Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

This was a selection for one of my Reading Groups; I would not have found it on my own.  The author is from Norway and the writing is similar to other Scandinavians - understated, quiet, thoughtful.  It's a story of a man who retires to the country on the border of Norway to live the rest of his life and when he meets a neighbor recalls his youth with his father. The story slowly unfolds to reveal the losses in his life in his youth and the effect it has on him as an adult. From his father he learns "we decide for ourselves when it will hurt".

"People like it when you tell them things, in suitable portions, in a modest, intimate tone, and they think they know you, but they do not, they know about you, for what they are let in on are facts, not feelings..."

"...I wonder whether that is how we get to be after living alone for a long time, that in the middle of a train of thought we start talking out loud, that the difference between talking and not talking is slowly wiped out..."

I enjoyed the writing, the descriptions of the scenery, the mood of the story and the slow way we learn bits of his life both in the past and present.  A recommended read from me, and one of the NYT Book Review 10 best books of the year.

Published: 2003  Read: April 2012  Genre: Fiction

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