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The Year of the Hare

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  8,285 ratings  ·  938 reviews
A journalist and a photographer set out on an assignment on lovely sunny evening. As they drive through the country they hit a young hare. Vatanen, the journalist, leaves the car and goes in search of the injured creature. The grateful animal adopts Vatanen and together the two scamper through farcical adventures and political scandal.
Paperback, 135 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Peter Owen Publishers (first published 1975)
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3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,285 ratings  ·  938 reviews

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Luca Ambrosino
ENGLISH (The Year of the Hare) / ITALIANO

Vatanen, a Finnish journalist, is in conflict with his life. The dissatisfaction comes out one day after hitting a hare. After rescue the wild animal, inexplicably Vatanen running through the woods together with his new friend. He starts down a path of inner purification across the Finland. He plays the part of a veterinary, a fugitive, a fisherman, a fireman, a cowhand, a wrecker, a bear hunter, a drunkard. He learns to make do with what he has, he puts

J.L.   Sutton
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed Arto Paasilinna's The Year of the Hare. It seemed part fable, part drunken frenzy and part Walden Pond; this crazy combination resonated with me. Our protagonist walks out on his life and wanders rural Finland with a hare (which he has rescued) as his companion. His acceptance and adaptability to his shifting circumstances and his bond to his new traveling companion transform his life in unpredictable ways. It's a short read, but it both made me smile and got me thinking.
Jim Fonseca
Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun romp: the “comic misadventures” of a young Finnish male journalist who hits a hare and injures it with his car. He chases the hare into the forest and begins an off-the-grid adventure.

He decides to quit his job, divorce his wife of his loveless marriage and spend a year wandering the wilds and small rural towns of Finland with the hare as companion.


His craziness is infectious; his care for the hare becomes a catalyst to bring others out of their dull routines. So a game warden becomes an a
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
Do not even bother, amigos. Even if you fancy rabbits. This is one of the worst novels I have ever read.

Its pretty much insipid sketches of Finnish rural life. Rudimentary to a most disagreeable/laughable degree!

This strange, dull and dimwitted collection of feeble fables may possibly be analogies or legends of Finnish culture. In which case, yikes. Finland, do not let this represent your national character. It paints you all as ski bunnies with neurons firing lazily in some stagnant sauna of a
[Shai] Bibliophage
I gave this 5 stars because I enjoyed reading Vatanen's adventures with his companion hare. I was even imagining how it feels like to be Vatanen who abandoned his wife, career, and life in the city just to explore the rurals. This book made me realize that for once, I want to break free from all the responsibilities and obligations in the city. I wonder how many of those who read this have envisioned themselves on Vatanen's shoes and envied him for having the guts to get away.
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 24, 2011 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
Dec 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Jim Coughenour
Feb 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, finland, ebooks
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,
Quite boring really (apart from the poor hare) It is set in Finland. The main character...Vatenen, appears to be short on genuine feeling (apart from the poor hare)The book is divided into chapters, each one focused on a particular experience. There is a fair bit of brutality and cruelty. I struggled to finish it but thankfully it was quite short. It reads like a journalist has written it. Not for me at all.
Laura لاورا
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: indimenticabili
Meravigliosa Scandinavia!

Alzi la mano chi, almeno una volta nella vita, anche solo per mezzo secondo, non abbia mai pensato di mollare tutto, lavoro, famiglia, obblighi e responsabilità, e scappare via di punto in bianco. Del resto, un momento di (sana) follia può capitare a tutti.
A Vatanen, giornalista quarantenne, accade in una fase cruciale della propria esistenza, quando si sente deluso, amareggiato, stanco di tutto ciò che ha, matrimonio incluso, e coglie al balzo l’occasione di “perdersi”
Dana Burgess
Jun 03, 2011 rated it did not like it
'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 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
An impulse buy from a secondhand bookshop in London, based on the cover and description; I read a third of it on the train home. It was originally published in Finnish in 1975. Vatanen, a journalist, is out on assignment with his photographer colleague: “two dissatisfied, cynical men, approaching middle age. The hopes of their youth had not been realized, far from it. They were husbands, deceiving and deceived; stomach ulcers were on the way for both of them; and many other worries filled their ...more
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Katie Scarlett O Hara

Ne pitajte kako sam do tog broja došla. :D
Sem nekih zamerki, koje sam imala, najviše u vezi kraja, dopala mi se knjiga, a što je bitnije, zadržala mi se u mislima i još neko duže vreme nakon čitanja.

Recenzija je na blogu.
Oct 14, 2011 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,
Milan Trpkovic
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kratka, iskrena, zanimljiva, kritična i zabavna knjiga. Pasalina je još jednom potvrdio da mi njegov stil pisanja poprilično prija i da često povlačim paralelu između njega i Erlenda Lua.
Uživao sam čitajući ovu knjigu u prevozu od kuće do posla.
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
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
De joyeuses retrouvailles avec Vatanen et son lièvre ; un livre que j'avais lu il y a déjà une dizaine d'années, et que j'ai eu le plaisir de me remémorer petit à petit, au fil des pages !

Vatanen, marié, journaliste, s'ennuyait peut-être dans sa vie Helsinki, lorsqu'un soir, en rentrant d'un voyage à Heinola avec son collègue photographe, il percute un lièvre. Blessé, la patte brisée, l'animal n'a pas pu s'éloigner, et Vatanen s'enfonce dans les bois pour le rejoindre, ignorant les appels de so
May 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sanırım İskandinav Edebiyatından okuduğum ilk kitap buydu. Başlarda nasıl bir şeyle karşılaşacağımı bilmiyordum fakat kitabı okumaya başladığım zaman beni çok çabuk içerisine çekti. Anlamsız bir şekilde kendimi kitap sayfalarında kaybettim. Ve gerçekten okurken hayatımda öyle bir yaban tavşanı olmasını istedim. Vatanen Ve tavşanın maceraları çok hoşuma gitti. Yer yer absürt olması beni gülümsetti. Finlandiya’nın siyasi veya sosyal durumunu bilmediğim için okurken bazı şeyleri kaçırmış gibi hisse ...more
Jun 08, 2015 rated it liked it
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 rated it liked it
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 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
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."

Oct 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-book, fiction
Kaarlo Vatanen is unhappy with his life. Vatanen, a journalist, is traveling to a meeting in a colleague’s automobile. They accidently hit a hare and Vatanen get out to find the injured animal. He finds it but his colleague has gone on without him. Vatanen decides not to return to his life. He sells his possessions and goes to live in the Finnish countryside with the hare.

This is an escape-from-civilization, back-to-nature type story. Vatanen takes odd jobs in secluded places and fixes up a log-
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Un libro ed un prosa davvero particolare quella di Paasilinna, spartana eppure tagliente, fatta di periodo brevi che donano al libro ed alle strambe avventure di Vatanen molto ritmo e con un pizzico di frenesia. Nonostante i vari episodi della fuga della vita di Vatanen verso una vita più semplice nelle sperdute foreste del Nord Finlandia, siano pieni di surrealismo ed ironia, in realtà nelle sue pieghe si nasconde una feroce satira e denuncia verso alcuni malcostumi e problemi della Finlandia. ...more
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A lovely tale. Really reminded me Paasilinna`s other work The Howling Miller which I really liked (and was published several years after this novel). It didn't felt like he was using the same formula, more like he has a unique style. Will probably try more of his work. ...more
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lecturas-2018
Vatanen es un periodista de mediana edad que mientras acompaña a su fotógrafo a un trabajo, atropella a una liebre, aprovecha este hecho para literalmente huir de su vida monótona, un trabajo que no le gusta y una esposa a la que no soporta.

Así Arto Paasalinna nos lleva a un viaje extraordinario, lleno de situaciones extrañas, donde Vatanen conoce a todo tipo de personajes y así, a través de esta aventura un tanto ecológica y con un mudo grito de reclamo social hacia el consumismo, la falta de v
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Arto Tapio Paasilinna was a Finnish writer, being a former journalist turned comic novelist. One of Finland's most successful novelists, he 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 of ...more
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