Pferde stehlen
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Pferde stehlen

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  15,544 ratings  ·  3,020 reviews
Norwegen im Sommer 1948: Der fünfzehnjährige Trond verbringt die Ferien in einer Hütte nahe der schwedischen Grenze. Als in der Nachbarsfamilie ein schreckliches Unglück geschieht, entdeckt der Junge das wohlgehütete Lebensgeheimnis seines Vaters. In den Kriegsjahren hatte dieser zusammen mit der Nachbarin politisch Verfolgte über den Fluss gebracht. Und sich dabei für imm...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 13th 2009 by Fischer (first published 2003)
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I have a feeling this book may take root and blossom further within me over time, but for now, I must stop one star short of my top rating.

"Out Stealing Horses" won the world's richest literary prize (The Impac, out of Dublin) last year, and it has had enough buzz that I had to wait weeks for it to come off the reserve list at our local library.

It is the tale of a 67-year-old Norwegian man who retreats to the north woods to review his life, and particularly, a fateful summer in 1948 when he was...more
I was sorry when I turned to the last page. And surprised--my right hand still held several pages of the book, and I hadn't realized they were the blank ones that often come at the end.

I was sorry, because I wanted to spend more time in this space--rural Norway, mostly, with ventures into Oslo and Sweden. I wanted to spend more time with the narrator, Trond, whose name rarely emerges in the text and who we follow when he is fifteen and when he is sixty-seven, with ventures elsewhere in his life....more
Lars Guthrie
As chilly as its Norwegian setting, Petterson's novel continues to haunt my thoughts weeks after reading it. Its very title and the many allusions to cowboy culture made me think about what frontier and re-invention means if the edge of the world is vast and dramatically sculpted desert that only ends with limitless ocean, or claustrophobic forest that transitions into Arctic ice. But mostly it made me think about no matter how much we think we know about others and ourselves, it's never complet...more
Gregory Baird
Sumptuous Prose, but Largely Redundant

Picking up this novel (translated from its original Norwegian), it is easy to understand why “Out Stealing Horses” has earned such high praise from critics; its author, Per Petterson, is a writer of astonishing talent. There are moments where his astute observations and beautiful descriptions sent chills down my spine. Petterson’s depth of understanding for his main character, Trond, is palpable, and he is carefully rendered in an achingly believable portr...more
Jim Coughenour
"You decide yourself when it will hurt."

Pet Petterson's novel about a man in late middle age who has exiled himself to a cottage in the remote Norwegian countryside has garnered literary prizes and rave reviews almost everywhere. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I was... well, underwhelmed.

I confess I'm an aficionado of bleak fiction, of those sour almost hopeless ruminations on the fate of age and solitude that might fill more cheery readers with despair. So I was expecting to savor Out Ste...more
As I said in an update, this book has some of the most effortless to read prose I've ever encountered, but also seems very worth re-reading.

This story of a father and son's relationship, linked by mentions of the titular phrase, holds so much emotion: love, loss, pain, regret, hope and hopelessness, moments of overwhelming joy followed by inevitable sadness. I found the earlier part of the book absolutely poetic, the latter less so....but I'm unsure if that was the book (the story) or me and my...more
a third of the way through and i was certain i'd give this book four or five stars... spare, strong sentences, a jumping chronology, meandering, mysterious... i loved it. and had it remained how it had started -- that is, a book of sketches strung together by a common element -- i would have loved it... but it doesn't. in a way, i think, petterson lacks confidence in his own abilities: he introduces certain plot elements i found wholly unnecessary (not to mention an incredibly anti-climactic res...more
The only negative thing I can say – or, more accurately, am willing to say – about this novel is that it begs to be read by the fireplace, and not everybody has a fireplace. I don't have a fireplace.
This is lovely. Very compressed language. Funny how that comes through even in translation (from the Norwegian). At certain points the novel suggests all that is good about Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River," which is not to say it's derivative, not at all; just that Petterson knows his Hemingway. The narrative flashes between past and present. A 67 year old man has moved to rural Norway, away from Oslo after the death of his second wife, and settled in a lakeside village. His children, two dau...more
We have had a death in the family which has meant stopping almost everything to pay my respects to Death and Time. I don't know how long they'll be right in the house like this. Maybe until the Peak Freans run out, or until some illuminating memory shakes out of the vault to make sense of the whole; a snow globe marked 'Souvenir of Life on Earth', the light hidden in those falling fake metallic flakes. I do know that whatever it is, Death and TIme will return to their place on the back burner to...more
A quiet, reflective novel of one man's attempt to understand and escape from a deep sadness he has carried with him since he was a child. Alone in a remote cabin with the harsh Norway winter fast approaching, Trond searches for a way to explain a single, piercing childhood tragedy that has echoed hauntingly throughout his life. As the focus of the novel shifts seamlessly between a summer Trond spent working with his father and the silent time he now spends alone in his cold, tiny cabin, the deta...more
having finished:
The story grew on me as it began to center more on the father-son relationship, but I did not fall in love... I liked how it was structured, I liked the evocation of landscape and season, but the characters were shadowy for me and it never reached the point of intensity that I wanted it to...that was perhaps the point: not to, to have many small flickers of light instead of one really bright & intense one, but it's what I wanted. I wanted less shadowy characters--for at least...more
In a year, when someone mentions that they are reading this book, I'll say "yeah, I read that", but I will not be able to recall anything about it. Other than its mood. It resides somewhere on the same bookshelf as Tinkers, a shelf covered in frost and nostalgia and sadness.

Both Out Stealing Horses and Tinkers feature an old man remembering his life of hardships. They exude a tone more so than they present a plot - the tone of human isolation and quiet reflection. But unfortunately for me, that'...more
This slender yet powerful book is one to read and reread.

Following the death of his second wife when he "lost interest in talking to people," the aging narrator, Trond, has retired to a remote forest-village in Norway. When his nearest neighbor turns out to be a figure from his past, from a summer spent with his father which shaped the rest of his life, Trond’s memories begin to churn, despite attempts to lose himself in the details of surviving in his new environment (wood-chopping, shopping,...more
You know when books have a flavor? This had a European flavor. The author is Norwegian whose very Scandinavian characters, Trond and Lars, create a feeling akin to those I had watching films at the International Cinema during college, only in book form. The book doesn't happen in black and white, at least not quite, but there was a definite filter on my mind's lens.

Subdued. Cold. Detached. Serious. Unexplained. Unemotional. Unhappy.

What more could you ask for in a book, right?

As dreary as I am...more
2.5 stars

Out stealing horses is a book that I have wanted to read for a long time but just had a hunch that it was not for me and the hunch was correct.

This is a quiet but thought provoking sort of novel and tells the story of Trond a vigorous 67 year old residing in rural Norway. He is a loner and has withdrawn from the world.

The writing in this book is beautiful and I loved some of the descriptions in the novel but the story is more a study of character than plot and as much as I enjoyed the w...more
Carmo Santos
Não se fiem no titulo do livro. Pode não augurar nada de especial, mas rapidamente se dá pelo engano.
O que temos é uma história de vida contada com muita sensibilidade, oscilando entre o presente e o passado, num cenário de uma Noruega remota e agreste: fiordes, florestas a cheirar a musgo e resina, vida selvagem à porta de casa, neve, vento, chuva gelada.
Um melancólico regresso ao passado; à perda da inocência e à descoberta de novos sentimentos. O primeiro contacto com a morte, a culpa, a pe...more
Per Petterson trusts me. I felt this with some satisfaction while reading Out Stealing Horses. He unfolds his story with no unnecessary signposts or reminders or references, trusting that his reader will care enough to gather up every quiet detail as it is shared and infer those that didn’t need to be put down. It is a simple story with many pieces that never snap together so much as they are smoothed into place with time, just as the narrator’s memories are.

His power of description is sad and...more
Memories revealed, pondered, untangled...apearing like nested ornamental Chinese boxes...somehow fit to form a most impressive novel by Norwegian author Per Petterson. It is November 1999 and 67-year-old Trond Sander, who has recently lost his wife and sister, embarks on a new life in a rural cabin in eastern Norway (far from modern Oslo) where he intends to live in a simple setting far away from people, electronic devices, and global events that no longer influence his views. Trond is Thoreau-l...more
Out Stealing Horses is a book one doesnt read for the plot but for the pleasure of reading itself. There is hardly any action taking place, not much of a plot to speak of and the narrative is unhurried, reflective and focused on the background of events taking place. It has impressionistic qualities. Petterson describes very vividly forests, the nature, snow-covered houses at a distance to use it as a way of describing feelings. Emotions that fill the whole book but he does not write about them...more
I don't like giving ratings.

This is a sensitive, tender coming-of-age exploration of a father-son relationship; takes place in Norway with a super-likeable protagonist and laugh-out-loud but subtle subtle humor with nuances of Hardy, Twain, Hemingway, Salinger -- Petterson's a controlled writer, and this novel is spare, with crystal-clear clarity, and the uncomplicated lulling prose is a nice juxtaposition to the solid tale that goes back and forth from the present to WW2. It's solidly crafted...more
This is one of my favorite new reads of 2009. I finished it months ago and have been trying ever since to figure out just what to say about it. It's translated from the Norwegian, which by itself makes it memorable. Memories keep coming back to an old man about his childhood, the father who left home, the war, the novels of Dickens, and gradually the reader and the narrator come to understand a story that is far different than what they had expected. It was a great surprise to me, during my year...more
Although my interest in writing about books generally takes a more analytical bent—diving into an author's bag of tricks, dissecting how an effect was achieved or tracing the iterations of a motif along its winding course—there does occasionally come a book that elicits an unexpectedly more personal reaction, one that overshadows my analytical perceptions for a time, and such a book was Per Petterson's 2003 novel Out Stealing Horses. I hope, eventually, to return to a rather crafty meta-techniqu...more
Bobby Lehew
I have so little time for thoughtful review; instead, I opt for a series of favorite passages from each book; (my apologies to authors everywhere for confounding intent by taking these out of context!) -

"People like it when you tell them things, in suitable portions, in a modest, intimate tone, and they think they know you, but they do not, they know about you, for what they are let in on are facts, not feelings, not what your opinion is about anything at all, not how what has happened to you a...more
What an amazing book this is! It's the story of a 67-year-old Norwegian man, who has moved from the city to the country after the death of his wife. Now living in the logging country, close to Sweden, Trond Sander finds himself moving back and forth from the present to the past, remembering episodes from his youth that are vividly portrayed by the author. Some of these events are shocking, and the reader is stunned. Others describe the relationship between Trond and his father - his idol on a cl...more
A book I really wanted to enjoy more than I did in the end. The writing was as advertised: first rate. And the setting was expertly done: a very cold and snowy Norway with a slight bleakness. However, after what is initially an interesting beginning, I found the plot fizzling and becoming rather lifeless. It took too long and was interrupted by distractions. I felt like a child forced to politely listen to a slightly affected old man tell me a story that had no end while he busied himself with c...more
One of the best books of the year? On the Northern California Independent Booksellers Bestseller list? Come on. I'm all for bringing world literature to the american literary public, but do we really need one more of these spare, dreary books about old men remembering their youth? It's not a bad book, just vastly overrated. It's a shame that in the tiny field of translated fiction, we get so many stale, uninventive books; we get to pat ourselves on the back for reading something in translation,...more
Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead)
Dec 10, 2008 Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jeanette (Most of My Favorite Authors Are Dead) by: Several people
Oh my! This one really worked for me. I stayed up way too late two nights in a row to read this.

Trond Sander is an elderly Norwegian widower. He moves to a tumble-down house on a river to be alone and lead a quiet, simpler life. A chance encounter with a neighbor one night stirs up memories and dreams of the summer of 1948. Trond was fifteen years old, and the experiences of that summer, both pleasant and unpleasant, led to a turning point in the boy's life.

The book alternates loosely between p...more
It's been a while, no?

Well, that's because I've been juggling many a book while finishing not a one. I've also been on a roll watching mediocre movies (with the exception of Charlie Bartlett as that was quite good).

Five stars for Per Petterson's novel. According to the New York Times Book Review, this was one of the 10 best books of 2007. I'd like to take a moment to: 1. thank Anne Born for her skill in translating this book and 2. ask someone to teach me Norwegian and all its nuances so I can r...more
This book is a fantastic example of what I am loving about Scandinavian lit at this point in time. I was hesitant about it when a friend of mine recommended the book. I mean, the premise doesn't sound overly interesting. A story of two boys and they steal horses one morning, and then "their lives change forever". Not really a gripping concept, not to mention that phrase is over done. But I am glad I stuck with it.

The plot really is about one boy Jonas, and the summer in 1948 he spends with his d...more
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Horses 6 113 Dec 07, 2008 03:03PM  
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Petterson knew from the age of 18 that he wanted to be a writer, but didn't embark on this career for many years - his debut book, the short story collection Aske i munnen, sand i skoa, (Ashes in the Mouth, Sand in the Shoes) was published 17 years later, when Petterson was 35. Previously he had worked for years in a factory as an unskilled labourer, as his parents had done before him, and had als...more
More about Per Petterson...
I Curse the River of Time To Siberia In the Wake It's Fine By Me Jeg nekter

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“You decide for yourself when it will hurt.” 69 likes
“People like it when you tell them things, in suitable portions, in a modest, intimate tone, and they think they know you, but they do not, they know _about_ you, for what they are let in on are facts, not feelings, not what your opinion is about anything at all, not how what has happened to you and how all the decisions you have made have turned you into who you are. What they do is they fill in with their own feelings and opinions and assumptions, and they compose a new life which has precious little to do with yours, and that lets you off the hook. No-one can touch you unless you yourself want them to.” 61 likes
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