted to read this for years, hoping it would have a strong sense of place, history and culture In many ways it does there is plenty of unforced, incidental local detail, and the narrator interjects with comments on the attitudes of society at various points in history though I don t currently know enough about Denmark to judge how accurate all this is.Through 4 generations, the characters lives are suffused with magic realism Where it works, it feels like an apt modern mythology though at [...]

  20. In un arco di tempo di quasi cent anni Hoeg, attraverso la storia di una famiglia danese, racconta i sogni e le illusioni di un intera societ del secolo corso.Scavando nei pensieri e nelle azioni dei personaggi con maestria e sensibilit , Hoeg mette a nudo tutte le contraddizioni della modernit e della societ del progresso, non solo quella danese, come sottolinea pi volte l autore stesso, ma anche quella della societ occidentale in genere.Pagina dopo pagina Hoeg racconta, studia e smonta ideolog [...]

  21. There s a pretty rad book exchange off a side street in Asmali Mescit neighborhood here in Istanbul Full of old folks who tell awesome stories and let you take books from em for freeah, it s a good deal.And I was sitting there, trying to find some books, when I stumbled upon The History of Danish Dreams Considering I have Danish friends and turn into a deaf mute whenever talk gets going about their homeland, I figure it would be a good introduction And the author apparently is an ex mountaineer [...]

  22. This book took forever to read It just seemed incredibly dense This is a sort of magical realism generational Danish family saga whatchamacallit and I have a feeling I missed quite a few references by virtue of not being Danish.The first half of the book, detailing the Count who stops time and the grandmother who can predict dictate the future, is imaginative and interesting There s a sort of wonder and fantasy about the people from before the 20th century After that, however, the description of [...]

  23. Jeg synes p mange m ter at historien ble litt springende og flyktig, men det gjenspeiler p mange andre m ter det som vel m kunne kalles tematikken i boka tilv relsens tilfeldigheter og skjebnens luner Likevel blir jeg sittende igjen med en liten usikkerhet vedr rende hva boka vil Hva sitter jeg igjen med etter ha lest denne fortellingen Jo, jeg sitter netttopp igjen med en f lelse av at det er viktig fokusere p det som er viktig i livet, og skille ut det som er uviktig Dette er jo ikke akkurat r [...]

  24. This family novel with deep seated magical realism intertwined, was way intense than I expected I should not have been surprised since it is the work that put Peter Hoeg on the map as a writer, but still it got me The careful prose as well as the mapping of the interconnected characters over time was a tiny bit reminiscent of 100 Years of Solitude Yet the History of Danish Dreams has its own awareness of time now, back then, and the murky future , societal Danish ideals, and the author s firm e [...]

  25. I think I would need to read some Danish history, let this book simmer a bit in my subconscious, and then read it again, before I could say I really understood all of it And, I get the impression that part of the point of this novel is that things, especially national dreams, don t make sense so much as they just are Our world views and fears and past experiences which we perceive imperfectly and thus may not fully understand construct our perceptions of the present and build up our expectations [...]

  26. This novel has a really intriguing set of stories that all connect in the later half and with those stories come bizarre and wonderful characters At times it is subtly fantastical and at other times quite realistic The concepts are quite interesting a Count who wants to stop time and believes he is living at the center of the Earth, an illiterate newspaper heiress who is able to predict the future, a family of carnival thieves, the daughter of a religious man who can separate herself into severa [...]

  27. A really great book For the first third I was not sure what kind of story this was and it was confusing in parts but by that time i decided to stay with it I was sure glad that I did Nearing the end I did not want it to stop These interconnected families and stories are compelling and will leave you scratching your head trying to connect all the dots They do connect in a way you were not sure would ever happen.The writing is by turns funny and harrowing Not in a predictable way His writing somet [...]

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