Like many other readers, I discovered Hoeg after devouring his “Smilla’s Sense of Snow’’ in the early 1990s. “Smilla’’ whet appetites. Hoeg’s “The History of Danish Dreams’’ and “The Woman and the Ape,’’ along with their successors, were steps into a more surreal register, OK for magical realism fans but not as broadly successful as “Smilla.’’ Then along comes “The Elephant Keepers’ Children,’’ set on the fictional Scandinavian island of Fino, narrated by Peter, a remarkably outspoken and precocious 14-year-old, whose frank, opinionated tone and cultural references are perpetually surprising and entertaining.
Unlimited access to BostonGlobe.com for only 99 cents for the first 4 weeks.Sign up
Are you a home delivery subscriber?
Get FREE access as part of your print subscriptionStart Here
Contact us for help