Out Stealing Horses
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
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We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and oneof the first days of July.
Trond’s friend Jon often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on “borrowed” horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day—an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.
Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.
PER PETTERSON has written five novels, which have established his reputation as one of Norway’s best fiction writers. Out Stealing Horses won the Norwegian Booksellers Prize, the Critics Award for best novel, and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
1. "I needed to concentrate," Trond says at the start of the book (pg. 7), explaining his decision to move to the country. Do you think he is happy in his isolation? Is he making a brave choice by withdrawing to the country, as he has always dreamt of doing; or do you think he's fleeing the responsibilities of his life?
“A gripping account of such originality as to expand the reader’s own experience of life.” —The New York Times Book Review “Out Stealing Horses looks like a charming but modest chamber-piece. In retrospect—and this is a novel that strikes deep and lingers long—it feels more like some shattering literary symphony.” —The Independent
“A . . . miracle of a book.” —The Irish Times