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The Year of the Hare

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  4,071 ratings  ·  462 reviews
Suddenly realizing what's important in life (with the help of a bunny), a man quits his job and heads to the countryside in this internationally bestselling comic novel.

"Which of us has not had that wonderfully seditious idea: to play hooky for a while from life as we know it?" With these words from his foreword, Pico Iyer puts his finger on the exhilaratingly anarchic
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Published December 13th 2010 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1975)
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K.D. Absolutely
Mar 12, 2012 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2008-2010)
Has a time ever come into your life when you thought of just walking away and leave everything behind?

It had never crossed my mind until when I was reading this book. I think it could not totally be a bad idea.

No, I am neither thinking about killing myself nor leaving my wife and my daughter. I just cannot live without them. This is about that spur-of-the-moment decision that you had enough and you want to pursue another life. You pick you bag, check your wallet and just go the opposite direct
Jim Coughenour
Over Christmas I met a Swedish woman at a dinner party – we got talking about Scandinavian literature, a recently acquired passion of mine. She suggested Paasilinna's The Year of the Hare – which is apparently a classic in Finland, where it was first published in 1975.

What a marvelous book! It perfectly captures the spirit of the 70s, and the Finnish setting gives it a kind of magic. It starts off in with an accident – in fact, the whole book is nothing but a series of accidents, but not the clo
A charming 70s fable about a man and his hare who leave the modern world behind them, hit the open road, and rethink what life is all about. It's basically Zen and the Art of Lagomorph Maintenance.

The story is told in a gently ironic, detached voice that's pitched somewhere between Lewis Carroll and the Voltaire of Candide, with Vatanen, our ingénu protagonist, blundering amiably from one episode to the next, hare in tow. This being Finland, it involves snow, reindeer herdsmen, pagan sacrifice,
Dana Burgess
'The Year of the Hare' is a Finnish book that has been translated into English. In it, Vatanen picks up an injured hare and walks away from his life to just hang out for a year. Interesting premise but I think it loses something in the translation.

The most endearing character in the book is, without doubt, the hare who heals from his injuries and becomes unfailingly loyal to Vatanen. The book would have benefited from being told from the hare's perspective. As it is, Vatanen comes off as boring
When I saw that this little book was a bestseller in the author’s Finnish homeland, that it had been translated into umpteen languages, and that it had even been selected for the UNESCO Collection of Works I thought that I might just be on to a winner.

It all starts so simply. It is late in the day and a journalist and his photographer are driving home across country, They pull up when they hit and injure a young hare. Vatanen, the journalist pursues the hare into the forest. And he doesn’t come
This was a pretty good read about a journalist who saves a hare after hitting it with his car and travels through Finland with it. It was a great animal story. Definitely check it out.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
A quick read about a journalist who rescues a hare and spends a year wandering into whatever life has for him. I think it is supposed to be funny, except for me I don't think the humor really translates. I did like all the Finnish names and some of the characters, and it gave some insight into a government I don't know anything about.

"Even in an agreeable village, one can't hang around doing nothing forever."

"Loving animals can be a heavy load."

Paasilinna e il suo potere balsamico.

Arto mi fa un effetto agrodolce.
Il suo stile è più didascalico dei sottotitoli di un Tg, eppre le storie che racconta sono come le caramelle balsamiche. Le succhi distrattamente, ma alla fine ti pizzica il naso.

L'uomo che abbandona la frenetica vita cittadina, preferendole una salubre esistenza silvestre, non sarebbe di per sé neanche un tema particolarmente originale, se non fosse che la semplicità spartana con cui Paasilinna descrive il ritorno alla natura,
Translated from the work of the Finnish author, I picked up this book as a short book intermission that looked fun. The basic idea is a reporter in Finland is in a car that hits a young hare, he gets out to help the hare and decides to leave his life behind and wander the countryside with his rabbity friend.

It was fun sometimes, in the way that any novel about someone leaving behind life and successfully vagabonding around with no responsibilities or cares will be fun. But it wasn't as comical o

Have you ever had the urge to tell your boss to " take this job and shove it" ( thank you Johnny Paycheck) or maybe longed to chuck all of your responsibilities and go live in a hut somewhere? Maybe it is because I'm an empty-nester but I often fantasize about grabbing my husband and just leaving. This book is about a guy who chooses to walk away from his life. He spends a year traveling around Finland,with a hare, finding adventures wherever he goes. Some of the stories were funnier than others
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
Again, it needs that 1/2 star - because it's about a 2.5 star read. I'm glad I "listened" to this one instead of reading it, because I'm certain I would never have finished it if I was reading in book format. It's a story of a man that is driving with a co-worker and they hit a hare. He goes off in to the woods to see if the hare is still living and has an epiphany. He leaves his wife, quits his job, sells his possessions and wanders around for one year with the hare as his companion. It's a qui ...more
Mia Jensen
What can I say? Apart from I LOVE THIS BOOK!

It reminded me a bit about Seven Brothers by Aleksis Kivi, but mostly in the sense that the main character left his "empty" life to lead a simple, yet more meaningful life in the wild with a hare and thereby travelling all over Finland, going through a lifetime of adventures in just one year. And it does all that without ever sounding too pretentious or philosophizing too much about the meaning of his actions. To quote Vatanen: "That's life".

At the sam
Pierre Menard
Nov 01, 2014 Pierre Menard rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Who is thinking of running away
Che cosa spinge Kaarlo Vatanen, giornalista quarantenne, a raccogliere e curare una piccola lepre, della specie Lepus timidus, investita dall’auto su cui egli viaggia con un fotografo? Appare subito evidente che Vatanen sta attraversando una crisi esistenziale: il suo matrimonio è fallito, il suo lavoro gli procura solo insoddisfazione, non ha praticamente amici degni di questo nome, il cinismo e l’indifferenza guidano la sua vita. Vatanen è un uomo completamente infelice, ma non è del tutto per ...more
Финландия. Страната, в която има 188 хиляди езера, за които финландците съжаляват, че не са пълни с водка. Финландия е страната, за която останалите скандинавци се шегуват, че тя е толкова скандинавска, колкото Турция е европейска. Други пък я наричат Швеция 2.

Шведите имат Астрид Линдгрен, финландците отговарят с Туве Янсон (а шведите отбелязват, че тя е от шведското малцинство във Финландия). Шведите имат Ericsson, а финландците - Nokia. Финландия имат велик хокеист - Теему Селане, шведите отг
Lora Grigorova
The Year of the Hare:

Kaarlo Vatanen is a middle-aged Finnish journalist, disappointed with his job and utterly tired of his wife. For quite a while he has acquiesced with a lonesome and purposeless existence, afraid or unable to change a thing. Until one day, when the car he is travelling in hits an innocent hare. Seized by a sudden impulse, Vatanen jumps out of the car to take care of the injured animal. When his companion leaves him in the middle of now
"L'anno della lepre" è una simpatica storia ambientata tra la Finlandia e l'URSS. Vatanen è un giornalista stufo della sua vita ripetitiva, profondamente triste, di quella tristezza muta che non trova le parole per esprimersi: nulla da condividere con il suo collega e compagno di viaggio e nulla da dire ad una moglie tirannica. A volte capita che questa tristezza che coviamo in noi, emerga e avvolga anche il mondo esterno, con una spuma che copre e attutisce il mondo, permettendoci di continuare ...more
I bought this book thinking it would be an eye opening experience and an escape into a wild world where Kaarlo Vatanen escapes the modern world with his hare to discover magic and freedom in a way that I hadn't perceived before. I had high hopes and perhaps they were too high. I found that while clever and well written the book's magic was a little flat for me. I am not sure if it's the translation or if the book just prattles along on a luke warm journey through Finland without much oomph. It w ...more
Arto Paasilinna was working as a journalist, a job he found was growing "more superficial and meaningless" by the day and he was looking for a change. So, what did he do? He quit his job to write a novel. That novel, The Year of the Hare, became an overnight hit and has since been translated into twenty-five languages and has been made into a film, twice, a Finnish version in 1977 and an inferior 2006 French version.

The premise is simple enough: the book’s protagonist is travelling in a car that
Curtis Ackie
At times it felt as though I were reading a children's book, and I'm not sure if that was due to the translation. An interesting idea, but this book lacks something.
I found Vatanen, and most of the characters he meets along his journey, to be shallow, not nearly enough character building.
There were things I failed to understand, such as why Vatanen hid whilst the vicar was trying to kill his loyal companion. Also, aside from being the catalyst behind Vatanen running away, the hare seemed a lit
Jane Brant
Whimsical, ridiculous, funny, a parable, an animal story...I don't know really what you'd label this novel. But one thing for sure, I love the juxtapositions within the story of the characters, values, etc. I laughed and chuckled several times...who would rescue a hare and go through all the situations the main character does. I would recommend this book to people a little off know, the interesting people who don't march to the same drummer everyone else does. Cross over into this l ...more
Mah! L'ho trovato senza mordente, a tratti soporifero, o forse sono io che non capisco questa famosa "ironia finlandese", o di Arto Paasilinna nello specifico. So solo che mi sono annoiata abbastanza e che verso la fine non vedevo l'ora di passare ad altre letture. E parlando del lato umoristico: non mi ha fatta né sorridere né tanto meno ridere. Sì, per carità: simpatico forse, leggero, ma niente di rilevante per i miei gusti.
Ho letto in giro che in effetti questo è inferiore rispetto ad altri
Philippe Malzieu
He's absolutely incredible. Its stories are completely crazy. It's funny full of alcohol,sex and snow. I am sorry there is only this one in english in the list.
I read all of them. It is fantastic stories. A Pasteur decide to live as couple with a bear; industrialist fuck 10 women in the night (they will be avenged). And all is normal. It is enormous, funny.
It's the physician who talk : all depressed should read pasillina. It was to be refunded by the National Health.
Христо Блажев
Протегнах две уши да те прегърна…:

Финландия на Арто Паасилина е магическа – в нея се принасят жертвоприношения на старите богове, горските пожарища се избягват с потапяне в езеро, в църквата свещениците стрелят на месо, а конспиративните теории за подменени държавни глави са нещо обичайно. Тук военните учения са безсмислени, както навсякъде, но борбата с мечките е безмилостна. Гарваните са врагове, които заслужават гибел, а в реките лежат тонове военно об
Whimsical, fun, and quirky -- I wanted to run away with a rabbit myself by the end of it.

I'm a Finn-ophile, if there is such a thing, which is the reason I picked up this book. The storytelling has a quality reminiscent of the more madcap Kalevala tales that are the bedrock of Finland's literary tradition. It uses absurdity contrasted with banality to create characters and settings that are both realistic and fanciful at the same time. I found it very effective.

As a main character, Vatanen is tr
Interesting tour around Finland of a man who decides to leave the life which he hates and travel in the company of a young hare.
Mira Baldaranova
И все пак четенето е добър начин за убиване на време и в романите на Арто Паасилина. А те ще ви дадат нещо много повече от това. Ще ви подскажат с ирония докъде е стигнала неестествеността на човешките взаимоотношения, ще ви накарат, предполагам, да се почувствате опиянени от волността на горския живот и респектирани от свободата на духа на горския човек. А може и да ги четете с недоумение или пък с твърде широка усмивка.

Трансформацията на героя в горски човек, който по своя воля или по принуда
If, like me, you enjoyed Jonas Jonasson's The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared, it's very likely that you'll enjoy this sharply witty story by Finnish writer, Arto Paasilinna.

Disenchanted journalist, Vatanen, is out on a story together with a photo-journalist for the magazine they both work for, when he climbs out of their car after it hits a hare who limps off into the nearby woods. He follows the hare, finds it and never goes back to the car. Which is just as w
Getting a glimpse of Finland that doesn't involve murder, drugs, and detectives, but involves some true Finlanders, some mayhem, and a hare -- priceless.

Warm and fuzzy, the vignettes of this story are not (though the hare is). Charming, honest, direct, they are. Together they tell the story of Vatanen(what is his first name -- it's never told), a journalist, who while on assignment, comes across a baby hare who is injured (most probably by the car Vatanen is in, maybe even driving) and leaves hi
Jäniksen vuosi (original - I was lucky to find a copy in the original), fortunately translated in other languages too; The Year of the Hare, L'Anno Della Lepre etc.

Klassista Paasilinnaa. Yksi isani kaikkien aikojen suosikkikirjoista.
Vaikka kirja on ensin julkaistu 1975, se on kirjoitettu erittain klassisesti, ja sen huumori ei ole paljoa vanhentunut. Taitaa olla minunkin (suomeksi kirjoitettujen) kirjojen suosikkilistan huipulla.
Huumori on loistavaa. Tama pitaa hankkia viela muilla kielilla ku
Vatanen é um homem infeliz. Perdeu os sonhos da juventude. Está desiludido com o trabalho, com o casamento…
Numa viagem com um colega de trabalho atropelam uma lebre bébé. Vatanen desce do carro, para procurar o animal ferido, e é abandonado no meio da floresta.
Por instantes hesita entre voltar à estrada, ou seguir, com a lebre, “na direcção do crepúsculo nascente”.
Como um suicida, Vatanen abandona tudo e segue na direcção do desconhecido…da vida?
Dedica-se ao pequeno animal como um pai a um filh
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Iperborea: 014 - (SETTEMBRE14) L'anno della lepre di Arto Paasilinna 5 15 Nov 25, 2014 12:49PM  
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Arto Tapio Paasilinna is a Finnish writer, being a former journalist turned comic novelist. One of Finland's most successful novelists, he has won a broad readership outside of Finland in a way few other Finnish authors have before. Translated into 27 languages, over seven million copies of his books have been sold worldwide, and he has been claimed as "instrumental in generating the current level ...more
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“Sometimes conceiving an affection for an animal is easier than for a human.” 11 likes
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