When you read a Per Petterson book it is like standing in the shadows and watching a character develop until it is like knowing yourself. This is not an action story, it doesn't have a huge plot that builds and explodes at the end. It is a story of a young man becoming a man, he struggles with memories of a now absent abusive father, the loss of a brother, a new school, finances. It is 1970, the Vietnam war, the Stones, Hendrix and political unrest. Sometimes the land is a cold and dark as the strggles the boy deals with and yet often times the land and the boy blend well. Petterson writes lyrical, for example "You're eighteen years old. It's a tricky time. There's so much going on, and later some say it was the best time they ever had, and some say it was the worst, and they're both right."
If for no other reason reading this book is worth reading because it is beautifully written.