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Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes Paperback – 14 Nov 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Harvill Secker (14 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846553709
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846553707
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 1.1 x 16.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 454,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"What makes Petterson’s storytelling so mesmerising is his measured, gentle restraint" (Scotland on Sunday)

"Written with humour and great clarity, it’s a short but strikingly memorable read" (A Life in Books)

"A small book that packs a punch" (Michael North Independent on Sunday)

"Shot through with a tender, nostalgic quality" (David Evans Financial Times)

"This debut outing (from 1987) by the Norwegian novelist tells a tale of childhood c.1960 with tender, bittersweet poignancy" (Boyd Tonkin Independent)

Book Description

Per Petterson masters the art of writing simply about big subjects, and this is the heartwarming debut that brought the author of the highly acclaimed Out Stealing Horses to prominence

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Format: Paperback
Norwegian author Per Petterson dedicates the ten short stories of Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes (1987) to his own father in his first published book, creating a loving portrait of a father, his young son, and a few other members of their family as they go about their everyday lives in 1960s Norway. Main character Arvid, who will go on to star in some later books by Petterson, is six years old in the collection’s opening story, growing to the age of ten by its conclusion, a hypersensitive child who notices and cares about the family around him even as he is also aware of how much he depends on them.

Arvid’s unique point of view, his life, and his reactions to events in these stories, though emotional, are nevertheless so plausible and so immediate that one cannot help believing that many of the happenings here were real and that the stories are somewhat autobiographical. Seeming to breathe on their own, they need very little exposition to work their magic and draw in the reader, to whom they feel somehow familiar, no matter how the time, setting, and action may differ from our own. The author chooses his details carefully and writes in an especially concise style, with no wordiness to slow down the action, no grand statements, and, ultimately no need to explain the action or embellish it.

The opening story sets the tone, as Arvid learns that his father has lost his job as foreman of a shoe factory and must soon take a succession of lesser jobs in order to stay employed in the declining shoe business, which he loves. As the story develops, the action also shows the tense relationship between Arvid’s father and his brother Rolf, and eventually his father’s humiliation when he finally does obtain another job in another field of work.
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Format: Paperback
In this short and gentle portrait of a young boy growing up in a working-class suburb of Oslo in the 1960s, Per Petterson deftly and with great tenderness captures the thoughts and feelings of 6 year old Arvid as he tries to make sense of the sometimes confusing world around him. His often hazy understanding of what is happening comes across clearly in Petterson's usual concise and spare prose and beautifully captures the world through Arvid's eyes. His relationship with his father is particularly touching, and this little window into a child's world is both striking and memorable. Short enough to be read in just one sitting, this is a delightful tale of everyday family life, snapshots of moments in a childhood.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another brilliant book by a consummate artist. Wonderful insight into growing up.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
HE HAS A VERY ORIGINAL WAY OF WRITING. I LIKE IT BUT FIND IT VERY SAD
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Amazingly good condition for a secondhand book. I enjoyed it like I have all Per Petterson's novels
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