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The Year of the Hare [Kindle Edition]

Arto Paasilinna
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

Vatanen the journalist is feeling burnt out and sick of the city. One summer evening while on assignment his car hits a young hare on a country road. He goes in search of the injured creature. This small incident becomes a life-changing experience for Vatanen as he decides to break free from the world's constraints. He quits his job, leaves his wife, sells his possessions to travel the Finnish wilds with his new-found friend. Their adventures take in forest fires, pagan sacrifices, military war games, killer bears and much more. A long-time best-seller in Finland and in France, The Year of the Hare is the authorÕs favourite among his works. It has also been translated into Italian, German, Dutch, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Swedish and many other languages. It is frequently dramatized for the stage and has twice been made into a movie.

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Review

Rarely do reviewers come upon a novel they believe to be a masterpiece, which they feel will become part of their imaginative lives. For me The Year of the Hare is such a work. --The European

There is an enchanted lightness to everything they do . . . This is such an inventive novel . . . that one does not want it to end. --Ham and High

No wonder the French have made this book into a cult. Finnish wit is as sharp as the Arctic weather. --Mail on Sunday

There is an enchanted lightness to everything they do . . . This is such an inventive novel . . . that one does not want it to end. --Ham and High

No wonder the French have made this book into a cult. Finnish wit is as sharp as the Arctic weather. --Mail on Sunday

There is an enchanted lightness to everything they do . . . This is such an inventive novel . . . that one does not want it to end. --Ham and High

No wonder the French have made this book into a cult. Finnish wit is as sharp as the Arctic weather. --Mail on Sunday

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 722 KB
  • Print Length: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers; 6 edition (1 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.ą r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JD09MY8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #87,475 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finnish magic 26 Mar. 2009
Format:Paperback
Beautiful, jewel-like story which somehow creates its own unique world in just 135 generously spaced pages. Moves with great verve from prosaic realism at the start (as Vatanen abandons his bourgeois workaday life and moves increasingly into the wilderness of Finland's icy, forested hinterland) towards a kind of magic at the end as he literally breaks free - with one mighty bound - from the constraints of civilisation. Tempting to talk about 'magic realism' - the thought crossed my mind many times - but it all feels too well grounded, and maybe too funny, for that. Tempting also to call it a kind of fairy tale, but that would suggest a tweeness which the book never has.

The hare itself deserves a mention - a catalyst for Vatanen's change, perhaps a link between the real world and the mystic, but more than that, a real character in its own right for which we quickly share Vatanen's affection. The bear too, and the surprisingly wide cast of supporting characters, are brilliantly drawn.

Like no other book I've ever read, a wonderfully constructed modern fable.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Adventure 5 Dec. 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I have a lot of Finish friends, and one day I asked one of them to recommend me a book written by a Finnish. He told me that I should have bought "The Year of the Hare". I did it and I read it in a very few days from cover to cover. I was living a fantastic adventure in the land of my Finish friends with a fantastic leader. He and his hare took me over a part of the Finish culture and nature, and inspired me to follow my instincs a bit more often. If you haven't read this book yet, what are you waiting for? It's a must in your personal library.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written classic 28 Feb. 2011
Format:Paperback
A book about a man who tames a wild hare, or a deeper analogy for the stupidity of how we judge our own lives? I didn't hugely care how to interpret this book, it was just a pleasure to read from start to finish. Combining a story which twists and winds its way unpredictably through the Finnish landscape, and a combination of wit, fun, and some serious moments, it's easy to like the main character and his hare and you root for him all the way through.

It's quite hard to describe why this book is so good - it's just beautifully simple and almost innocent. Like a children's book but for adults (there is a modicum of adult-ish content, nothing much though) I suppose. As soon as I finished it I wanted to pick it up and start again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely, gentle and compassionate work. 31 Mar. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I recently discovered the Finnish novelist Arto Paasilinna when I happened upon his novel "The Howling Miller", which I found to be very moving and mysterious. "The Year of the Hare" I found to be even more wonderful.

It is the tale of a man, who for various complicated reasons, finds himself protecting a wild hare as he has a series of misadventures. It is so movingly told that I found myself completely absorbed and desperately frightened that the poor hare would meet an unfortunate end, even more than I fretted for the fate of his somewhat flawed, but well meaning, guardian.

This is a novel that I long to re-read and re-read. A little gem.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and now for something completely different 9 April 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A journalist wanders around Finland for a year, giving up his job, and taking care of a hare. He has some savings so this is not Jack London being a tramp or "down and out in paris and london". More a sabbatical and a chance to look at things afresh.

Much to my surprise, this really delivers - a series of vignettes, each highly memorable and fully realised - and a different take on life and (the) society (of contemporary Finland).

Highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get into a Finn's head! 3 May 2000
Format:Paperback
I'd been living in Finland for over I year before I read this book. Having explored a lot of Finnish wilds with my Finnish friends I can tell you that this book is wonderful exploraition in the workings of a Finnish mind and genrally about the pace of life in Finland. Reccomended reading for anybody to enjoys the simple things in life and also for those who have anything remotely to do with Finland. POSITIVELY BRILLIANT! HYVÄ SUOMIA! HYVÄ ARTO!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Gem from Finland 6 Oct. 2010
Format:Paperback
This is the perfect book to leave beside your guest's bedside as it is less than 140 pages and very easily read in one sitting. For a book first published in Great Britain 15 years ago it is surprising that it has not attracted more acclaim.
Paasilinna spins a very entertaining story around a man, Vatanen, and his hare he saves after being hit by a car. Vatanen gives up his life as a married journalist and spends a year travelling around Finland with the hare. There are numerous incidents which occur but the book has much deeper resonance about many issues and which would benefit from a second reading, something I rarely do. Each chapter has a title and particularly appealing was "The President" which even read alone should encourage most readers to see the wonderful ability Paasilinna has to entertain whilst cutting much deeper into Finnish Life and the real wider world.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Discover Finland 6 Dec. 2010
By mina
Format:Paperback
Very short book, too short, I would love to go for another 150 pages of adventure and nature - away of it all.
Beautifully written, highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Rather surreal - not quite sure of the author's intentions
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars What a wonderful book about life
What a wonderful book about life! it should be on the schools curriculum - beautifully written (albeit translated from the original).
Published 2 months ago by DeeDee /dondon
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended non fiction book,
A most unusual story, excellently translated into English, with graphic descriptions within a fast moving story.
Published 3 months ago by St.Albans Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Thank you
Published 3 months ago by S A Doherty
5.0 out of 5 stars Live light, be deep
A glorious romp of a wondrous adventure for mind and spirit, poignant and funny and masterfully written. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Twink
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very good condition,,,very pleased with this.
Published 7 months ago by chechi
3.0 out of 5 stars Would have better had it finished at 70%
Initially very enjoyable but became quite disjointed later on. Would have better had it finished at 70%
Published 7 months ago by P M LONG
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very unusual book that is highly entertaining. Is a sort of dark humoured tales from the wood.
Published 7 months ago by Cathy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
perfect
Published 9 months ago by LILLY GRAHAM
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Finnish!
Bought this before a trip to Finland, and have realised it reflects the very dry sense of humour of the Finns. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Angela Shaw
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