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Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Out Stealing Horses (2003)

by Per Petterson

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8322292,206 (3.92)399
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.

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» See also 399 mentions

English (211)  Dutch (5)  Danish (3)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  French (1)  All languages (229)
Showing 1-5 of 211 (next | show all)
Out Stealing Horses has beautiful moments and images. Petterson is a craftsman of language and builds fundamental characteristics of landscape and action into memorable and unique instances. Yet, I found that as brilliant as some instances in the book were they did not cohere, combined with the bizarre post-modern flourishes (the narrator admits coincidences happen too easily in novels but a coincidence happens too easily to him! huzzah) made it hard to get behind the story. I'll give Petterson another go but I wouldn't pick this one up again too fast. ( )
  b.masonjudy | Apr 3, 2020 |
"Time is important to me now, I tell myself. Not that it should pass quickly or slowly, but be only time, be something I live inside and fill with physical things and activities that I can divide it up by, so that it grows distinct to me and does not vanish when I am not looking."

This is a tricky one to review. I finished it up in Saturday, but I needed to let it marinate before sharing my thoughts just so I could order them properly. The writing is gorgeous, there is no doubting that. The story meanders between past and present, but that makes sense as our protagonist is in his seventies and spends most of the story alone with his thoughts. It's ethereal and slightly sinister and builds tension and momentum as it goes along. The difficulty I had was with the ending, which, I am not going to lie, was a huge disappointment to me. I feel cheated. Am I sorry I read it? No. Because the writing is just so lovely and the sense of place is so palpable, so solid and true. And the ending is realistic, really it is, it's just that we spent all that time building up to something more. *sob*

"It was a long way off, the blazing hot day, when I opened the door and went out to the yard in my long boots. No-one there and almost cool, but not dark now, it was a summer's night, and above me the clouds split and opened up as they swept at great speed across the sky, and the pale light came flickering down so I could easily make out the path to the river. The water flowed more swiftly now after the drenching rain, running higher up the boulders along the banks, and it swelled and rocked with a faint shine of silver, I could see it from some way off, and the sound of the river running was the only sound I heard. The boat was not in its place. I waded a few paces out into the stream and stood there listening for the sound of oars, but there was only the water sweeping round my legs, and I could see nothing either up river or down. The timber piles were there, of course, and their scent was strong in the humid air, and the crooked pine with the cross nailed to its trunk was there, and the fields were there on the other side from the river bank up to the road, but only the clouds in the sky were on the move, and the flickering light. It was a weird sensation to be standing in the night alone, almost the feeling of light or sound through my body; a soft moon or a peal of bells, with the water surging against my boots, and everything else was so big and so quiet around me, but I did not feel abandoned, I felt singled out. I was perfectly calm, I was the anchor of the world. It was the river that did that to me, I could immerse myself in water up to my chin and sit not moving, with the current pounding away and pulling at my body, and remain the person I was, still be the anchor." ( )
  Crazymamie | Feb 24, 2020 |
Set in Norway, the book jumps back and forth between present day when Trond, now a 67yo widower moves into the boonies where he had lived with his father during the summers as a teen in the 1940s. Jumps back and forth, without warning, but was good at keeping you guessing. The title refers to a summer prank of really stealing horses, as well as a code word during the war when his father was a courier with info to Swedish recipients when Norway was occupied. ( )
  nancynova | Jan 18, 2020 |
Too thinky. Too suggesty. When plot does happen, it lands like a ton of bricks. About half dozen too many tragedies. ( )
1 vote Tytania | Jan 15, 2019 |
It was a slow, satisfying read; a story without much plot but with a lot of depth. A man who has recently lost his wife takes himself to a relatively remote farm in Norway similar to the one where he spent summers as a boy, determined to live alone and be as independent as possible for the time left to him. As he prepares for his first winter his mind takes him back to scenes from his childhood, and we learn very gradually about the days he spent with his father in the woods, the life lessons, both intended and not so, that he learned back then. It's a very Scandinavian sort of story, with cold and loneliness almost palpable, and the theme of abandonment threads through both past and present. There is loss, but there is also acceptance. It could have been depressing, but it struck me as simply realistic. Recommended. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Dec 13, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 211 (next | show all)
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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Für Trond T.
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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.
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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Average: (3.92)
1 12
1.5 4
2 53
2.5 18
3 225
3.5 98
4 481
4.5 86
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