It's Fine By Me

( 2 )


Fans of Per Petterson 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 ...

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It's Fine By Me: A Novel

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Fans of Per Petterson 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 an acclaimed author.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Adam Verner performs the perceptive novel with nuanced expressiveness, audibly bringing a myriad of experiences to life. He pronounces Scandinavian phrases and names seemingly without effort." - Audiofile Magazine
One of The 2012 Books You Missed But Shouldn't Have. "[Petterson] ... tells his story in sentences so full of momentum that they insist on being read." - Newsweek
"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." - Publishers Weekly
"With biting humor and sharp, Hemingway-like prose, this bildungsroman offers more light and hope than later Petterson novels, perhaps reflecting the author's younger, more idealistic self. Perfect for YA crossover or an intergenerational book discussion." - Library Journal
Book of the Week. "The tangle of this boy's mind - and the direct, graceful way it's portrayed - creates a tale that's far more adult than adolescent, one that asks the age-old question about how to deal with the past: Stay and pretend it's not happening, or run and pretend you don't care? Or...find some other way (please)." - Life Lift, The Oprah blog
"...exquisitely structured, moving in two directions at once, back to the cause of its hero's unhappiness and forward to his hope. Petterson's crystalline prose quietly reveals the tenderness behind Audun's practiced nonchalance." - The Washington Independent Review of Books
"Petterson is among the writers who knows a secret or two - about life, about writing. The melancholy story, and the superb writing that propels it, are both raw and honest - the brutality of the father, the disregard of printing-press colleagues, the ugly street fights - and also deeply compassionate. In both of the book's halves, Auden finds refuges along his troubled way. In the end, the young man - and readers - find much-needed catharsis, and a hint that Auden, finally, will uncover a few secrets of his own." - Star Tribune
"It may be a cliche of coming-of-age stories that they must reflect the darkness of growing up, but Petterson gives it a freshness and vitality nevertheless." - The Independednt (UK)
"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 (UK)
"It's Fine By Me is many things - an engaging coming-of-age tale, a writer's 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 (UK)
"The sublime eloquence of this slim new novel from the author of the exquisite Out Stealing Horses belies its simmering tension... Petterson poignantly renders, once more, the deeply fraught emotions of young boys coming of age and facing the things that turn them into men." - Stacie M. Williams, Boswell Book Company
"A fascinating look inside the mind of one young man as he makes decisions, good and bad, based on how he's feeling in the moment. Mostly heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful, this is a gem of a novel about how men think...and don't." - Anne Holman, The King's English Bookshop
"Working-class teenager Audun comes of age in late 60s Oslo virtually rudderless as he watches his family disintegrate and searches for meaning in American counter-culture. In this engaging story, hard truths are wrestled to the ground by an extraordinary young man who refuses to bend to fate or convention. His voice will haunt you long after you turn the last page." - Kris Kleindeinst, Left Bank Books
Kirkus Reviews
Coming-of-age in 1960s Norway; the fifth novel from the Norwegian native, best known for Out Stealing Horses (2007). It's his first day at a new school in Oslo. He's late. He's wearing sunglasses. He refuses the headmaster's order to remove them. He won't tell his fellow students where he's from. The message is clear: Don't bother me. This is Audun Sletten, the 13-year-old narrator, in 1965. Why the hard shell, the truculence? His father is an abusive alcoholic. When he fired a gun through the kitchen window, it was the last straw for his mother, who moved them out. We do return to 1965, but most of the action takes place in 1970. Audun is now a high school senior; he has an early-morning paper route and is always tired in school. He is proud of his working-class identity. He is deeply influenced by American culture, loves Jimi Hendrix and Jack London, but is adamant the Americans leave Vietnam. Fiercely self-reliant, he stays clear of organizations after having been expelled from the Boy Scouts. We have met Audun before, in different settings; he's the alienated young Westerner, and Petterson hasn't done enough to individuate him. He's always fighting; he drops out of school to work at a printing press, but gets into fights while still a trainee. One respite from the violence came in 1965, when Audun was sheltered by a farmer and his wife; in the novel's best scenes, the boy luxuriates in the idyllic calm and the wife's maternal attention. We could have used more such contrasts with the monotonous flurry of fists and at least the suggestion of a romantic life. As it is, it's his undercharacterized mother who finds a new partner, in a crowded ending that includes the discovery of a dead body. Will Audun ever break free of his father's legacy? Petterson leaves that key question hanging and the reader unsatisfied.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781624061066
  • Publisher: Dreamscape Media
  • Publication date: 10/30/2012
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 5.04 (h) x 1.13 (d)

Meet the Author

Per Petterson

Per Petterson is the author of five previous novels, which established him as one of Norwayâ??s best fiction writers. Petterson worked as a manual laborer, spent twelve years as a bookseller, and was a translator and literary critic before becoming a full-time writer. His novel Out Stealing Horses won the 2007 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and was named one of the best books of 2007 by the New York Times Book Review and Time.

Adam Verner has worked professionally in the voiceover industry for nine years, voicing everything from audiobooks, commercials, online videos, and even the voice of a beer coaster. Yes, indeed, a beer coaster that screams, "Beer thief!" when your brew is snatched. He came to voiceover from a stage background, holds a bachelor's in theatre from Bradley University and a master of fine arts from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2013

    A small treasure of a book, ¿It¿s Fine by Me¿ gifts the reader

    A small treasure of a book, “It’s Fine by Me” gifts the reader with more of Petterson’s excellent, spare, clean writing that somehow simultaneously conveys unspeakable emotion. Auden Sletten, an eighteen-year-old resident of an Oslo suburb, has not has an easy life; and the story provides insight into why through occasional flashbacks. His alcoholic, abusive father fortunately abandoned the family some years back, leaving Auden, along with his mother and siblings to make their own rocky road. But don’t think this book is a typical “poor-me” saga, for despite Auden’s veneer of toughness, his deep compassion surfaces again and again. Petterson won the prestigious IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for “Out Stealing Horses,” and “It’s Fine,” actually an earlier work, confirms his reputation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

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