Out Stealing Horses

( 108 )

Overview

Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

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 sixty-seven-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 ...
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Overview

Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

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 sixty-seven-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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Editorial Reviews

Thomas McGuane
This short yet spacious and powerful book — in such contrast to the well-larded garrulity of the bulbous American novel of today — reminds us of the careful and apropos writing of J. M. Coetzee, W. G. Sebald and Uwe Timm. Petterson’s kinship with Knut Hamsun, which he has himself acknowledged, is palpable in Hamsun’s “Pan,” “Victoria” and even the lighthearted “Dreamers.” But nothing should suggest that his superb novel is so embedded in its sources as to be less than a gripping account of such originality as to expand the reader’s own experience of life.
— The New York Times
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)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
An aging loner remembers a childhood summer that marked a lifetime of loss. Fifteen-year-old Trond, spending the summer of 1948 with his father, away from their Oslo home in a cabin in the easternmost region of Norway, wakes to an invitation from his friend, Jon, to "steal" their neighbor's horses for an early-morning joy ride. But what Trond doesn't yet know is that the ride is Jon's farewell to him. The day before, when Jon was supposed to be minding his young twin brothers, Lars and Odd, Lars found Jon's prized gun and, imitating his older brother, accidentally killed his twin. Nearly 60 years later, Trond has returned to the rustic region after a devastating car accident that killed his wife and left him gravely injured, hoping to live out the rest of his days quietly, with his dog as his only companion. But late one night, he has a chance encounter with his only neighbor, an aging man named Lars. Trond realizes that this neighbor is his childhood friend's younger brother, and their meeting causes him to remember not only the morning of the horse theft, but the rest of the summer as well. After Jon's disappearance, Trond spends the summer working with his father to send lumber down the river to the Swedish border, ostensibly the reason for their retreat. He is stunned to learn that his father is having an affair with Jon's grieving mother, also the object of Trond's own first intimate moment. As Trond begins to talk to the other workers, he also realizes that his father has had complicated reasons for spending much of the war years in the eastern region of the country, close to Sweden's neutral borders. He even learns that the phrase "out stealing horses," which he had tossed aroundcasually with his friend, has a meaning that reaches beyond their childhood pranks. Haunting, minimalist prose and expert pacing give this quiet story from Norway native Petterson (In the Wake, 2006, etc.) an undeniably authoritative presence.
From the Publisher
“Petterson’s spare and deliberate prose has astonishing force.” —The New Yorker

“A gripping account of such originality as to expand the reader’s own experience of life.” —The New York Times Book Review

Out Stealing Horses looks like a charming but modest chamber-piece. In retrospect—and this is a novel that strikes deep and lingers long—it feels more like some shattering literary symphony.” —*The Independent

“A . . . miracle of a book.” —The Irish Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312427085
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Edition description: First Edition, First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 133,606
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Per Petterson

Per Petterson is the author of books including In the Wake, To Siberia, and I Curse the River of Time. Out Stealing Horses won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize. The New York Times Book Review named it one of the 10 best books of the year. A former bookseller, Petterson lives in Oslo, Norway.

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Read an Excerpt

Out Stealing Horses


By Per Petterson

Graywolf Press

Copyright © 2003 Per Petterson
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-55597-470-1


Chapter One

Early November. It's nine o'clock. The titmice are banging against the window. Sometimes they fly dizzily off after the impact, other times they fall and lie struggling in the new snow until they can take off again. I don't know what they want that I have. I look out the window at the forest. There is a reddish light over the trees by the lake. It is starting to blow. I can see the shape of the wind on the water.

I live here now, in a small house in the far east of Norway. A river flows into the lake. It is not much of a river, and it gets shallow in the summer, but in the spring and autumn it runs briskly, and there are trout in it. I have caught some myself. The mouth of the river is only a hundred metres from here. I can just see it from my kitchen window once the birch leaves have fallen. As now in November. There is a cottage down by the river that I can see when its lights are on if I go out onto my doorstep. A man lives there. He is older than I am, I think. Or he seems to be. But perhaps that's because I do not realise what I look like myself, or life has been tougher for him than it has been for me. I cannot rule that out. He has a dog, a border collie.

I have a bird table on a pole a little way out in my yard. When it is getting light in the morning I sit at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and watch them come fluttering in. I have seen eight different species so far, which is more than anywhere else I have lived, but only the titmice fly into the window. I have lived in many places. Now I am here. When the light comes I have been awake for several hours. Stoked the fire. Walked around, read yesterday's paper, washed yesterday's dishes, there were not many. Listened to the B.B.C. I keep the radio on most of the day. I listen to the news, cannot break that habit, but I do not know what to make of it any more. They say sixty-seven is no age, not nowadays, and it does not feel it either, I feel pretty spry. But when I listen to the news it no longer has the same place in my life. It does not affect my view of the world as once it did. Maybe there is something wrong with the news, the way it is reported, maybe there's too much of it. The good thing about the B.B.C.'s World Service, which is broadcast early in the morning, is that everything sounds foreign, that nothing is said about Norway, and that I can get updated on the position of countries like Jamaica, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka in a sport such as cricket; a game I have never seen played and never will see, if I have a say in the matter. But what I have noticed is that 'The Motherland', England, is constantly being beaten. That's always something.

I too have a dog. Her name is Lyra. What breed she is would not be easy to say. It's not that important. We have been out already, with a torch, on the path we usually take, along the lake with its few millimetres of ice up against the bank where the dead rushes are yellow with autumn, and the snow fell silently, heavily out of the dark sky above, making Lyra sneeze with delight. Now she lies there close to the stove, asleep. It has stopped snowing. As the day wears on it will all melt. I can tell that from the thermometer. The red column is rising with the sun.

All my life I have longed to be alone in a place like this. Even when everything was going well, as it often did. I can say that much. That it often did. I have been lucky. But even then, for instance in the middle of an embrace and someone whispering words in my ear I wanted to hear, I could suddenly get a longing to be in a place where there was only silence. Years might go by and I did not think about it, but that does not mean that I did not long to be there. And now I am here, and it is almost exactly as I had imagined it.

In less than two months' time this millennium will be finished. There will be festivities and fireworks in the parish I am a part of. I shall not go near any of that. I will stay at home with Lyra, perhaps go for a walk down to the lake to see if the ice will carry my weight. I am guessing minus ten and moonlight, and then I will stoke the fire, put a record on the old gramophone with Billie Holiday's voice almost a whisper, like when I heard her in the Oslo Colosseum some time in the 50s, almost burned out, yet still magic, and then fittingly get drunk on a bottle I have standing by in the cupboard. When the record ends I will go to bed and sleep as heavily as it is possible to sleep without being dead, and awake to a new millennium and not let it mean a thing. I am looking forward to that.

In the meantime, I am spending my days getting this place in order. There is quite a lot that needs doing, I did not pay much for it. In fact, I had been prepared to shell out a lot more to lay my hands on the house and the grounds, but there was not much competition. I do understand why now, but it doesn't matter. I am pleased anyway. I try to do most of the work myself, even though I could have paid a carpenter, I am far from skint, but then it would have gone too fast. I want to use the time it takes. 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.

Something happened last night.

I had gone to bed in the small room beside the kitchen where I put a temporary bed up under the window, and I had fallen asleep, it was past midnight, and it was pitch dark outside. Going out for a last pee behind the house I could feel the cold. I give myself that liberty. For the time being there is nothing but an outdoor toilet here. No one can see anyway, the forest standing thick to the west.

What woke me was a loud, penetrating sound repeated at brief intervals, followed by silence, and then starting again. I sat up in bed, opened the window a crack and looked out. Through the darkness I could see the yellow beam of a torch a little way down the road by the river. The person holding the torch must be the one making the sound I had heard, but I couldn't understand what kind of sound it was or why he was making it. If it was a he. Then the ray of light swung aimlessly to right and left, as if resigned, and I caught a glimpse of the lined face of my neighbour. He had something in his mouth that looked like a cigar, and then the sound came again, and I realised it was a dog whistle, although I had never seen one before. And he started to call the dog. Poker, he shouted, Poker, which was the dog's name. Come here, boy, he shouted, and I lay down in bed again and closed my eyes, but I knew I would not get back to sleep.

All I wanted was to sleep. I have grown fussy about the hours I get, and although they are not many, I need them in a completely different way than before. A ruined night throws a dark shadow for many days ahead and makes me irritable and feel out of place. I have no time for that. I need to concentrate. All the same, I sat up in bed again, swung my legs in the pitch black to the floor and found my clothes over the back of the chair. I had to gasp when I felt how cold they were. Then I went through the kitchen and into the hall and pulled on my old pea jacket, took the torch from the shelf and went out onto the steps. It was coal black. I opened the door again, put my hand in and switched on the outside light. That helped. The red-painted outhouse wall threw a warm glow across the yard.

I have been lucky, I say to myself. I can go out to a neighbour in the night when he is searching for his dog, and it will take me only a couple of days and I will be OK again. I switched on the torch and began walking down the road from the yard towards where he was still standing on the gentle slope, swinging his torch so that the beam moved slowly round in a circle towards the edge of the forest, across the road, along the river bank and back to its starting point. Poker, he called, Poker, and then blew the whistle, and the sound had an unpleasantly high frequency in the quiet of the night, and his face, his body, were hidden in the darkness. I did not know him, had only spoken to him a few times on the way past his cottage when I was out with Lyra most often at quite an early hour, and I suddenly felt like going back in again and forgetting all about it; what could I do anyway, but now he must have seen the light of my torch, and it was too late, and after all there was something about this character I could barely make out there in the night alone. He ought not to be alone like that. It was not right.

'Hello,' I called quietly, mindful of the silence. He turned, and for a moment I could not see anything, the beam of his torch hit me straight in my face, and when he realised that, he aimed the torch down. I stood still for a few seconds to recover my night vision, then I walked to where he was, and we stood there together, each with our bright beam pointing from hip height at the landscape around us, and nothing resembled what it looked like by day. I have grown accustomed to the dark. I cannot remember ever being afraid of it, but I must have been, and now it feels natural and safe and transparent - no matter how much in fact is hidden there, though that means nothing. Nothing can challenge the lightness and freedom of the body; height unconfined, distance unlimited, for these are not the properties of darkness. It is only an immeasurable space to move about inside.

'He's run off again,' said my neighbour. 'Poker. My dog, that is. It happens. He always comes back. But it's hard to sleep when he's gone like that. There are wolves in the forest now. At the same time, I feel I can't keep the door shut.'

He seems a bit embarrassed. I probably would be if it were my dog. I don't know what I would do if Lyra had run off, whether I would go out by myself to search for her.

'Did you know that they say the border collie is the most intelligent dog in the world?' he said.

'I have heard that,' I said.

'He is smarter than I am, Poker, and he knows it.' My neighbour shook his head. 'He's about to take charge, I'm afraid.'

'Well, that's not so good,' I said.

'No,' he said.

It struck me that we had never really introduced ourselves, so I raised my hand, shining the torch on it so he could see it and said:

'Trond Sander.' That confused him. It took him a moment or two to change his torch to his left hand and take my right hand with his, and then he said:

'Lars. Lars Haug. With a g.'

'How do you do?' I said, and it sounded as bizarre and strange out there in the dark night as when my father said 'Condolences' at a funeral in the depths of the forest many, many years ago, and immediately I regretted saying those four words, but Lars Haug did not seem to notice. Maybe he thought it was the proper thing to say, and that the situation was no odder than it might be whenever grown men greet each other in a field.

There was silence all around us. There had been days and nights of rain and wind and incessant roaring in the pines and the spruce, but now there was absolute stillness in the forest, not a shadow moving, and we stood still, my neighbour and I, staring into the dark, then I felt certain there was something behind me. I could not escape the sudden feeling of sheer cold down my back, and Lars Haug felt it too; he directed his torchlight at a point a couple of metres past me, and I turned, and there stood Poker, quite stiff and on guard. I have seen that before, how a dog can both sense and show the feeling of guilt, and like most of us it was something it did not like, especially when its owner started talking to it in an almost childlike tone of voice, which did not go well with the weather-beaten, lined face of a man who had undoubtedly been out on a cold night before and dealt with wayward things, complicated things in a contrary wind, things of high gravity - I could tell that when we shook hands.

'Ah, where have you been, Poker, you stupid dog, been disobedient to your daddy again? Shame on you, bad boy, shame on you, that's no way to behave,' and he took a step towards the dog, and it started growling deep down in its throat, flattening its ears. Lars Haug stopped in his tracks. He let his torch sink until it shone directly on the ground, and I could just pick out the white patches of the dog's coat, the black ones blending with the night, and it all looked strangely at odds and unsymmetrical as the growl low in the animal's throat went on from a slightly less definite point, and my neighbour said:

'I have shot a dog once before, and I promised myself then that I would never do it again. But now I don't know.' He had lost his confidence, it was clear, he could not work out his next move, and I suddenly felt desperately sorry for him. The feeling welled up from I don't know where, from some place out in the dark, where something might have happened in a different time entirely, or from somewhere in my own life I had long since forgotten, and it made me embarrassed and ill at ease. I cleared my throat and in a voice I could not wholly control I said:

'What kind of dog was it that you had to shoot?' Although I do not think that that was what I was interested in, I had to say something to calm the sudden trembling in my chest.

'An Alsatian. But it was not mine. It happened on the farm where I grew up. My mother saw it first. It ran around at the edge of the forest hunting roe deer: two terrified young fauns we had several times seen from the window grazing in the brushwood at the edge of the north meadow. They always kept close, and they did so then. The Alsatian chased them, encircled them, bit at their hocks, and they were exhausted and didn't stand a chance. My mother could not bear to look any longer, so she phoned the bailiff and asked him what to do, and he said: 'You'll just have to shoot it.'

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson Copyright © 2003 by Per Petterson. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

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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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 108 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2008

    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 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.

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    I just reread this book and rediscovered why I loved it the first time.

    Out stealing horses mesmerizes you from page one. With quiet, simple language, Trond T narrates and draws you into the solitude and quietude of the world he inhabits, moving back and forth through time from age 15 to age 67.
    He spends his fifteenth summer with his dad, Trond Sr., in a cabin located in the Norwegian woods in logging country. It was a summer of discovery, tragedy, familial bonding, friendship and coming of age. Now, in retirement, Trond T has bought his own cabin, in a remote area, and begins renovating his cabin and rediscovering his past.
    Throughout the book, the secrets of his father's life unfold, as memories are reawakened, quite naturally, with no underlying curiosity or expectation exposing them. They just seem to roll out effortlessly from a character as he/she is introduced, here and there, to enlighten the reader. It is as if you are expected to intuit them because they keep their lives so private and regimented and that when you learn of an incident, you somehow accept it with the same solemn fortitude of the character. The characters do not intrude on the lives of each other, but rather walk around each other lightly, allowing personal space and privacy. There is a calm determination which permeates the story coupled with a fierce stoicism. It was marvelously written and executed. I hated to read the last word. There are so many questions left unanswered to think about.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 21, 2008

    Got me hooked on the first page.

    This was a book I could not put down. It is a book I had to talk over with others so I was thankful I was a member of a book club. The characters are complex. The theme wrestles with the way life can "happen" to a person. How life is what happens when one is making other plans........<BR/>I highly recommend the book to people who like introspection, psychology and examining the "human condition."

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2008

    stunning

    This is one of the few books that I finished and started reading again. I thought it was beautifully written, the descriptive passages equalled only by Barbara Kingsolver in Poisonwood Bible. It was complex, and challenging to keep the time frame straight but well worth the effort. Don't consider it a 'quick read' it isn't.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2008

    Loss and Love by the Arctic Circle

    Here are memorably sketched the reminiscences of Trond, an aging hermit, as he looks back on signal events of his childhood. From his cabin on the easterly Norwegian border he recalls seeing a man shot by a Nazi a neighbor boy who accidentally shot his own brother Trond's father's efforts to comfort the grieving mother, an intimacy that now, through the eyes of experience, went beyond simple kindness. Trond has returned to the place of his youth after his wife of many years was killed in a car accident. This extraordinary book is more than a reverie it is the narrator's attempt to link the losses of his life into a chain that might help decode their significance. Here too is prose that matches perfectly a poetic, spare telling, stark as the landscape, to its subject. The result is an emotional cleansing for the reader prepared to let the poetry of the book win him over.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    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. 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.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2009

    Don't Race through this one...

    Take your time to really absorb this one! The writing style is minimal yet rich. If you're looking for a great plot you may be disappointed, but that is not why one reads this. It is about relationships and the imperfect lives we lead. If you're looking for a fairy-tale, I believe the author would have you read Dickens. There is no music in the background here, except maybe the beautifully described nature sounds of Norway. If you're on the "back 9" of life you will appreciate this even more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    Relationships equal lifelong Learning

    In this beautifully written book the author's compassion for a boy he knew when a youth is mobilized in service of gentling impossible-to-articulate feelings about his own life. Chapter by chapter, unfeeling is peeled away. The protagonist emerges accepting his experiences, emotions, and actions. Events and ideas are painted rather than inculcated so the reader is treated to poetry instead of lecture. Scandinavia beckons from every travel poster while reading this book. The paperback is on good quality paper and the cover art work does the book justice.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Wow, what a well-written book

    I picked this book because it had so many good reviews. It truly deserved them. The plot goes back and forth in time, but is smooth and seamless. As the story is slowly revealed, there are surprises. It is not the type of book where you can predict what is going to happen. And really, you don't want to. You just want to enjoy the marvelous writing as the story unfolds. It's a gem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    Very good view of life in Norway during WW2 amd after.

    I loved the descriptive nature of this novel. I was disappointed at the ending and still do not understand the purpose of it. If not for that, I would rate this book a 4****.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

    This coming of age story is from the perspective of a 67 year old man with flashbacks. It is sometimes difficult to follow because of the ramblings. It is interesting and a good book to read on vacation. My
    husband bought it when we were in Hawaii and we both read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2010

    It's a book that goes no where but when you are done you are glad you read it

    I enjoyed the style of the authors writing and the mix of present and past as he tells of story of and mans life. The authors ability to keep
    you reading forward helps you get lost in time until you are finished reading. It is not a book you read for weeks - it is a book you read in a day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Small Country with a Big Heart

    I was taken back on how beautifully written,and detailed this account of WW11 in rural Norway.With the Germans thinking that the local folk are friendly,unassuming,the underground is working day and night smuggling Jews out of harms way.As seen through a boys eyes,and then as a grown man,I was reminded how we must not ever take for granted the Heroes ,whose names we will never know.When we are in the present time and again back in Norway with a grown man,looking back, his life has come full circle..Per Petterson and Anne Born have given life to an amazing story

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2009

    Must read this beautiful, profound novel!

    Norwegian novelist Per Petterson has crafted a magnificently-written, captivating novel that is filled with beauty and emotion. Set in the Norwegian countryside, a man tells his compelling story of how the events of one adolescent summer, in 1948, formed the rest of his life. The narrator, 67 year-old Trond Sander, has chosen to live in quiet solitude in a remote part of Norway. When he discovers his closest neighbor is one of the main participants of that pivotal summer, old memories surface causing him to examine his past. Flashbacks of growing up are interwoven with his tale of growing old. I absolutely loved this poignant book. Each page is overflowing with meaning and insight. The lush descriptions of the Norwegian landscape are vivid and breathtaking. Many enigmas were left unaddressed, leaving me to interpret them. This story left me pondering the influence of the past in my life. It is up to me to decide how circumstances will affect me and how I will react. In addition, it may be necessary to take some action if life starts to cause mental pain. I highly recommend this thought-provoking novel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 30, 2009

    Catchy title

    My daughter-in-law, who is a high school literature teacher, recommended this book to me. I enjoyed reading it, altho in some parts, I had to reread because the writer would go to an earlier time in the main character's life without much notice. There were some parts that could have been explained better for me but that was apparently not the writer's intent and I would have opted for a longer story to fit all the pieces together. Overall, I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it if only to see if another reader got the same out of it as I.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Simple & Insightful

    Per Petterson has a way of putting thoughts & feelings everyone has probably experienced into a simple & relatable way through his characters.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2008

    Nazi Invasion

    Per Petterson¿s Out Stealing Horses is a fictional account of fictional character Trond Sander¿s memoir of his and his father¿s life in Norway. Trond recounts his childhood during the Nazi¿s invasion.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2008

    Disappointing

    This book was one of our book club selections for the year. It has received so much hype that I was really looking forward to sitting down and reading it. Although I think it's well written, I was disappointed in the story line. There just wasn't enough and it didn't seem like he developed it enough. Fortunately, it's a quick read so I didn't waste too much time on it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2014

    A cool, very well written novel that stayed with me

    Loved this book. There were a few parts that seemed it could have done without, but overall it was beautifully done and thoroughly engaging.

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  • Posted August 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Out Stealing Horses is a sparse, beautiful, and powerful novel.

    Out Stealing Horses is a sparse, beautiful, and powerful novel. Our protagonist, 67 year old Trond, has moved from Oslo to a small village in the country, where he plans to spend the rest of his life. As he sets about repairing his new home he begins to think back on the course of his life. In a kind of reverse coming-of-age story Trond takes us back to the summer of '48, a summer he spent with his father in another small village in the country. Petterson deftly weaves back and forth through time to slowly unravel this tale, and show us how our pasts inform our futures. The beautiful stream-of-consciousness prose injects a sense of urgency into the narrative, while somehow managing not to disrupt the slow, melancholy tone of the novel. In many ways Out Stealing Horses reminded me of John Banville's The Sea, except it is even more powerful, even more beautiful. I'm not sure I could give this novel higher praise than that.

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