Thursday, August 7, 2008

BOOK: Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

What an Animal!; Orbis Terrarum: Norway; Book Awards II (IMPAC 2007); notable books

I never mean for a book to fit into so many challenges, and I didn't even get this book until a couple weeks ago; it just fit in perfectly and lets me finish two challenges off. I picked it after Laura gave it a rave review, and the chance to read a book from Norway was pretty exciting.

It's a quiet and slow, beautiful book, like I would imagine Norway to be. Sixty-seven year old Trond Sander has moved to a cabin in the woods to be alone. He coincidentally ends up living beside an old neighbour, and memories from a summer when Trond was fifteen and Lars was ten come back. They don't come flooding back though, because that implies a out of controlness that Trond is not capable off. There are a few going backs here, as he remembers the summer of fifteen in 1948, and learning about his father's actions in the war from 1945 when the German's were occupying Norway. I confess I found the different time frames somewhat confusing to keep track of.

I liked Trond and at times it seemed like he was going to be the kind of narrator you don't like, but he was kind and a little sad but not regretful of things in his life. It's a good book, not great, for me. I won't be raving about it, but it was solid. The ending was a little lacking, it was a bit of a let down. I thought there would be more of a connection between what had happened in 1948, but it just ended. It took me longer than it should have to read the last 60 pages, a sign that I wasn't involved enough to race to the end. I like a little more plot in most of my stories, but I appreciated the characters and the story told in this one.


  1. Except for the disappointing ending, this does sound like an interesting book. Thanks for the great review.

  2. Aha! I felt the same way about the ending, I was expecting a big reveal about why he'd decided to live the rest of his life in solitude, and we just found out what we already knew, that his dad left. This one was too quiet for me.


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