Synopses & Reviews
Fans of Per Petterson's other books in English will be delighted by this opportunity to observe Arvid Jansen in his youth from a fresh perspective. In It's Fine by Me, Arvid befriends a boy named Audun. On Audun's first day of school he refuses to talk or take off his sunglasses; there are stories he would prefer to keep to himself. Audun lives with his mother in a working-class district of Oslo. He delivers newspapers and talks for hours about Jack London and Ernest Hemingway with Arvid. But he's not sure that school is the right path for him and feels that life holds other possibilities. Sometimes tender, sometimes brutal, It's Fine by Me is a brilliant novel from the acclaimed author of Out Stealing Horses and I Curse the River of Time.
"Part of Petterson's backlist (which is being published in English following the breakout success of Out Stealing Horses), this spare but memorable novel features Arvid Jansen, the protagonist of I Curse the River of Time, as the only friend of Audun Sletten, a young man whose reticence conceals a wellspring of feeling. Not a lot happens in the novel: a teenage Audun moves to Oslo and a new school; allows himself to be befriended by Arvid; reads Hemingway and dreams of becoming a writer; remembers his dead brother, Egil, and his cruel father; and tries to take care of those he loves his mother, his sister, and his friend without showing too much emotion. Fans of Petterson will recognize his confident prose, as well as his concern with solitude and the essential privacy of experience, but one need not be familiar with the author's oeuvre to appreciate his precise storytelling. Petterson's achievement in this work lies in conveying the passionate alienation of a young man caught between a childish need for protection and a powerful desire to protect. Rights director: Jane Kirby, Random House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Reading a Petterson novel is like falling into a northern landscape painting — all shafts of light and clear palpable chill." Time
"It's Fine by Me...convey[s] those ordinary experiences close to Petterson's heart: the pleasure, for example, in the midst of domestic strife, of slowly and very carefully rolling a good cigarette, brewing the perfect coffee and settling down on the sofa with a fine book, like this one." The Guardian
It's Fine by Me is many things — an engaging coming-of-age tale, a writers halting journey and a story of family drama and the inevitable stages of grief. With Audun Sletten, Petterson has created a hero with gutsy resilience and a nose for the truth of things. You'd like to meet him on a street in your own home town." The Scotsman
About the Author
Per Petterson won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for his novel Out Stealing Horses, which has been translated into more than thirty languages and was named a Best Book of 2007 by The New York Times.