Jan 28, 2008

per petterson

Continuing my general dislike of books that win book awards, I present Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. This book won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2006 and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and was noted as one of the 10 best books of 2007 by the NY Times. Whatever. It's a pretty sleepy tale and reminiscent of another author I despise, Cormac McCarthy. I'm alone on this one though. I can't find a single negative review of the book. Then again, I can't find a single review of anyone who can understand what the author was trying to do. You see the problem is there are a lot of loose ends and none of them end with any real closure. Everything is kind of left hanging. That may be the author's intention here but then why spend so much time on the buildup of these loose ends. What's his father up to? Why did he leave? Why has the main character wrapped himself in solitude? What's wrong with his mom. How did his dad's two wives die? Those are some significant loose ends.

It's a pretty book. There's some nice scenes. The writing is fairly clean. But it just seems like it would be better off as a series of short stories.

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