- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: Vintage (6 July 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099506130
- ISBN-13: 978-0099506133
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 17,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Out Stealing Horses Paperback – 6 Jul 2006
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"Lyrical, deceptively clever...the way the story folds together like the petals of a rose is one of the novel's pleasurable surprises...an intelligent journey from boyhood into manhood..." (Daily Telegraph)
"Deeply atmospheric...concise beauty of his prose movingly captures the Norwegian landscape and rural way of life...This stunning novel will tell you more about the Norwegian countryside and psyche than the most enthusiastically well-informed guide book'" (Daily Telegraph)
"Petterson catches so effectively the thing that haunts all of us, the knowledge of how fragile life is...He captures the essence of a man's existence with a clean-lined freshness that hits you like a burst of winter air - surprising and breathtaking...touching humour...the narrative is beautifully balanced...Petterson writes with robust unpretentiousness. His story gathers pace like growing up, and stimulates heart and mind like a brisk country walk." (Daily Express)
"Limpid prose...an impressive novel of rare and exemplary moral courage." (Independent on Sunday)
"A novel of considerable quality." (Scotsman)
A moving tale of isolation, the painful loss of innocence and a eulogy for the traditional ways of life gone forever.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Set in Norway, the book is about Trond, a man who has set up home in the middle of nowhere almost as a retreat from life; he is nearing old age. So proceeds a description of his current state of mind intertwined with memories of a youthful summer spent with his Dad in a very similar area. And in Trond, Petterson creates a character whose honesty you immediately like, but only really understand at the very end of the book, keeping you engaged throughout. And even then you are left with questions, though perhaps that is the key. Trond is still finding out new things about himself, still surprising himself, even though he tells himself that he has withdrawn. The story burns slowly, but like watching fire grow, it draws you closer. This is a meditation on the things which make us, and the moments which you somehow remember, many of which you don't understand because they happen when we are too young. It's beautifully written, elegtant, and very moving. I loved it.
The book is really beautifully written. Descriptions of the surroundings, the trees, the water, the tracks, journeys (including one on horseback into Sweden), the simple life in the cottage are marvellous and sometimes deeply satisfying. A key element is Trond's relationship with his father (it is with his father that he makes the journey into Sweden), a crucial relationship in his life, and this is handled with understated delicacy. His father's life, which includes wartime work with the Norwegian resistance is seen through the boy's eyes. Trond may have become a recluse, but he is courteous and still likes people - he gradually makes contact with his neighbour, Lars, and he welcomes a visit from his daughter, though both of these encounters bring memories from the past which are not wholly positive.Read more ›
Like other reviewers I'd also recommend that you read it slowly to truly appreciate it. It is a short novel, and an easy read, but there is a definite depth to it. Trond examines his life (the events and relationships that have shaped him), in a way that for me highlights his struggle between a desire to withdraw and a desire connect. I found myself both gripped and saddened by the psychology of this struggle, and also humbled by the human experience I felt privileged to have some small insight to.
As for recommending this book, I do so wholeheartedly. I think you'll really like this book if you are a fan of the understated slow-burn style novel that engages your mind and your emotions.
The novel commences with Trond Sanders, who considers himself a "spry" 67, deciding to seek the tranquility of a cabin in the woods, along the eastern border of Norway, near the sea, to live out his days. Many a reader might envision a "Walden"-style retreat. The timing is as the millennium turns. A chance encounter with his most immediate neighbor, who still lives a considerable distance away, proves fateful. It is a person that he has not seen for over half a century. An event so improbable, that it would normally diminish the quality of the novel, as the author says. His neighbor is Lars Hung.
The novel moves back and forth over time, from the present (1999) to 1948, when Trond is 15, and Lars is 10. It is only three years after the German occupation of Norway during WW II. Events during the occupation still reverberate. It is about friendships and familial relationships. One relationship is between Trond, in his coming-of-age mode, and his father, whom he realizes he does not know, and as events unfold, never will (that secret world of adults!).Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A stunning work. Like a Chekhov short story with not a single wasted word. You could feel every single nuancePublished 2 months ago by mayoontour
I read this as a book club read. At first I couldn't get into it, too slow and descriptive and I put it down while I polished off a couple of historical fictions ( both good btw)... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Parklife
Brilliant book. Arrived fast and as advertised. Am very pleased. .Published 6 months ago by EDWARDS LINDSAY
From the synopsis it’s clear this novel set in the bleak Scandi landscape will have a certain pace and feel. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Greta
Loved this book. The style, plot, setting and characters were woven perfectly from the start to have me caring about the characters and feeling I was in their very real world. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ms. Louise Knight
Brilliant book ~ extremely well written and translated. As I'm a Norwegian, who came to England at the tender age of 18, I thoroughly enjoyed the atmospheric writing style. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Sunny Hansen-Luke