Customer Reviews for

Out Stealing Horses

Average Rating 4
( 108 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(41)

4 Star

(29)

3 Star

(20)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(5)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

Haunting and beautiful

Hats off to Anne Born for a exceptional translation. The beauty of the language and the familiar emotional content in "Out Stealing Horses" is best understood perhaps by those of us who are around the same age as the protagonist, Trond. "Time is important to me now, I t...
Hats off to Anne Born for a exceptional translation. The beauty of the language and the familiar emotional content in "Out Stealing Horses" is best understood perhaps by those of us who are around the same age as the protagonist, Trond. "Time is important to me now, I tell myself. Not that it 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'm not looking." I gasped when I read that because I would never have understood this as a young person and understand it so well now.I read the book through quickly to see what was going to happen and then went back to the beginning and read it all over again.

posted by TGrey on December 30, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

I must have missed something...

The New York Times Book Review states that this is one of the 10 best books of the year. I wonder what year they're talking about.?.? I know that this book has a story in it somewhere, but I could only find glimpses of it. The book features Trond as the main character. ...
The New York Times Book Review states that this is one of the 10 best books of the year. I wonder what year they're talking about.?.? I know that this book has a story in it somewhere, but I could only find glimpses of it. The book features Trond as the main character. He is 67 years old and has decided to buy a dilapidated home in the north of Norway in the middle of no where. Here he just wants to be alone. The author then proceeds to incorporate flashbacks to the summer Trond was 15 in 1948. I know that this book is actually about the events that shaped Trond's life and turned him into a man that chose to be alone during his final years, but I didn't like the 67 year-old Trond. I liked the 15 year-old. The author blurred the story too much and there wasn't much closure. I will not read this author again, and I don't recommend it to anyone I know - however, if you're fond of books that waste your time - feel free to indulge.

posted by Annibebe on June 14, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Will be a classic

    Magical prose -- coming of age and growing old both explored. Felt like i was there in Norway in 1948 .

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  • Posted July 17, 2012

    It was a little slow going, but I did enjoy the atmosphere of th

    It was a little slow going, but I did enjoy the atmosphere of the novel in the very northern regions of Norway and the flashbacks to WWII.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2011

    Good read

    Interesting story that left quite a bit of room for the reader's imagination to fill in.

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  • Posted May 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Mesmerising

    I found a new author to add to my list of "ones I always pounce on right away when a new title comes out." I loved this book. It is terse, smart, touching, challenging, and rewarding. The characters become familiar to you although they are by no means exhausted. There are loose ends left not quite neatly tied up, but that just adds to the mystery and sense of inevitable forboding that pervades the atmosphere of the story. But it is the writing, the language, the style, that is the "star" of the book. It is hard to imagine that anything might have been "lost in translation." It is as beautiful a book as I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The relative brevity of the book, along with some fairly meaty "issues" with which to grapple, I think would make it an excellent choice for book groups; even the most discerning would find it rewarding.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    Great quick read

    I read this in one day at the beach on vacation. Book grabbed me rather quickly and I really liked the characters. It was interesting how the story unfolded and the author's writing style was rhythmic. You cannot help but love the relationship between father and son, even as you learn that it is not all as simple as it seems. What could be seen as betrayal on first glance is writing and explained in such a way that you cannot take sides in the story, and you find yourself just enjoying the way the story unfolds for a son learning about a father he never really knew until the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Would not reccomend to anyone!

    This book just drug on. It was so uninteresting i kept waiting for something to happen and nothing ever did. Not a good book at all.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Such a disappointment.....

    I am in a book club and read a wide variety of material because of the club. Based on previous reviews of Out Stealing Horses I was so excited to pick it up. I begrudgingly made my way through the book, but found that it was about nothing! I love to get to know the characters in a book and I felt as if there was no character development and no real plot to the story. When the book finally came to a close, it just ended....no climax of any sort. HUGE disappointment....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    It felt as though I were living another's life...

    A nice quiet, well-written tale. Lyrical and to the point with descriptions that I could feel. I truly enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to pick up where I'd left off each night.

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  • Posted March 17, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    An International Masterpiece

    This story has been called "magical" and "masterful," and it truly is. It captures the reader's mind and heart so subtly that one is lost in its web of time without realizing that each moment of tension, each expression of pain, each sound of nature, and each release of humor creates a catch in the throat, an intake of breath, or a sigh of relief.
    Set in the water wonderland of rivers, fjords, lakes, islands and mountains that make up Norway and Sweden, this story is told through the voice of 67-year-old Trond Sander. Living alone in a small lakeside cabin in a pine and birch forest, Sander is part of the present world of computers, snow ploughs, and chainsaws; yet his recollections of his passage from young manhood into the reality of adulthood bind the past and present into a stream of consciousness.
    The companionship of his faithful dog Lyra and their routine of walks, meals, chores, reading, and bedtime are the structure that Sander establishes for his life, and when his plans are shattered by the interference of nature or people, he reacts with irritation and anger. In spite of his search for solitude, Sander soon realizes that there is no way to entirely live alone, because everyone in the village and nearby cabins depends on each other for help in their isolation. The beauty and harshness of the winters of Norway play an important part in the lives of the people who know that survival requires preparation for the winter storms of dangerous winds, rain, heavy snow, and frozen lakes.
    When the unlikely recognition of his neighbor Lars surfaces from Sander's past, it brings memories of his young friend Jon flowing back into his life. Sander is thrown back into the times of his life that were spent with his father in a lakeside cabin; the experience and physical exhilaration of being a part of logging in the forest; the freedom of roaming the mountains and forests without fear; and the painful and hilarious attempts to learn to ride horseback. The reader is taken on a rollercoaster of recollections.
    Sander is caught up emotionally in trying to understand his father's part in "the traffic" that carried information and people across the lakes and forests into Sweden during the WWII German occupation of Norway. The dangerous and often deadly risks taken by the men and women of this hardy and fiercely independent nation created bonds of trust and love that survived into life-long commitments, yet tore apart families with timid or unwilling participants.
    NOTE: This is a story that I will remember and probably read again. This is a story that reaches deep into the psyche to vibrate cords of sadness and joy that everyone experiences in their struggle to cross from childhood into the world of adults, not understanding until that journey is finished that the emotions and memories of that past also made the journey.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2010

    Out Stealing Horses

    A wonderful book that explores relationships in a riveting way. Descriptions are luminous, characters ring true, and the plot is both surprising and satisfying. This is a book I'm recommending to all of my friends. People I know who've read it agree that it is a delight.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    easy read

    easy to follow character development...similar in style to the girl with the dragon tattoo....might want to read other title by the same author

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Memorable characters

    Beautifully written and translated. Spare (not wordy) prose. Characters are finely drawn, with much between the lines. Takes you to a new place (Norwegian outback, near the Swedish border), where the past (including WWII resistance) and choices then made reverberate into the present. Our book club found much to discuss. It is the sort of book that you'll remember for years, and consider reading again in time. Real quality.

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  • Posted June 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A gift for the thoughtful reader!

    This is the best surprise I have read in the last year! Although it was highly recommended by two friends in my book club, I did not expect the challenge of an entirely unique style of writing. The plot that is unwritten is what keeps you turning the page.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2009

    Essential history to recall

    The understated and low key approach to WWII is engaging and thought provoking.
    The sparseness of emotion suits the Norwegian characters. The hardships of Nazi occupation of the country are well depicted and the bravery of the characters who were secretly able to help the underground efforts. The consequences of impulsive and heedless behavior serve a purpose without sermonizing.It is easy to picture the characters and their surroundings through word pictures and imagery. The translation is well understood and beautifully crafted.

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  • Posted May 23, 2009

    Medium entertainment

    I enjoyed the book. I found it challenging to keep all the events straight and the characters involved. It showed the struggles of the main character and how he wanted to return to live a simple life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2009

    Powerful novel

    Starting out with a Hemingwayesque loner living remotely in the Norweigan woods facing his memories of his teenage youth spent with his father living in the country during WWII, Per Petterson carefully and beautifully unravels a complex plot of self-discovery as the loner learns some hard truths about himself and his father as he recalls the past. This moving book was a hit with my book club, and I can heartily recommend it to lovers of great writing.

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  • Posted May 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very Good

    we read this for book club, it left me wanting more, a good twist at the beginning, just wish he had kept writing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2009

    good story

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked the writing, the characters and the way the story unfolded. Some in our reading group thought the ending a little disappointing, but I liked it and thought it fit the story.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Out Stealing Horses by Per Peterson

    This is a very unusual and lovely book, evoking the presence and influence of the past in our lives. It is a translation, and to some extent, feels a little foreign. Most people I've known who read this found it to be absorbing and moving.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2009

    Wonderful

    this is a great read. It is fantastic writing. The language is very simple, very precise. The story slowly unfolds as you learn more about these characters. Critical events are captured in a phrase. Great for your book club discussion.

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