Jeanette "Astute Crabbist"'s Reviews > Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
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's review
Oct 21, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: four-star-fiction, scandinavia, all-fiction, extraordinary-prose
Recommended to Jeanette by: Several people
Read in October, 2008

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 present and past, as Trond reveals the secrets he discovered and lessons he learned that boyhood summer.

I'm a big nature lover, and I found the author's descriptions of the outdoor environment especially compelling. I could really see the beauty of the water and grasses and starlit sky, and feel the icy cold of the wind.

I thought the end was rather nicely understated. Trond is on his way to becoming a man as he realizes his father gave him some things of value to carry into his adulthood. He is ready to move ahead and stop wishing for what cannot be. "We do decide for ourselves when it will hurt."
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Elisabeth I'm so glad you liked this! I loved the environmentally descriptive writing as well.

Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist" This is a book I'll be keeping for possible re-reading. Not too many of those for me anymore, but I could see myself out in the wilderness with this one.

I did find it amusing at times that the book was translated by someone who speaks British English. It made me chuckle to see Norwegian people saying things like "Bloody hell!" and "Well, blow me, he's a wet lad!" :) It didn't detract from my enjoyment at all. Just funny.

Charisse Yea! I too am glad you liked this! I'll be interested to hear your review of his other book when you get around to that one. Different yet similiar..... :)

Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist" Next from this author for me will be To Siberia. There are a couple of people in line ahead of me for In the Wake, and my library only has one copy, so it'll be a few weeks. After that, I'll just have to wait for the next translation. Sigh...if only I could read Norwegian...

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