Fans of Per Petterson will be delighted by this opportunity to observe Arvid Jansen in his youth from a fresh perspective. In It's Fine By Me, Arvid befriends a boy named Audun. On Audun's first day of school, he refuses to talk or take off his sunglasses; there are stories he would prefer to keep to himself. Audun lives with his mother in a working-class district of Oslo. He delivers newspapers and talks for hours about Jack London and Ernest Hemingway with Arvid. But he's not sure that school is the right path for him and feels that life holds other possibilities. Sometimes tender, sometimes brutal, It's Fine By Me is a brilliant novel from an acclaimed author.
Although I do not know the author's age, it seems that the author of "Out Stealing Horses" must surely have been an adolescent when he wrote this book. Given the fact that I was hoping for more of the high quality writing of "Out Stealing Horses", I must admit I was a little disappointed to spend the entire book seeing the world through the eyes of an adolescent with all of the attendant undeveloped adolescent personality characteristics and disorders. But perhaps that's the goal.