It's Fine By Me Paperback – 1 Nov 2012
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"· an intriguing story featuring all of the Petterson quirks ― charm, melancholy, loneliness, the rifts between parents and children, the bonds between siblings and friends" (Reading Matters)
"Beautifully written and understatedly uplifting, It's Fine By Me is an essential read" (Stylist)
"Beguiling and beautiful… a gripping and subtle coming-of-age story, ripe with melancholy… graceful and moving" (Daily Telegraph)
"Executed with not only a magical attention to detail but also with heart-swelling affection... page after page of clear, glitchless and truthful writing" (Financial Times)
"A movingly observed story about growing up" (The Times)
The brilliant and moving story of a young man's life from the author of the prizewinning Out Stealing Horses.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As the novel opens, thirteen-year-old Audun Sletten and his mother have just moved from the rural countryside to an area outside of Oslo, and from the first day of school, the reader sees that life is going to be difficult for Audun, who lacks any sense of compromise. Petterson's depiction of Audun is lifelike, carefully crafted to allow Audun to maintain the personal respect he believes he deserves, while at the same time, so psychologically revealing that readers will immediately feel empathy for him and understand his behavior. As the novel moves back and forth between Audun as a thirteen-year-old and Audun as a sixteen- or seventeen-year-old, his tendency to hit first and deal with the results later creates problems for him and for others around him. Even as a twenty-year-old, he is still quick to react with force. Still, he shows some empathy for others - adults who treat him kindly, and some other, younger children who do not threaten him. Gradually, after many dramatic events, the reader sees Audun beginning to grow emotionally.Read more ›
When the book starts Audun is 13 years old and facing his first day in a new school where insists on keeping his sunglasses on all day and refuses to talk about where he came from and his past.
Five years later Audun is the only one of his siblings still living with his mother in a working-class district of Oslo. He is in his last year of school but not sure if that is the place for him. Audun has one good friend, Arvid and shares with him a love of reading and socialist political ideas.
Slowly Audun shares some memories of his life so far with the reader, if not with those around him. We learn about his violent father who disappeared five years ago but could be anywhere, even on his way back to his family. We also find out about Audun's younger brother and older sister and slowly start to understand Audun's problems with his life and the world around him.
This is a very good coming-of-age novel. In many ways Audun is a typical teenager, trying to find his place in the world and to understand the actions of those around him. But there are issues in Audun's life that make him a far from average teenager. The violence that were a dominant feature in his early life, and a devastating loss make him feel more alone in an incomprehensible world than the average teenager does.
The reader won't always be able to understand or approve of his actions and decisions, but will at all times sympathise with him and will him on, hoping that he will come out at the other side to a brighter future.
At times violent and at other times tender, this is a powerful story, both heartbreaking and uplifting.Read more ›
The novel follows Audun to his nineteenth year, by which time just he lives with his mother, while the shadow of his father still lurks somewhere. Both Audun and Arvid are independent thinkers, and neither is the sort to take the course of inaction, so it is not surprising they get in the odd scrape. But is is clear that while he rubs many up the wrong way, Audun endears himself to some of his neighbours as well of some of the those with whom he works - as no doubt he will to the reader.
It's Fine By Me is a relatively short read, but far from short in content and impact. Characters are well drawn and convincing, and it is this that really makes if it so fully engaging a read.
He writes very well and I have already read "Out steeling horses", and "the wake"
I shall continue to read him, either in English or in Norwegian
When you read Petterson you see a different side to the Scandinavian experience than that depicted in home and living magazines. Rather than elegant houses set among scenic lakes, furnished with clean-lined sofas and expensive electronics, you find yourself in working class areas among docks and factories, as rough and ready as any industrial area. Alcohol seems to be a perennial problem, and when people leave a bar they fight each other before leaving for their troubled, down-at-heel homes.
Audan comes from such a home - his father makes occasional appearances but is greeted with with a low-level terror by his family who know that arguments end up with a beating from the angry drunk. He keeps a gun and on one occasion he leaves home and turns round and shoots at the house, breaking the kitchen window and narrowly missing Audan's mother.
The book slips back and forth between the years, with Audan being 13 in one chapter and 17 in the next, then back again, his reminiscences always being acute, social interactions mixed in with glowing descriptions of the nearby Norwegian countryside.
Audan eventually drops out of school and begins work in a noisy, dangerous print-works.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Probably a very accurate portrayal of a boy at 11 and 15 but not as entertaining as I expected. The lad lives a rather austere existence and this is conveyed well by the author.Published on 8 Mar. 2014 by Col
Complete; to me this book is like a painting, it is so smoothly written you could be forgiven for not realising the intricacy and depth. Read morePublished on 12 Feb. 2014 by Meorgey
I came only recently to Petterson's fiction. I dipped into Out Stealing Horses at a friend's house and promptly bought it. Since then, I've worked through the lot, I think. Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2013 by Jim Marshall
Good name. fluid writer, coming of age story. bit too norwegian james dean/hemingway for me, but still good. I will read I curse the river of time next.. Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2013 by Amazon Customer
Lower working class Oslo, 1970. A tough life. Per Petterson is a Norwegian novelist, most acclaimed for his novel, Out Stealing Horses which, regrettably, I have not read. Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2012 by John P. Jones III