Book report: Out Stealing Horses

It feels like I've been reading this book for a while, even though it's a short one... It's not the kind of tale you want to gulp down - reading it lulls you into a gentle countryside pace where there's no race to the finish. There are intertwined narratives: In the first, a 60-something man moves to the Norwegian countryside to see out the rest of his life and in the second, the same man recalls a formative summer in the countryside with his father.


There are doppelganger effects throughout the novel, even the book's title appears in two different guises. And the characters in each narrative are palpable in the most understated way. In fact the whole novel, including dramatic events of accidental murder, love affairs and resistance heroism are downplayed, partly by the naivity of the boy narrator and partly through the mellow maturity of the elderly man.

Out Stealing Horses
is a story with no great lightning bolts, but a spacious and steady Carver-esque rhythm that you palpably miss when you reach its end.
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