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Ut og stjæle hester Sommeren 1948 bor 15 år gamle Trond og faren hans på ei seter ved ei elv nær grensa til Sverige Der opplever han død og svik noe som forandrer grunnlaget for livet hans 67 år gammel har han flyttet ut til et lite hus ved en innsjø langt øst i landet sammen med hunden sin Hans nærmeste nabo viser seg å være en annen skadeskutt eldre mann med hund en han kjente før og som han må forholde seg til og så begynner sommeren 1948 å plage ham


10 thoughts on “Ut og stjæle hester

  1. says:

    I have a feeling this book may take root and blossom further within me over time but for now I must stop one star short of my top ratingOut Stealing Horses won the world's richest literary prize The Impac out of Dublin last year and it has had enough buzz that I had to wait weeks for it to come off the reserve list at our local libraryIt is the tale of a 67 year old Norwegian man who retreats to the north woods to review his life and particularly a fateful summer in 1948 when he was 15 and sharing a cabin with his father for the last time The book in many ways reminds me of a palimpsest because at several turns it will reveal yet another critical story that underlies the ones that came before The novel opens with a tragedy that befalls the narrator's best friend in that long ago summer and it seems that will become the fulcrum of the plot but it turns out only to be a tangential part of the story Unbeknownst to the boy this event will deeply affect his relationship with his father and it is only as time goes on that he will learn his father's full history and how his friend's crisis fits into that larger picture which includes the revelation that his father had been an operative for the Norwegian resistance during World War IIAlthough the book is steeped in melancholy it is also laced throughout with moments of joy and a deep appetite for life much of which is embodied in stories of simple chores and heroic physical challenges in the deep woodsI'm tempted to say that in the end I was disappointed because this novel is just so Scandinavian particularly in the way the characters say almost nothing that reveals their deep feelings and motives to each other so that the reader has to infer all of that from their actions whether noble or pettyBut this may be a universal story of how men particularly have trouble expressing their feelings in words or even wanting to share those emotions with the people they love most And frankly I ended by feeling angry at the boy's father even though I can't explain why without revealing a critical part of the plotOne of the ironies of Out Stealing Horses is that the narrator's favorite author is Dickens who explores his characters' personalities in great detail and always resolves everything for the better at the end of most of his novels Petterson does neither He suggests; he sketches; and he leaves us to infer the motives and deepest wellsprings of his characters' livesAnd yet there is much to love about his writing and his storytelling At one point the narrator says that if you tell people some facts about your life they think they know you because they construct a story in their minds to flesh out those facts and yet they don't really have any idea who you are; only you do deep inside yourself That passage not only epitomizes the character; it serves as advice or a warning for readers who want to make sense of the people in this story


  2. says:

    I believe we shape our lives ourselves at any rate I have shaped mine for what it’s worth and I take complete responsibility But of all the places I might have moved to I had to land up precisely hereI’m a sucker for these self reflective sort of novels where the narrator looks back on his or her life and we as readers have the opportunity to make that journey as well I’m also crazy about subtle language that in its simplicity still manages to deliver a powerful punch to the reader’s gut Author Per Petterson sure seems to have a gift and I adored the writing in this gorgeous piece of Scandinavian literature Trond Sander now in the twilight of his years at the age of sixty seven has decided to move into a small house in eastern Norway where he plans to live out his days in isolation An unexpected encounter with another man triggers a flood of memories from Trond’s past The story alternates between the end of the millennium to 1948 where at the age of fifteen he spent the summer living in a cabin with his father during tree felling season In some ways this is a coming of age tale though by no means is it a young adult story There perhaps comes a time in our lives when we recognize the fact that our parents are not perfect human beings What do we do with this information? There are exuisite passages about regret grief bitterness sensual desire abandonment friendship and aging Time is important to me now I tell myself Not that it should pass uickly or slowly but be only time be something I live inside and fill with physical things and activities that I can divide it up by so that it grows distinct to me and does not vanish when I am not lookingThis novel also beautifully illustrates the link between individuals and the natural world The feeling of vitality that working with the land and the river can instill in a person is juxtaposed with the apprehension of facing a harsh winter alone It is the summer of one’s youth when so much lies ahead and the winter of one’s maturity where all that seems to remain are the memories And when someone says the past is a foreign country that they do things differently there then I have probably felt that way for most of my life because I have been obliged to but I am not any If I just concentrate I can walk into memory’s store and find the right shelf with the right film and disappear into it and still feel in my body that ride through the forest with my fatherThis is a book you cannot read for the plot or you may be disappointed Much of what happens occurred in the past and although it is weighty stuff the story is not propelled by the action Instead it is driven by the reflections of how those things affected not just one person but a string of persons How an act reverberates across people and over a length of time Much like one tree felled by a swift strike by the ax will echo throughout the entire forest The I think about this book the I realize just how affecting it really is I read this at a time when life is becoming extremely hectic changes lie ahead hopefully all for the best I was happy to sit with a uiet novel that made me think Actually I loved this I have nothing against the face in the mirror I acknowledge it I recognize myself I cannot ask for


  3. says:

    This is a story of growth of a boy who becomes an adult in an isolated rural region of Norway close to the Swedish border in the course of one summerBut this is also a story of decline of an old man who revisits the countryside where he last saw his father in 1948 expecting to capture the blinding light of indifferent nature the flashing clarity of unhurried memories the physical vigor that pumped up his young body than sixty years ago before the clock of his worn out life ticks outTwo stories and a single first person narrator at first separated by the unbridgeable abyss of time end up converging in a tapestry of revelations and silences that bespeak of the invisible threads that weave fate and chance choice and serendipity togetherIn Petterson’s world there is no place for far fetched coincidences everything that happens in the life of his characters is a direct result of their actions in a specific moment in time A family man falls in love with a married woman who shares his political ideals in wartime when people got murdered if they were on the wrong side Five years later a boy on the brim of adulthood who idolatrizes his father discovers eroticism betrayal and death all at once resulting in premature responsibility for actions that were beyond his controlAn abandoned son faces two forked paths that will determine the man he is going to become in a future seared by the incommensurable absence of his father Meanwhile the very same forest that saw him blossom with life in summertime witnesses the gradual decrease of his energy when the bucolic landscape is covered in snowdrift during his last winterThe power of this book remains in what is left unsaid in the minimalistic poetry of concentrated meaning in the slow moving pace that leaves one breathless wanting to absorb the magnetic pull of every disclosed thought be it of immense happiness or unbearable sorrowA number of recurrent sentences and imagery is used in different contexts to provide a delicate map of motifs that infuse the story with a cyclical undercurrent that recalls the passing seasons of the protagonist’s life that is now setting in wintry stillness Out stealing horses is a weightless ode to letting go of versions we could have been to embrace the truths that shaped the persons we are Petterson’s clear sighted prose is a journey back in time to make peace with the past and reconcile the present to the intensity of silence and light which if rightly combined can produce the most harmonious soundMy first by this author it won’t be the last


  4. says:

    What in the hell just happened here? What in the hell?I am completely flummoxed by my own reaction to this bookSo uick back story on this About 3 years ago I was hiding out in the kitchen at a neighbor's New Year's Eve party My husband had become trapped against the wall in the den stuck in a conversation with several other men forced to listen to a man give the play by play on how he had just tiled his floors I saw that I couldn't save my spouse so I had slipped into the kitchen unseen and uickly discovered the best bottle of Pinot Noir I've ever had in my life Moments later another woman entered the kitchen with a declaration of “Bloody hell” so I poured her a glass of the precious wine Naturally she took a seat When I asked her the uestion that I ask of all normal appearing strangers “What are your top 5 books of all time?” she surprised me by answering “I have only one book that I remember Out Stealing Horses It's like the best book I've ever read in my life”Out Stealing Horses? Turns out it's a book written by a Norwegian author translated nicely into English and I recently found a copy at a thrift storeSo I started reading the book this week and I was almost cursing the woman from the kitchen What in the hell? The beginning like almost the entire first part was totally WEIRD There is almost ZERO character development and the story is dominated by one dimensional male characters Only three women appear in the entire novel and they might as well be pet turtles or lizards they are so woefully unformed I can't even say I EVER understood the protagonist or could predict what he would do in a particular scenarioAnd did I mention that dialogue is almost non existent and is comprised of mostly a whole lot of “Yeps” and “Nopes?”Oh and may I add that it contains possibly the MOST awkward “nude scene” I've ever encountered? Oh yes there is a rain storm and the grown father and the almost grown son strip off all of their clothes lather up their bodies with soap and then perform handstands together in the rain For a while I've never thought about male genitalia than I did during this scene Personally I've come to think of it as a “torture scene”And let me cap off this part of my review by telling you that many MANY paragraphs are filled with very BORING descriptions of cutting down and hauling treesSoooo many things are wrong here Soooo many “kisses of death” exist here for me as a readerAnd yetAnd yet despite all of these issues this book contains some of the deepest heart achingly beautiful descriptions of aging and longing and abandonment and joy and regrets I feel like I'd need to read it at least two times to grasp what is really really wonderful hereIt's a story of an aging man and his dog who is better written than almost all of the humans and in the end it knocked me out KNOCKED ME OUT And here I am giving this weird book five stars


  5. says:

    What do we see when we look back over our lives Are we the hero of our own story? Looking into that mirror can we really see ourselves or is our view doomed to be perpetually blocked offering maybe a Maigret image of only the backs of our heads? A man 67 Trond lives alone in a small house by a lake in east Norway and contemplates his past We travel back and forth between the present 1999 and 1948 when he was a fifteen year old living with his father in a summer place The events of that summer defined his life in many ways This is his coming of age story I was very much of two minds about this book For the first half maybe two thirds I loved it thought it might be a masterpiece There is a rich store of allusion here imagery that fills language that offers structure and beauty in support of its aims story telling craft that mostly worked very well But I found that the back third left me dry If I could I would have given it 35 starsThere are events in the story that call for some drama in how Trond reacts yet he often seems incapable Maybe that was the author’s intent I don’t know but I found it unsatisfying Too many uestions were left up in the air for my comfort The book made me wonder though if the author’s great gifts have been put to satisfying use in other works I was impressed with how Petterson modulated the pace and tone of his words I loved the sparse clipped sentences that open the book Early November It’s nine o’clock The titmice are banging against the windowThere is a reddish light over the trees by the lake It is starting to blowThis reflects well the starkness of the character how his life is as stripped down as the wordsPetterson’s style grows appropriately breathless when painting a haying sceneAs the wire gradually unrolled it became easier but by then I was that much exhausted and there was suddenly an opposition to everything that was physical and I grew mad and did not want anyone there to see I was such a city boy particularly while Jon’s mother was looking at me with that blinding blue gaze of hers I’d make up my own mind when it would hurt and if it should show or not and I pushed the pain down into my body so my face would not gibe me away and with arms raised I unrolled the reel and the wire ran out until I came to the end of the meadow and there I put the reel down in the short stubble of the newly mown grass the wire taut all as calmly as I could and just as calmly straightened up and pushed my hands into my pockets and let my shoulders sink downThere are many references that add a feeling of substance and connection to the work references to Dickens Oedipus Maigret the River Styx Petterson likes to mirror events and images Being run off the road is used several times crossing the river Styx? from one life to another several watery baptisms But while the imagery satisfies the thinness of Trond leaves one wanting something


  6. says:

    My copy of Ut og stjæler hester has a little tear in the dust jacket and when my girlfriend sees it she looks at me reproachfully she respects books in a way I cannot as physical objects and she had bought me this elegant first edition as a present but now I had carelessly used the dust jacket to mark my page and put too much strain on the paper it had not been important to me for I respect books in my own way and was lost in the author's words in his uniue way of using the Norwegian language which to me is the most beautiful in the world even though I do not speak it particularly well You could have taken a bookmark from the pile we have any number of them my girlfriend says and full of remorse I look on top of the bookcase in the corner of the kitchen and there are indeed several bookmarks diagonally over from the shelf where she has stacked the small frying pans which must never be put in the dishwasher or scrubbed using a brush but only wiped gently with a soft cloth and I choose a marker with a picture of Les jumeaux the heavenly twins that I remember buying last year at Percho the artist's studio in Carouge when the owner had told us shyly that she had just finished a major commission a life size ceramic cow which would stand outside the entrance to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel; and next time we visited the hotel to meet our Russian friend K the cow was indeed there in the bright naivist colors which Percho always uses and I gave it a nod of recognition before we went in and ordered tea which they bring with considerable ceremony in glass teapots over little spirit flames but always forget the milk an astonishing omission for what is supposed to be a five star establishment Now on the last day of 2015 I slide the laminated bookmark between the pages at the end of a chapter for the book is so densely textured that I can only read one chapter at a time and I think about how to review it to convey to others its unusual charm but I see there is no way I can only talk about things and people so I decide to do that I read the final chapter and write down the text that has been uietly growing in my mind as I progressed through the book almost without my realizing and I post it and wish all my online friends a very happy New Year it will have to be enough


  7. says:

    The only negative thing I can say – or accurately am willing to say – about this novel is that it begs to be read by the fireplace and not everybody has a fireplace I don't have a fireplace


  8. says:

    The book that began with an ending ended up winning me over If you look back on your life what will you see? Will you be happy with your relationships? Will you be proud of your actions? Will you be haunted by past events that forever changed your life Actions have conseuences How do conseuences affect a person for life?I read this book when it first came out with my book club and it blew me away in a very uiet subtle way Par Peterson is an award winning Norwegian writer who introduces us to 67 year old Trond Sander who is living an isolated lifestyle He lives in a rustic cabin and is determined to spend the rest of his life living in virtual isolation His second wife has died and he has forgottenneglected to tell his adult daughters his whereabouts He has a meeting with one of his neighbors someone from his past and that meeting causes him to reflect back on his life He specifically looks back at the summer of 1948 when he was living in a cabin with his fatherOne day Trond's friend Jon shows up and asks him to go on an adventure with him An adventure which begins with going for a ride on borrowed horses and ends in tragedy A loaded gun tragically changes the lives of not just the teens but their families as well Initially I thought this tragedy would be what transforms this man's life but it was only the catalyst Young Trond learns that there is to his father then he initially thought This book is about relationships and how we view our relationships and the truths we learn about our relationships and those we are in a relationship with WhewOne death destroys already damaged relationships Relationships that have been previously damaged by activities during wartime A time War ravaged the world A time when a teen learns about his father's involvement during the Norwegian resistance during the war A time when a man falls in love with a married woman A time when a young man learns about the harsh realities of life when you learn your parents have faults and aren't everything you think they are A time when people disappear from our lives and an abandoned teen is faced with life altering decisionsThis book goes back and forth between the present time 1999 and 1948 There is such elouence and beauty in the storytelling of this novel The Author shows us Trond's adolescent and adult interpretations of the events of his life I have used the word subtle a lot in this review but I can't think of a better word to sum of the beauty of this book it is subtle Minimalistic is a word often used while describing this book as well Trond experiences strong emotions but has difficulty or is perhaps resistant to expressing those emotions Petterson allows the reader to make interpretations to those emotions He shows us a man we see his loses his pain his suffering but yet do we truly know him? I find myself recommending this book over and over again This book is not a BIG book but it is a powerful one I love books that cause me to think and feel I also love books where the environmentlandscape is also just as much as character as the living ones in the book This book was not only beautifully translated into English it is beautifully melancholy just as melancholy as Trond himself This book is about love acceptance loss secrets regrets decisions tragedy lust yearning and growthSee of my reviews at wwwopenbookpostcom


  9. says:

    ”Early November It’s nine o’clock The titmice are banging against the window Sometimes they fly dizzily off after the impact other times they fall and lie struggling in the new snow until they can take off again” ”I live here now in a small house in the far east of Norway A river flows into the lake It is not much of a river and it gets shallow in the summer but in the spring and autumn it runs briskly and there are trout in itI can just see it from my window once the birch leaves have fallenIt is here that Trond Sander finds the solitude the peace and uiet he’s been longing for with Lyra his dog It is here as well that he comes to realize that with solitude comes reflection introspection In his case rumination of nearly seventy years a lifetime of memories Some good some hauntingThe year he was fifteen an incident occurred that returns to him a friend’s life forever changed and the aftermath affected them all Ripples of grief and guilt affect them both and their families draw even closer together It is this incident that has wormed its way back into his mind reminding him of that summer the summer he worked moving lumber along the riverSpare deliberate haunting prose moves this story along uietly with a sense of this man seeking a sense of peace with this past to accept the losses that come along with a life lived to come to terms with secrets affections withheld all of the injustices real or perceived And while the memories once belonged to the boy the man he has become shares this past these moments of reminiscence with the wisdom gained through the years ”That part of my life when I could turn the dreams to some use is behind me now I am not going to change anything any ” ”If I just concentrate I can walk into memory’s store and find the right shelf with the right film and disappear into it and still feel in my body that ride through the forest with my father”


  10. says:

    “That part of my life when I could turn the dreams to some use is behind me now I am not going to change anything any”Out Stealing Horses is a pure poignant and luminous story that feels out of place in this modern and cluttered world It's a simple tale that doesn't do anything fancy and had the feel of both being radiant like the sun high up in the sky and the echoing sadness of a dry riverbed Petterson effectively catches hold and haunts with the one thing we all ponder on from time to time the knowledge of just how fragile life can beTrond Sander is a 67 year old man who has relocated to rural Norway with just his dog Lyra to live out a simple life away from the rest of civilization He is lonely and withdrawnand seemingly the dark trees from the isolated forest close by are his only friends But it appears he is perfectly content with his sparse existence with only painful and bittersweet memories to keep him company at night His wife's face only three years buried is starting to disappear but after a stranger approaches one day for Trond the year of 1948 is brought back to life with vivid clarity as if it happened yesterday He realizes that the stranger is someone from his childhood Lars the brother of his once good friend Jon This is the catalyst for the extended voyage Trond embarks on in his mind as it's memory that comprises the bulk of the storyIn an inspired move Petterson emphasizes Trond’s alienation from the surrounding world through repeated references to film Though an avid reader in the present Trond spent his childhood watching movies and so in a temporally counterintuitive conceit the great books of the past fill his present and references to film evoke his past It is fitting that Trond living as a recluse intentionally having cordoned himself off from the great mass of humanity should find greater solace in the words of dead men than in the most pervasive art form of the present day The world as he knows it today means nothing The melancholy aroused by Trond’s memories stems not only from his father’s disappearance after the second world war but from the calamity of carefree childhood games a tragic accident that altered his youth and an incident involving his father and Jon's mother by the river And petterson utilizes nature and the landscapes with a such a sharp eye similar to that of Cormac McCarthy The prose is on the whole breathtaking With only childhood memories to sift through Trond can barely begin to appreciate who his father was and why he abandoned his family The resulting resentment simmering yet unarticulated hangs over Trond’s life and in the greatest tragedy in a novel filled with them infects his relationships with his own children who he is not bothered about as Petterson achingly portrays with a second intrusion into Trond’s solitary life when one of his daughters turns up out of the blueFor a novel so focused on childhood memories Out Stealing Horses admirably avoids sentimentality The pleasant moments from Trond’s past generally spent in the company of his father are always depicted with an appropriately restrained degree of mirth and yearning And to a degree his feeling for Jon's mother invaded and imbalanced his purist thoughts Likewise even when describing the death of a young child Petterson eschews excessive emotion and relates both the incident and its aftermath with steely calm And uite clearly apart from horse riding which adds a gallop and one tense moment involving an explosion there is a blanket of calmness within The narrative never gets out of first gear but then it doesn't need to and all the better for itHaving grappled with the mysteries of his youth whilst stuck in a lackluster present I was glad to see the final closing pages remain with Trond's childhood a day out with his mother which could have turned out to be one of his happiest The novel works so well as a tragic account of a disrupted childhood a haunting illustration of both the liberating and paralyzing effects of memory and yet at times could even be seen as a semi engaging adventure story simply because of the vast open landscapes of it's settingThis was my first outing in the company of Petterson will certainly follow Felt like taking of a blindfold and staring across the fjord at it's simplistic beauty and beholding power


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