Out Stealing Horses

Out Stealing Horses

Book - 2007
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An early morning adventure out stealing horses leads to the tragic death of one boy and a resulting lifetime of guilt and isolation for his friend, in this moving tale about the painful loss of innocence and of traditional ways of life that are gone forever.
Publisher: Saint Paul, Minn. : Graywolf Press, Picador, [2007]
ISBN: 9781555974701
Call Number: PETTERSON, P


From Library Staff

Set in the easternmost region of Norway, a 67-year-old man has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on the summer of 1948 when "we were going out stealing horses.... Read More »

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Nov 17, 2014

sometimes I need to read these slow, ponderous, sad books where nothing and everything happens.

This is a very good one of those kinds of books.

It is at once devastatingly and predictably sad.

It is the kind of sad that makes your heart clench because you totally recognize the narrator's feelings and know them to be universal and part of the human condition, but it is so stupidly sad that the universe is the way it is that your heart clenches, and it clenches because you recognize that we all go through this dumb stuff, and it clenches because why must we go through this dumb stuff, and etc etc etc....

If you're in that kind of mood, it's a worthwhile read

WVMLStaffPicks Oct 26, 2014

This Norwegian novel is narrated by a man who is on the cusp of old age and facing big life questions. At 67, Petterson's protagonist, Trond, moves to a rustic cabin in an isolated part of Norway to live the rest of his life with quiet deliberation. A chance encounter with a neighbor, who happens to be the brother of his childhood friend Jon, waylays his plans and causes him to reflect back on the summer of 1948. That was the last season he spent with his adored father, who abandoned the family soon afterward.

Jul 25, 2014

This Norwegian novel was pretty good, but could've used more horse stealing.

Feb 14, 2014

Protagonist Trond gives us the alternating perspective of what happened between his father and him that summer of 1948. We hear from 15-year-old Trond and 67-year-old Trond, which gives us an opportunity to see how the character has changed.

The ending wasn't as enlightened as I wished it had been but cannot discount the worth of this excellent tale.

Jul 26, 2013

What a beautifully written tale of mystery and memory and coming into age. Actually set in Norway it is so evocative and almost poetic-
highly recommended.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 17, 2013

Three years after his wife’s accidental death, a sixty-seven-year-old man settles into an isolated cabin near Norway’s southeastern border with Sweden and reflects back to the summer when he was fifteen and he and his friend went out to “borrow” some horses. The novel’s incidents and lush but precise descriptions of forest and river, rain and snow, sunlight and night skies are on a par with those of Cather, Steinbeck, Berry, and Hemingway, and its emotional force and flavour are equivalent to what those authors can deliver, too.

Nov 06, 2012

You don't exactly know where Peterson's story is heading, but he takes you there through a quiet yet powerful narrative. Beautiful story

Aug 05, 2012

At times this book kept me turning pages, and at times I was sure I'd give up and move on to something else. By the time I finished the book - which I likely wouldn't have done if it weren't a short offering - I wasn't sure whether I'd read something really powerful or wasted a few hours on something rather boring. The book jumps back and forth from the main character's present life as a 68-year-old, widowed recluse to traumatic events that occurred the summer he was 15. Those events still affect him, more now that he has chosen a solitary existence, but Petterson never tells us whether the character, Trond, confronts and comes to terms with these old demons. It seems Petterson set up what might have been a far more interesting psychological study and then squandered the opportunity.

Aug 02, 2012

A coming of age story set in Denmark in the 1940s. Events in the hero's youth are defining. Excellent.

Apr 07, 2012

drama - written well, interesting experiences, flows nicely but ended uncertainly where perhaps there should have been more but what, again uncertian if there should have been? Odd, satisfied yet not.

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Mar 26, 2013

In the 'blue hour' "everything draws closer; the shed, the edge of the wood, the lake beyond the trees, it is as if the tinted air binds the world together and there is nothing disconnected out there." 89

"living alone you can soon get stuck to those flickering images and to the chair you will sit on far into the night, and then time merely passes as you let others do the moving." 105

Jan 14, 2011

Jon and I left the meadow path and walked down the road, and although we had been this way many times before it was different now. We were out stealing horses and we knew it showed. We were criminals. That changes people, it changes something in their faces and gives them a particular way of walking no-one can do anything about.

Oct 07, 2009

You can learn a lot from films if you have a good memory, watch how people do things and have done them always, but there is not much real work in modern films, there are only ideas. Thin ideas and something they call humour, everything has to be a laugh now. But I hate being entertained, I don't have any time for it.

Oct 07, 2009

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 don't know what they want that I have.

Jul 17, 2008

"You decide for yourself when it will hurt," he said, suddenly getting serious. He walked over to the nettles and took hold of the smarting plants with his bare hands and began to pull them up with perfect calm, one after the other, throwing them into a heap, and he did not stop before he had pulled them all up.


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