Monday, October 08, 2007

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

I love love love this book. It is exceedingly beautiful. The language is so gorgeous I wanted to just sink into it and never come out.

The story is told by Trond Sander a 67 year old man, recently moved to a remote cabin in the soon to be winterland of Norway, and his recollections of a summer with his father in another remote cabin where things happen to change his life forever. Much of that story is based on WWII and its aftermath. The current story is tied to the past in unexpected ways and the whole tapestry is a portrait of a life defined by an event.

This is not a sweeping saga, it is very controlled. And therein lies its pleasure. I was surprised by things that happened in this story, but it all felt inevitable. I liked Trond very much even though he was still a man who was "becoming." I think this book should be read without knowing much about it because it has moments that will indeed take your breath away.

It is a translation from the Norwegian and the translator is also a poet. I think that shows in the beauty of her construction.

Get this book!! Read it and tell others to read it. It deserves a wide audience.