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Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson
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Out Stealing Horses (2003)

by Per Petterson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (177)  Dutch (3)  Danish (3)  Spanish (2)  German (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (190)
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
Although I mostly enjoyed this book, I found I was left with a lot of unanswered questions at the end. ( )
  bibliophileofalls | Jun 17, 2014 |
I had a hard time getting into this book. I wished I had read it in Swedish instead as I sometimes relate to the characters better in my native language. ( )
  AnnikaBirgitta | Jun 10, 2014 |
I enjoyed this novel more than expected after reading Ceridwen's negative review. The British idiomatic translation didn't bother me. In fact, it seems more in keeping with the Norwegian postwar setting than American English might be. I do admit to having been taken aback when Trond's father says, "Blow me," when his 15 year old son comes into their cabin soaking wet after having been out early in the AM caught in a storm. Overall the spareness of the prose matches both the physical and emotional landscape of the novel. Since I read this novel as vacation reading over a two week period, it entered my consciousness in fragments, which perhaps did not do it justice. However, it seems fitting that I read parts of this novel set in rural Norway while staying at a resort on Washington Island in Wisconsin run by a Norwegian family since 1902.
"Out stealing horses" refers to the early AM excursion mentioned above during which Trond & his friend Jon ride a neighbor's horses without authorization. Trond arrives home wet and dirty because his horse throws him & because a fierce storm starts up. "Out stealing horses" also refers to the code words Trond's father used when passing information across the border into Sweden for the Resistance while Norway was occupied by Germany during WWII.
My one criticism of the novel is that I don't quite believe the ending of the story. Perhaps because the first person narration so severely limits our knowledge of the adult characters whom Trond remembers in the flashback chapters. (I found the two-time-frame, back-and-forth form clunky at times) This is particularly true of Trond's parents. The result is that Trond's father's decision to leave his family and, apparently, go off with Jon & Lars's mother (whom he worked with in the Resistance) is only partially supported by what we know of him. What we do know makes the fact that he never again contacts his first family nor support them (other than giving them the 150 kroner from cutting the timber--enough to buy Trond a new suit)a strange and not quite credible turn of events. ( )
  Paulagraph | May 25, 2014 |
I blazed through this one in a couple of days. Petterson's prose is so light and airy (yet powerful!) that it encourages a high rate of consumption. Every word is so carefully chosen. Of his other books, I have only read In the Wake, but I can say that Petterson sharpened the storytelling style of that novel even more in this one. The plot meanders out into clear sight in a similar way, flashing from past to present and back again, teasing the reader with minor revelations and luring us even farther along with slow-building suspense. In the most basic terms, this is a story about a man and his father. But it is so much more than that. I am now curious to seek out Petterson's debut short story collection, as well as his most recent novel to be translated into English. ( )
  S.D. | Apr 5, 2014 |
A superb read for someone who has been a son and now has a son himself. Or for anyone else, probably, if you like a high standard of writing without being high-flown or "abstruse". So well written that visualization of the landscape and the protagonists' place in it is so easy and enriching of the plot. One of my favourite books of all time, second only to the complete works of William Faulkner.
An interview with Per Petterson on this book is due to be broadcast on the BBC World Service on June 7 2014. It may include a question from me along the lines of:
"I read the book when I was 67, the same age as the narrator. Reading some of the sentences affected my breathing (in a good way) so much that I had to stop for a while. The only other time I can recall this happening is sometimes when I'm reading Faulkner. Does this ever happen to you either when you've just written a particular sentence or paragraph of your own or when you have been reading any particular writer?" ( )
  jimsnopes | Apr 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
Here is a remarkable novel, one which appears to be about nothing in particular, featuring barely half a dozen characters, several of whom have no names. Hardly anything happens. A boy dies, a man gets shot, another boy is given a new suit, and that, more or less, is that.
 
 
Le Norvégien Per Petterson signe un magnifique roman sur les saisons de la vie, sur ces moments qui font que l'on n'est soudain plus le même.
 
added by NeueWelle | editLibération, Lindon Mathieu (Aug 31, 2006)
 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Petterson, Perprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Born, AnnePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinding, TerjeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verner-Carlsson, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vikhagen, HåvardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Tidlig november.  Klokka er ni.  Kjøttmeisene smeller mot vinduet.  Noen ganger faller de og blir liggende i nysnøen og kave før de kommer seg på vingene igjen.  Jeg veit ikke hva jeg har som de vil ha.

Early November. It's nine o'clock. The titmice are banging against the window.
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I listen to the news, cannot break that habit...but it no longer has the same place in my life. It does not affect my view of the world as it once did.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Original Norwegian title: Ut og stjæle hester
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312427085, Paperback)

We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and oneof the first days of July.

Trond's friend Jon often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on "borrowed" horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day--an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.

Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:35:01 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

An early morning adventure out stealing horses leads to the tragic death of one boy and a resulting lifetime of guilt and isolation for his friend, in this moving tale about the painful loss of innocence and of traditional ways of life that are gone forever.… (more)

» see all 8 descriptions

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