Apr 12, 2014

Out Stealing Horses

by Per Petterson

I hoped to like this book. It's one of those I felt sure I wanted to read, but once I started was just not appreciating it. I am certain I was missing the big picture, what was really going on in the story, but by the time I realized this it was too late, I no longer cared. The narrative is about a man living in Norway, just across the border from Sweeden. In a cabin in the forest. Part of it is about him as an old man coming to this place to live in peaceful solitude (rebuilding the derelict cabin, taking walks with his dog), but other parts tell of events from his youth, when he and a friend would go up and down the river, looking for something to do and getting into trouble. I did, at first, slow down to absorb the descriptions of the forest and being there, but was unable to focus enough to read between the lines and really get it. It is one of those books full of understatement, which I have to be in the right mood for. It's full of quietness, musing reminiscences. Has a lot to do with father-son relationships, with his coming-of-age, with some awful accidents that occurred- and it felt like another horrific incident was looming just around the corner, in the pages I did not get to. I didn't want to get to that part. You can read some of the other reviews to see what the readers thought, who did get there.

And for some reason the book reminded me of A River Runs Through It, I'm not sure why. I never finished that one either. If one of you out there has read both and cares to comment, tell me if those two books have much in common?

Abandoned       238 pages, 2003

more opinions:
Reading Matters
Blogging for a Good Book
Fleur in Her World
Ready Steady Book


  1. I'm no help here, I'm afraid! I started A River Runs Through It, got dead bored with it, and never finished. :p

  2. I've heard of this book but had no idea that's what it's about. I'll probably skip it.


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