Waney, December 30, 2012 (view all comments by Waney)
Beautifully written, this is one of those that sneaks up on you. I had that moment on the subway where I went from being really impressed with the writing to realizing that this book is more than that. For me, this is one of those books that shifts something inside of you, just a little bit, and that change stays with you. Totally recommended.
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Julia Williamson, January 10, 2011 (view all comments by Julia Williamson)
This is a gorgeous book, written in a spare, eloquent style. Although it's not long, the story encompasses several lives and many complicated events. 67 year old Trond, having lost both wife and sister, sets out to live in a remote part of the country, alone. He runs into an acquaintance from his youth, which sets off both recollections of, and ruminations about, the summer he turned 15. It's a coming of age story, an end of life story, and a year everything changed story all rolled into one, set in a magnificent landscape. Read it, it's great.
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Picador USA -
Hailed by critics across the globe, showered with awards, Out Stealing Horses is a book that true lovers of the written word will hold close to their hearts. With its captivating prose and characters who burrow under your skin and refuse to come out, Per Petterson's haunting, elegiac novel is so good, you'll want to buy multiple copies so you can always have one for yourself, no matter how many friends want to borrow it (and they will!).
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Award-winning Norwegian novelist Petterson renders the meditations of Trond Sander, a man nearing 70, dwelling in self-imposed exile at the eastern edge of Norway in a primitive cabin. Trond's peaceful existence is interrupted by a meeting with his only neighbor, who seems familiar. The meeting pries loose a memory from a summer day in 1948 when Trond's friend Jon suggests they go out and steal horses. That distant summer is transformative for Trond as he reflects on the fragility of life while discovering secrets about his father's wartime activities. The past also looms in the present: Trond realizes that his neighbor, Lars, is Jon's younger brother, who 'pulls aside the fifty years with a lightness that seems almost indecent.' Trond becomes immersed in his memory, recalling that summer that shaped the course of his life while, in the present, Trond and Lars prepare for the winter, allowing Petterson to dabble in parallels both bold and subtle. Petterson coaxes out of Trond's reticent, deliberate narration a story as vast as the Norwegian tundra. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day"
by Peter Martin, Esquire,
"It's a masculine and spare story, and Petterson tells it in sentences stripped of emotion and literary pretense....The style befits not only the stark Norwegian landscape, but it's perfectly befitting a man as emotionally distant as Trond." (read the entire Esquire review)
by Thomas McGuane, New York Times,
"This short yet spacious and powerful book...reminds us of the careful and apropos writing of J. M. Coetzee, W. G. Sebald and Uwe Timm."
"The novel's incidents and lush but precise descriptions...are on a par with those of Cather, Steinbeck, Berry, and Hemingway, and its emotional force and flavor are equivalent to what those authors can deliver, too."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Haunting, minimalist prose and expert pacing give this quiet story from Norway native Petterson an undeniably authoritative presence."
by Cleveland Plain Dealer,
"Petterson captures perfectly the flavor of adolescence."
by Minneapolis Star Tribune,
"American readers should feel fortunate to have this beautiful translation of Petterson's work; finally, we are given the opportunity to step inside his graceful, deeply felt universe."
by Library Journal,
"Petterson has established his reputation abroad, winning several international prizes...but he deserves critical acclaim here as well. Highly recommended for all fiction collections."
by Dallas Morning News,
"[R]emarkable....Now and then a book comes along that deserves the label 'classic.' Out Stealing Horses is in that class, a rough woodcut that portrays the very mystery of life itself."
Out Stealing Horses has been embraced across the world as a classic, a novel of universal relevance and power. Panoramic and gripping, it tells the story of Trond Sander, a 67-year-old man who has moved from the city to a remote, riverside cabin, only to have all the turbulence, grief, and overwhelming beauty of his youth come back to him one night while he's out on a walk. From the moment Trond sees a strange figure coming out of the dark behind his home, the reader is immersed in a decades-deep story of searching and loss, and in the precise, irresistible prose of a newly crowned master of fiction.
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