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The Year of the Hare

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  5,899 Ratings  ·  641 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
Audiobook, 5 pages
Published December 13th 2010 by Blackstone Audio, Inc. (first published 1975)
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Community Reviews

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Jun 25, 2014 Lisa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book made me reflect on my sense of humour (as far as it exists) and my pre-conceived ideas (not to be taken seriously) on my Scandinavian heritage. After all, most of the time, we laugh at the stereotypical patterns we recognise in ourselves and our environment?

Paasilinna is advertised as one of the funniest Scandinavian authors - at least in Sweden, where sense of humour in general unfortunately fell victim to a budget cut in the 1970s. It has never been reintroduced since then, so maybe
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 24, 2011 K.D. Absolutely rated it liked it  ·  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
Humorous story of a man who abandons his life in the city to live in the Finnish wilderness with a wild hare. Manages to talk about how charming and pleasant this way of life is without being overly pedantic. Sweet and earnest, but not cloying.
Aug 09, 2014 Warwick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, ebooks, finland
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,
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
Dana Burgess
Jun 03, 2011 Dana Burgess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
'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
Oct 04, 2016 Amorfna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own, nordic
U realnosti, kolebam se između tri i četiri zvezdice ali pošto sa ocenjivanjem generalno loše stojim, knjiga je nekako topla i prijatna a i na godišnjem sam, nek bude četiri , za zeca kao simbol divljine koji pokazuje više humanosti i vaspitanja nego civilizovani građani. Nek ide život.

Nemoguće je ne povući paralelu sa Doplerom, tematika je slična.

Beg od civilizacije, traženje sebe kroz povratak prirodi, kritika modernog društva.
Ne preterano prefinjeno poređenje s moje strane ali Dopler je na n
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A couple of years ago I came upon a Norwegian bestseller just translated into English called Doppler by Erlend Loe. I loved that book and belly-laughed through much of it. A GR friend pointed out this earlier book published in Finland in 1975 and thought the themes were similar. They are, and Loe undoubtedly knew of Paasilinna and copied the idea but Loe also made it more outrageous.

A man, tired of his job and his wife and his life in general decides to leave everything behind and not return ho
Oct 14, 2011 Noce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jun 08, 2015 Caterina rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caterina by: suvi
Shelves: finland, ebooks
My first Finnish novel was quite enjoyable, I liked the way the author describes the passing from the city life to the wilderness and the main character's difficulty to re-adjust to the "normal" life. Also, beautiful scenes of country life, a way of life already in extinction even in Finland of the '70s. The upcoming industrialization, the growth of the cities, even the final (symbolic to me) pursue of the bear across the borders are all well-drawn elements of the plot. A good and well-written n ...more
Mar 30, 2011 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
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
João Carlos
Mar 11, 2013 João Carlos rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: l2013, scandinavian

Ilustração de Arthur Giron

Kaarlo Vatanen é um jornalista com cerca de 40 anos, cínico e infeliz, que viaja de carro na companhia de um fotógrafo. Numa estrada arenosa no meio de uma floresta finlandesa uma lebre jovem exercitava-se a pular nas patas traseiras. O fotógrafo condutor, com a mente entorpecida, não foi capaz de reagir a tempo atropelando o animal. Vatanen em pânico sai do carro e entra na floresta onde encontra a lebre com a pata traseira partida. O jornalista pegou na lebre aterrori
Dec 27, 2014 Amber rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 19, 2011 Danny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
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
Marcello S
Questa è la storia di Vatanen, un giornalista che dopo aver investito un cucciolo di lepre decide di cambiare vita e lasciarsi alle spalle Helsinki, la moglie e i colleghi.

Inizia un viaggio verso nord, in mezzo ai boschi, al freddo, alle tempeste di neve e agli orsi.
Vive un sacco di avventure tra residui bellici da recuperare, incendi da spegnere e sbronze colossali che gli fanno dimenticare tutto.

E' un inno alla libertà e all'avventura, al piacere di mollare tutto per ritrovarsi diversi.
In cer
Кремена Михайлова
Още в началото ме погълна, без да имам никакви очаквания. Интересно ми беше да стигна с героя чак до Лапландия. Написана увлекателно, вади чувства и търсения на повърхността, но с един духовит тон.

Естествено ме впечатли идеята в средата на живота си да зарежеш всичко и да тръгнеш с освободено сърце и без посоки в неизвестното. Ощее по-интересно за мен беше самото пътешествие из разнолика и далечна Финландия, сред какви ли не хора от провинцията, с поредица от чудновати случки, весели моменти и
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."

Apr 01, 2013 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: n-finlandia, e4
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
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
Jul 28, 2012 Kevin rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear. I had high hopes for this so called quirky and amusing Finnish classic. I have to say I felt let down. The blurb on the back of my copy, calls the translation " clear and straightforward". I'd call the writing style overly simplistic. It reads like it was written by a 9 year old boy with a great imagination, but no idea how the adult world functions. There is no characterisation whatsoever. I've no idea what Vatanen looks like, how old he is or what he feels at any point in the story, o ...more
Sep 18, 2011 Antonomasia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd prefer to give this 4.5 stars as it seems to be let down a bit by the translation, with some odd and clumsy word choices. Nevertheless, the story still flows.
It was a little different from expectations, with more events and fewer descriptions of peaceful times spent in nature. Not many books could benefit from being longer or from more description, but this is probably one. Whilst Vatanen drops out of consumerist society, there is very little hippie or political style writing here: he has a
Dec 06, 2016 Lily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Абсолютно прекрасна книга. Писати так коротко, ємко, цікаво і захоплююче - справжній талант.
Nadia Sytch
Jan 29, 2017 Nadia Sytch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Взагалі 3,5 зірочки. Ніколи мені тих зірочок не вистачає:) Чарівна книжка, декому дуже сподобається, але для мене все ж надто сюрреалістична. Любителям фінського кіно точно зайде.
Pierre Menard
Aug 07, 2014 Pierre Menard rated it liked it  ·  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
Sep 20, 2014 Lammoth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 17, 2014 Lora Grigorova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Es handelt sich bei diesem Buch um eine leichte seichte Lektüre zum schnellen Zwischendurchlesen. Dadurch ich bereits Werke von Paasilinna und somit seinen Erzählstil kannte, konnte mich die Handlung nicht wirklich überraschen. Irgendwie ist es die alt bekannte Geschichte, nur mit ausgetauschten Protagonisten. Die größte Freude bereitete mir dabei immerhin der Hase, während sein menschlicher Ziehvater, der Journalist Vatanen, bis zum Schluss zu farblos bleibt. -
Die Idee allerdings, aus seinem A
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.
Katie Sholty
Things that I have realized and or learned while reading this:
1. I need a hare.
2. Do not trifle with hares. Hares are quite sassy and will make you pay for headless petting by pooping in your soup.
3. Cages come in all sizes, and most are of our own making.
4. Finland has bitten me and I must go wander there.
5. Bears are bears. Do not go looking for them. They'll remember you and just to anger you will take a nip out of you.
6. Make sure you're divorced before getting engaged. It just makes thing
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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
More about Arto Paasilinna...

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“Sometimes conceiving an affection for an animal is easier than for a human.” 17 likes
“It is hard to teach an old dog to sit, as well as it is difficult to teach an old Laplandian rafter to swim.” 1 likes
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