Monday, 4 February 2008

Out Stealing Horses

i finally took the time to read a book that i got as a christmas present, norwegian author per petterson's "ut og stjæle hester" (pferde stehlen) and i read it through in one day.

an old man has recently bought an old house close to a lake, more or less in the middle of nowhere (apart from the small community the house belongs to) where he wants to spend the last years of his life in quiet and peace. the thing is, things turn out differently. the forest, the nearby lake, and a somewhat familiar neighbour set his memories going, and one part of his past which he had thought he had forgotten, breaks up and into his life again.

dreams recall the summer when he was 15, just after the end of the war, which he spent with his father close to the border of sweden, as well in the middle of nowhere (or at least, the end of norway), and this is the summer that changed his life, made him grow up and deeply disturbed him. or maybe not? the novel feels disturbing, with smaller and larger desasters breaking into life every now and then. and maybe it's not so much the things that happen or the people, but rather the surrounding nature, dry and hot in the summer, cold and harsh in the beginning winter. and the trees. always the trees.

it's a novel about time. family. sons. guilt. physical pain and how to deal with it. it is a genuinely male world that is described here. the beginning of a lone wolf's world, though he had had company most of his life. and it is about norway. and a little bit about sweden, värmland in particular. my second homeland. kind of.

No comments: