Arlene's Reviews > Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
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Sep 09, 08

Read in September, 2008

The Norwegian narrator has chosen to live in solitude with his dog close to the border with Sweden. And is on the borderland in other ways: in his sixties and contemplating his past. The prose (the translation seems excellent) is simple and, at times, luminous, as it describes the details of ordinary action, works and days, the dog rolling in something, men cutting down trees and building a lumber pile, setting out cream in a yellow pitcher. Some might find this slow, but I think it's like the flensing scenes in Moby Dick--the heart of the book. There's drama too. Again and again the narrator recalls one particular summer during which some inexplicable events occurred--early in the book there's an incident of minor but shocking violence, and we soon learn why it took place. Other mysteries unfold, mostly the mystery of loss.
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