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Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Out Stealing Horses (2003)

by Per Petterson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (185)  Dutch (5)  Danish (3)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  French (1)  All languages (201)
Showing 1-5 of 185 (next | show all)
Another in my quest to read books from other countries - this author is Norwegian. I really liked his style of writing. There were very short simple sentences related to the actions of the book. Then there were very long complex sentences about the thoughts in the mind of the narrator. It seemd like Petterson wamted to get the story out very quickly so he could then allow the narrator to contemplate about what was happening. Also, it was interesting that many very important characters were never called by name. It was "Jon's mother" and "Jon's father" even after Jon was no longer a part of the story.

The story is of a 70something widower who has moved from Oslo to a remote cabin in the country to be alone. He is forced to look back on some tragic events of his childhood that he thought he had left behind. The setting of the novel spans the time from the Nazi occupation of Norway to the 1990's, so I learned something of Norwegian custom and culture at the time. This was a book that I wanted to give 3.5 stars. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
From the first page I fell for this book. Especially for the scenic descriptions of Norway and the way of life there.
I liked it a lot in total, although I do find that it is slightly confusing from time to time.

Another remark I like to make is, that for me the book is not 'finished'. Starting with Trond at 67, going back to his childhood and teenage years (summers, rather) and then the book suddenly stops after a description of a day in his teenage life. Because of that it feels like the books is telling more about life, a way of living and how the war was experienced than that it is about one person and what his experiences are. If it were all about Trond, then for me it could have used a clearer ending. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | May 5, 2015 |
A chance encounter causes Trond, a widower in his sixties living in near-solitude, to reflect on the pivotal summer of 1948 that began when his friend Jon invited him along to steal horses.

This quiet, contemplative book focuses on only a few characters and sort of sneaks up on you with what it's really about. The parts of the narrative present (soon before the turn of the 21st century) are told in present tense, while 1948 and other years are in past tense, which was structurally very helpful for remembering if we were with 67-year-old or 15-year-old Trond. He speaks sometimes in sentence fragments and sometimes in run-ons, much like you might imagine someone's thoughts to run on, stop and start, when he or she is alone. Trond claims he is lucky, and while we see glimpses of that, much of this story focuses on his profound sense of loss and coming to grips with grief and regret, all wrapped up in that one life-changing summer where he learned so much about his father and himself. ( )
  bell7 | Apr 12, 2015 |
At the age of 67, Trond purchases a small property in the countryside near a small lake. His solitude has become a burden in Oslo — a widower from his second wife and long estranged from his first wife and daughters. Perhaps he will find peace amongst the trees as he undertakes the numerous projects of reclamation necessary for his new property and for himself. But peace is hard to come by. Instead he is troubled by memories — memories of a time in a similar environment when he was a youth and his father newly returned after the war. With a friend the same age nearby and loads of adventures for he and Jon to partake of, it might have been a perfect idyll. Instead it is an awakening of sorts — awakening into the casual brutality of accident and incident, the as yet not fully understood sexual drive, and the certainty that his knowledge of himself, his environment and especially of his father is limited if not entirely founded on lies. The memories of that eventful summer work in counterpoint with Trond’s present challenges and gradually over the course of the novel we gain a tentative understanding of this man and how he was forged through the events of fifty years prior.

The writing here is lyrical as seems appropriate for memories of youth in the countryside. But this at times masks the immanent violence that permeates nature (or just human nature?). Trond is defenceless, unprepared for what will occur or what he learns and though no preparation perhaps might have helped him, he nevertheless resents his inability to decide for himself when it will hurt.

Recommended. ( )
  RandyMetcalfe | Apr 5, 2015 |
I was swept away with the first chapter, which was full of lovely, patient writing and reminded me of Wallace Stegner at his best. But soon the prose and story both became hopelessly precious, and they never recovered. The meaning of the story is supposed to be carried in scenes filled with small portentous gestures. Instead, the whole thing collapses on itself, in a run-on mush of blathering sentimentality. The book is self-consciously happy with its sentences, but empty of greater meaning. The stylistic choices of that delight in the first chapter become a tedious hum of the same old rhythms. I'm not sure whether to blame the author or the translator for the highly tedious use of ..and...and...and...in run-on sentences. Hemingway could do that and it meant something. Here it is just another stylistic tic, used in every other sentence, it seemed.

I really wanted to like this book--great title! great cover! great reviews!--and I really didn't. ( )
  poingu | Jan 29, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 185 (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, AnneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Born, AnnePrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sinding, TerjeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verner-Carlsson, JanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vikhagen, HåvardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Für Trond T.
First words
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.
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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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:40 -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)

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