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Aske i munnen, sand i skoa

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  458 Ratings  ·  80 Reviews
Seks år gamle Arvid bor på Veitvet i Oslo og har en far som arbeider på en skofabrikk og en mor som er dansk. Forholdet mellom Arvid og faren står i fokus i disse novellene. Dette er forfatterens litterære debut.
Paperback, 125 pages
Published 2008 by Oktober (first published 1987)
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Sonja Arlow
This was a sweet novella that gives the reader snippets in the life of a little boy, Arvid, living with his parents in Norway in the early 60’s. His father works in a shoe factory and his Danish mother works as a cleaner. Arvid wets his bed at night and has nightmares about crocodiles, but slowly he is beginning to piece the world together.

Looking at life through the eyes of a sensitive, hyper-imaginative child is always insightful and I enjoyed the stories full of humor and poignant observatio
...more
Erika
A small book, which is really a set of disjointed short stories told by the child Arvid. Very Norwegian in phrase (which as usual is quaint and adorable). Arvid is the holy fool of sorts - seeing things as they really are with a kind of innocence that cuts through adult ways of being and seeing. The book itself was unsatisfying, I think it is the prequel to a later novel about the adult Arvid. I am curious to see if the later novel is more satisfying.
"He held his hands to his face as if to keep
...more
Rick
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes, the beautifully titled and realized collection of ten short stories, all featuring Arvid Jansen, the protagonist of Petterson’s later novel I Curse the River of Time (2008), was first published in Norway in 1987, and at last here. Why at last? Two reasons. First, here is the first line of the first story: “Dad had a face that Arvid loved to watch, and at the same time made him nervous as it wasn’t just a face but also a rock in the forest with its furrows and ...more
M. Sarki
Nothing to get hung about. Basically just another book for a Petterson "completist" to read. Charming little stories that offer little to nothing to rave about. But no disappointment as I already expected his short work to not do me like he does with his novels.
Jenni
Nov 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this. This is a collection of short vignette stories from a young boy's life. Each story really spoke to a childhood experience or how it feels to be a kid in a world of adults. It was just so wonderfully engrossing and I can't wait to get to this author's other works.
Courtney
Jan 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At times hilarious, at others desperately lonely, a lovely little book that proved a joy to read.
Lauren
Set in 1960s Norway, we follow Arvid, a young boy, in his daily life with family and his school. Brief glimpses of larger issues (family dramas, world history and looming nuclear threat), but told through the simple eyes of a child. An endearing and short read.
Nelson Wattie
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short book of short stories was Per Petterson’s first publication in Norwegian, though not in English translation, where it followed some substantial novels. It might be thought of as apprenticeship work, but that would not be fair to the talent that could make these brief episodes ring with a multitude of sound and meaning. The stories are interconnected, chronologically following a small boy’s life, so that they are like fragments from a novel. Indeed, considering that fragmentation is a ...more
Kimbofo
Ashes in my Mouth, Sand in my Shoes, first published in 1987, was Norwegian writer Per Petterson’s first book, yet it was only translated in 2013. Like many other successful authors who write in languages that are not English, his books have been translated out of order. This means that for fans, like me, we have to read things out of chronological order. Not that it really matters: reading a Per Petterson novel is always a treat, regardless of when it was published, and this one is no exception ...more
Russell George
Dec 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of Per Peterson’s novels – though this is probably the length of a novella – and it reminded me again that he does childhood very well. Particularly an experience of childhood shadowed by uneasy adults who drink too much, and all the foreboding that that situation brings. Again, there’s no real story as such, but rather a series of episodes which gradually bring clarity to the family and the town they live in.
Julie M
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rob Quanbeck
Recommended to Julie by: HCLib
Great vignettes of a boyhood in 1960's Norway, told in 2nd person from "Arvid's" POV. This collection helped launch Petterson's literary career.
Beth
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was excited to read this little novella, but ended up feeling pretty meh... about it. Luckily there is more Petterson to be read, this one just wasn't for me.
John Hatley
Jul 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is brilliant! Having read several of Per Petterson's novels before now, I was lucky enough to find a used copy of his debut book, and I love it. Although described as a short-story collection, it could just as easily be a novel. Each chapter does indeed tell a story in its own right, but in the end, whether novel or collection of short stories, it is in my opinion a beautiful book. I can recommend it, regardless of the language you read it in. I really don't think that a bad translatio ...more
Pam
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this short collection of vignettes about young Arvid Jansen in 1960s Oslo. I look forward to reading more of this author's books about Arvid as a teen and an adult. The stories ring true and offer a glimpse into a boy's childhood, dealing with a variety of life topics - death, aging, war, sex, bullying, and family relations. The writing is great! There are no wasted words and the dialogue is believable. Fun stories that are easy to relate to. My only complaint is that I want more s ...more
Emily
So I read these backwards, I should have started here and ended with "I Curse the River of Time," regardless, Arvid grew on me as he got younger. I particularly enjoyed this set of stories set in post-war Norway, I'd say they're perfect for a cup of tea on a chilly afternoon.
Kati Polodna
Sort of reminded me of the Nick Adams stories.
Kirk Johnson
Nov 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These short stories of a child trying to understand his place with his father and the world at large are, for the most part, little pieces of perfection.
Thecritic
Nov 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book about a six year old. Arvid Jansen. it's nice to see the world from his point of view
AlexInWonderland
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tales from childhood
Norway
The '70s
Thoughtful, tender, & somewhat raw
Kat
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, audio
What a fascinating little book! This is my first Per Petterson novel and I enjoyed it tremendously. Quick rambling reading (or listening as it was for me!) I loved the family dynamics and the Danish sense of self. (And, Arvid!)
Claire McAlpine
This is Per Petterson’s first book, though only recently translated (by Don Bartlett) into English following the success of his novel Out Stealing Horses (translated into 40 languages) and the sequel to this novel , my personal favourite I Curse the River of Time.

Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes provides a literary snapshot of a childhood growing up in the outskirts of Oslo, Norway in the early 1960′s. His father works in a shoe factory and his Danish mother used to work in a chocolate factor
...more
Shaina
Original review here: http://www.shainareads.com/2015/05/wh...

Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes is a teeny-tiny collection of short stories about a Norwegian boy named Arvid Jansen coming of age in the 1960s. The prose is spare and serious, much like Arvid himself, and it meanders through his memories of his grandfather's death, the night terrors and bedwetting that haunt him into his pre-adolescence, and the quiet, desperate horror of the Cold War. Arvid leaves school early one day after his
...more
Bridgid Dean
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arvid Jansen is the young protagonist of these ten sparse, wonderful stories. Taking place in Oslo in the 1960s, they are snapshots of a boy coming of age, a rather unusual boy. Arvid is dreamy and imaginative, but also prone to depression. Childhood depression is a subject not often tackled in literature but Petterson handles it masterfully. He paints us pictures of a child dealing with family discord, death, and existential depression so beautifully that it is not depressing for us to read. In ...more
Jeff Scott
A sparse and short collection of stories about a young child and his view of the world around him. He is puzzled by the relationship of his father and his uncle. He doesn't fully understand getting older, what happens when someone dies, or adults behaving strangely. He must decipher his world with his five-year-old brain. For Per Petterson, it's a way for him to honor his parents and the tragedy of losing them.

I am a huge fan of Per Petterson's novels. I read Out Stealing Horses and was immedia
...more
Mandy
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this short and gentle portrait of a young boy growing up in a working-class suburb of Oslo in the 1960s, Per Petterson deftly and with great tenderness captures the thoughts and feelings of 6 year old Arvid as he tries to make sense of the sometimes confusing world around him. His often hazy understanding of what is happening comes across clearly in Petterson’s usual concise and spare prose and beautifully captures the world through Arvid’s eyes. His relationship with his father is particular ...more
Karen
May 21, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
A short, quiet book that could easily be read in one sitting, Ashes in My Mouth... is Per Petterson's debut novel which introduces Arvid, an adult character in Out Stealing Horses as a sweet and insecure six year old. Whether it is the translation or the way it is written, it comes across exactly as a six year old would tell his stories and nails the point of view. The world is an uncertain and scary place for Arvid; he's small for his age, he's bullied at school, and the adults closest to him a ...more
Lauren Dostal
This was incredibly different from Petterson's Out Stealing Horses. Where OSH was sparse and perfectly balanced, the stories in this book tended toward a rambling stream of consciousness. Despite this, three of the stories were outstanding--the first, third, and final which all dealt with the issue of the complicated familial relationships between grandfather, father, uncle, and son. They were the most unified and purposeful of the bunch, and I wish Petterson had pulled them out and made one coh ...more
clara
Mar 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first novella I ever read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The writing style was clean and straightforward- the translation was absolutely great!
It had moments where I laughed aloud and moments that seemed so personal and lonely.
Highly recommend, and you could easily read this in just a day as I did.
Pat
Dec 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ashes...simply mesmerizing.

Per Petersen has an uncanny knack for simple language made exquisite. Arvid, as a child character, reveals a perspective that is both daunting and beautiful. I felt I knew this child, but only through his thoughts. It was not the actions of those around him that defined him - but his response to those actions. Beautifully written.
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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
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