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The Year of the Hare by [Paasilinna, Arto]
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The Year of the Hare Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews

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Review

"Escapism at its best . . . Just pure fun-a fantasy of what might happen if one day you just said, 'Oh, the hell with it.' "
-Lynn Neary, NPR.org
"Amazing . . . It can be read over a long winter afternoon and will leave you feeling a little warmer inside."
-"San Francisco Book Review"
"[A] wonderful book . . . The perfect escape literature . . . [It] will have you laughing and gasping by turns. . . . Of the many lines in this book that I cherished, the last is one of the most delicious: 'Vatanen is a man to be reckoned with.' So is this book."
-Lonely Planet
"Compelling . . . You might just find yourself wishing for a hare to enter your life in the near future."
-"Seattle Post-Intelligencer"
"[A] joy . . . The glory of the outdoors is celebrated here, through each season, and we can nearly smell the early clover and meadow vetchling of the hare's diet. . . . Vatanen is who we want to be [and] who we yearn to be brave enough to bec

"This is escapism at its best. . . . Really, it''s just pure fun, like an adult fairy tale-a fantasy of what might happen if one day you just said, ''Oh, the hell with it.'' "
-Lynn Neary, NPR.org
"[A] wonderful book . . . If you are too timid to actually cut all the ties to your ''civilized'' life, but still have a yearning to get away from clocks and calendars, Arto Paasilinna''s "The Year of the Hare" provides the perfect escape literature. . . . The humor in this book just sneaks up on you. . . . [It] will have you laughing and gasping by turns. . . . The writing is as spare and clean as the lines of Scandinavian design. . . . Of the many lines in this book that I cherished, the last is one of the most delicious: ''Vatanen is a man to be reckoned with.'' So is this book."
-Lonely Planet
"A fable of the joys of freedom . . . The hare proves to be a delightful, undemanding, and loyal companion, who can laugh, listen, and feel embarrassment."
-"The Boston Globe"
"Paasilinna''s style is all Finn-a sly sense of humor, a simplicity, a moral compass that points firmly north and out of doors, away from cities. . . . Readers root for Vatanen as he leaps off the mad merry-go-round."
-"Los Angeles Times"
"Compelling . . . You might just find yourself wishing for a hare to enter your life in the near future."
-"Seattle Post-Intelligencer"
"Beguiling, gently ironic . . . [an] ode to spontaneity and serendipity."
-"National Geographic Traveler"
"[A] joy . . . The glory of the outdoors is celebrated here, through each season, and we can nearly smell the early clover and meadow vetchling of the hare''s diet. . . . Vatanen is who we want to be [and] who we yearn to be brave enough to become, as soon as we stop waiting for the timing to be right."
-"BookPage"
"Hilarious . . . With its fiercely independent protagonist and its depiction of Finland''s wild northland, this comic novel will offer reade

"This is escapism at its best. . . . Really, it's just pure fun, like an adult fairy tale-a fantasy of what might happen if one day you just said, 'Oh, the hell with it.' "
-Lynn Neary, NPR.org
"[A] wonderful book . . . If you are too timid to actually cut all the ties to your 'civilized' life, but still have a yearning to get away from clocks and calendars, Arto Paasilinna's "The Year of the Hare" provides the perfect escape literature. . . . The humor in this book just sneaks up on you. . . . [It] will have you laughing and gasping by turns. . . . The writing is as spare and clean as the lines of Scandinavian design. . . . Of the many lines in this book that I cherished, the last is one of the most delicious: 'Vatanen is a man to be reckoned with.' So is this book."
-Lonely Planet
"A fable of the joys of freedom . . . The hare proves to be a delightful, undemanding, and loyal companion, who can laugh, listen, and feel embarrassment."
-"The Boston Globe"
"Paasilinna's style is all Finn-a sly sense of humor, a simplicity, a moral compass that points firmly north and out of doors, away from cities. . . . Readers root for Vatanen as he leaps off the mad merry-go-round."
-"Los Angeles Times"
"Compelling . . . You might just find yourself wishing for a hare to enter your life in the near future."
-"Seattle Post-Intelligencer"
"Beguiling, gently ironic . . . [an] ode to spontaneity and serendipity."
-"National Geographic Traveler"
"[A] joy . . . The glory of the outdoors is celebrated here, through each season, and we can nearly smell the early clover and meadow vetchling of the hare's diet. . . . Vatanen is who we want to be [and] who we yearn to be brave enough to become, as soon as we stop waiting for the timing to be right."
-"BookPage"
"Hilarious . . . With its fiercely independent protagonist and its depiction of Finland's wild northland, this comic novel will offer readers a rare opportunity to experience Finland and read one of that country's most popular authors."
-"Library Journal"
""The Year of the Hare" offers enjoyable yarns: fun adventures, agreeably related. . . . It's so good-natured and has so much varied action-and that animal-appeal-that it makes for a consistently enjoyable read."
-"The Complete Review"
"Exhilarating . . . The sheer literary delight of Arto Paasilinna's comic novels is one of the best-kept secrets in Finland. . . . You'll want to laugh out loud at all the good parts, and savor every lean, simple, honest sentence."
-"Shelf Awareness"
""The Year of the Hare" is only the most Finnish, and perhaps most antically Zen-ish, of a shelf-load of books that tell us to find and live by our own ideas of contentment."
-"The Wall Street Journal"
"An exemplary comic novel, full of amiable if binding warnings about the septic follies of civilization-to be read with rising anxiety and delight."
-Thomas McGuane
"Step out of the domestic gulag and into "The Year of the Hare," a novel that depicts the confident freedom of the journeyman. I loved it."
-Matthew Crawford, author of "Shop Class as Soulcraft"
"I love "The Year of the Hare." . . . Which of us wouldn't secretly want to live in a novel as fresh and as full of events as this one?"
-Pico Iyer, from the Foreword
"Paasilinna has been amusing Finns for thirty years and readers in twenty-five languages."
-"The New York Times"

About the Author

ARTO PAASILINNA was born in Kittila Finland in 1942. After a successful, but ultimately meaningless, punt as a journalist, he quit his job and sold his boat to write The Year of the Hare, which has since gone on to become an international best-seller. Since the early 1970s, he has written a novel a year, in which dissatisfied Fins run for the forests, shaking off their urban shackles in search of idyllic self-sufficiency. To this end he has sold more than 7 million books in 27 languages.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 877 KB
  • Print Length: 146 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0720612772
  • Publisher: Peter Owen Publishers; 6 edition (1 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JD09MY8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 43 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #40,990 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on 5 Dec. 2001
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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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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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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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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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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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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Format: Paperback
When I saw that this little book was a bestseller in the author's Finnish homeland, that it had been translated into umpteen languages, and that it had even been selected for the UNESCO Collection of Works I thought that I might just be on to a winner.

It all starts so simply. It is late in the day and a journalist and his photographer are driving home across country, They pull up when they hit and injure a young hare. Vatanen, the journalist pursues the hare into the forest. And he doesn't come back. Eventually, the photographer decides the he must leave without him.

Meanwhile, in the forest Vatanen finds the hare, nurses it, and gradually wins its trust. And he makes a decision. To break free of his dull life, his stagnant marriage, and live a simpler life, travelling through the country, picking up casual jobs to fund essentials, and appreciating the world around him.

The writing was simple: plain, clear prose, and short, sharp sentences. The idea seemed simple. But the story wasn't so simple, there was plenty more to come.

Man and hare traveled together, encountering all manner of people. And many different reactions to the hare.

One man goes out of his way to help Vatanen find food for his companion. A woman oohs and aahs. One man is determined to but the hare, another is equally determined to separate man and beast, to uphold the law, to normalise the situation. And a priest fetches his shotgun when he finds droppings in his church ...

Each and every reaction says something about human nature, and human society.
Read more ›
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