Sunday, April 20, 2008
A Little Sunday Reading v. 11
Haven't had a lot of time for reading. But I did finish Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson. One of Time's best books of 2007 and it is a well written book. A very interesting story told by a reflective and melancholy narrator. However, the story wasn't really for me. I was disappointed by the ending and, while I could appreciate all the little details, I found myself wishing Petterson was focusing on other things. Because I could not identify with Trond's relationship with nature and his complicated feelings for his father, I missed out on much of the beauty of the book.

However, I would still recommend it for other readers as the simplicity and beauty of the writing is commendable. Also, as an aside, I loved the size of the book and the font of the story.

Some notable passages:

(5) In less than two months' time this millennium will be finished. There will be festivities and fireworks in the parish I am a part of. I shall not go near any of that. I will stay at home with Lyra, perhaps go for a walk down to the lake to see if the ice will carry my weight...I will stroke the fire, put a record on the old gamophone with Billie Holiday's voice almost like a whisper..and then fittingly get drunk on a bottle I have standing by in a cupboard. When the record ends I will go to bed and sleep as heavily as it is possible to sleep without being dead, and awake to a new millennium and not let it mean a thing. I am looking forward to that.

(73) People like it when you tell them things, in suitable portions, in a modest, intimate tone, and they think they know you, but they do not, they know about you, for what they are let in on are facts, not feelings, not what your option is about anything at all, not how what has happened to you and how all the decisions you have made have turned you into what you are. What they do is they fill in with their own feelings and opinions and assumptions, and they compost a new life which has precious little to do with yours, and that lets you off the hook.

(215) Untidiness does not suit me and never has. I am actually a meticulous person; I want everything in its place and ready for use. Dust and mess make me nervous. If I once get slack over cleaning, it is easy to let everything slide, especially in this old house. One of my many horrors is to become the man with the frayed jacket and unfastened flies standing at the Co-op counter with egg on his shirt and more too because the mirror in the hall has given up the ghost. A shipwrecked man without an anchor in the world except in his own liquid thoughts where time has list its sequence.

Even though I was lukewarm on the book, I'd still recommend it to others. I have a feeling most people would like it more than I did.

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