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The Year of the Hare Audiobook

The Year of the Hare: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

Vatanen, a journalist, is feeling burned out and sick of the city. One summer evening, he and a photographer set out on an assignment, and as they drive through the country, the car hits a young hare. Vatanen leaves the car to save the injured creature, and the grateful animal adopts him. This small incident becomes a turning point in Vatanen’s life as he decides to break free from the world’s constraints. He quits his job, leaves his wife, and sells his possessions to travel the Finnish wilds with his newfound friend. During their farcical adventures they encounter forest fires, pagan sacrifices, military war games, killer bears, political scandals, and much more.

ARTO PAASILINNA is a writer whose works have been at the top of the bestseller lists for twenty years. His books long remained unnoticed by Finland’s chronically antagonistic literary critics, but thanks to his great popularity, many of them have reassessed their opinions. In France, his books have not only proven bestsellers but also critical triumphs.

©2010 Translation 1995 by Herbert Lomas; foreword 2010 by Pico Iyer (P)2010 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“Paasilinna has been amusing Finns for thirty years and readers in twenty-five languages.” (New York Times)

“This picaresque novel could simply depict a middle-age crisis, but it reaches beyond fantasy or fiction, becoming mythic in its universal themes. The story is inventive, satirical, and quite humorous.” (Booklist)

“I love The Year of the Hare…Which of us wouldn’t secretly want to live in a novel as fresh and as full of events as this one?” (Pico Iyer)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (210 )
5 star
 (86)
4 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.0 (173 )
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Story
4.5 (171 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Pat 03-19-11
    Pat 03-19-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
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    "Delightful"

    I loved this book. The narrator does a great job (as he did in The Girl w/ the Dragon Tatoo series).

    The author creates a beautiful narrative and his descriptions put you there with the man and the hare. You remain fully engaged through the tale. Listen and enjoy.

    14 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    FB 10-21-17
    FB 10-21-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
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    393
    14
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    Story
    "Not much substance"

    This book chronicles the activities of the protagonist, but never allows you to know him. It felt shallow to me. NWTT (Not worth the time)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Prsilla 10-20-17
    Prsilla 10-20-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    583
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    179
    141
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    41
    8
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Never a Dull Moment, On the Edge of My Seat!"

    This is a refreshing, different story. For me it was spoiled by the bear hunt and portrayal of the bear as an angry, nasty, threatening beast. Yes, it's cool to demonize bears. Also ignorant and stupid. I volunteer to help raise and release orphaned cubs. If the main character had put away his food and washed the dinner plate, the bear might not have poked his head in the cabin.

    The main character is a clever man, so it is a story both sexes can enjoyl I worried through the story about the hare, but he did fine. I enjoyed all the chances to poke fun at officialdom, the silliness of inflated job titles, pride of uniforms.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jade 10-19-17
    Jade 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
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    14
    13
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    Performance
    Story
    "Kind of boring..."

    I'm sure it's someone's cup of tea, but not mine. It's just about a guy who takes care of a hare and then goes on a journey and it's a pretty boring journey. In the end, he gets arrested for a bunch of random things he did on his way, including killing a bear he has no permission to hunt. I bought this book as a daily deal for cheap and I think I wasted the money. There's much better out there. The narration was good and that's about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb, etc. 10-19-17
    Deb, etc. 10-19-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    60
    4
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    4
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    Story
    "My Affinity for Hare Lasted Longer than Author's"

    Contains a minor spoiler for those who have not read/listened.
    It was a very likeable story whose one consistency was the protagonists deeds of caretaking and caring for all creatures and people he encountered. So, when that trait was irrationally and completely abandoned in a scene where he quietly and mildly sat by and watched uninterested while someone raised a gun and took several shots the hare--when just any utterance would have prevented or stopped the action was completely unbelievable since the sudden disinterest in what happens to the hare was never explained. This was a sudden shift which I could recover my respect for the story enough to again believe in the character since my interest in the care continued far longer than the author's. The fact that the hare was not harmed in this scene was no justification. This abrupt shift so diminished the story and brought into question anyone other than the reader's affinity for the hare that the book was no longer enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ernessa T. Carter USA 10-19-17
    Ernessa T. Carter USA 10-19-17 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    19
    5
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    "An indescribable read!"

    I’m still trying to figure out how the author did it. Given its subject matter and my own preferences I should have been completely bored. But the story compelled me from the first word and never let me go. I have a feeling these characters will stay with me for a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Flowers 10-19-17
    Pat Flowers 10-19-17 Member Since 2012
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    25
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "kindness to animals is always a plus"

    I loved it rigt up until the end. I thought the ending was unfinished, unsatisfying

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John G. Lees Summit, MO USA 10-19-17
    John G. Lees Summit, MO USA 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Much must have been lost in translation"

    I was expecting a cute story about a man and a hare. Instead it's a somewhat serious, weird story about a weird man who happens to have a hare with him, while he meets other weird people along his journey. I was often bored by frequent unnecessary character developement and setting descriptions, which were not cute and not related to a hare.
    Sorry. It's probably fine story in its original language.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 10-19-17 Member Since 2017
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    "Free"

    High. N nl nl hk Johan. No hook high k hk ho on ok h no jp jp Kemp j l jo jou phi. Huh i hook up in

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elisabeth Carey 10-18-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    148
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    241
    208
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    Story
    "A comic adventure in Finland"

    Vatanen, a Finnish journalist, is out on assignment with a photographer when they hit and injure a wild hare. Vatanen decides to rescue the hare, and the photographer, after waiting and calling for some time in increasing exasperation, drives off.

    It's not long before the journalist, already burnt out in his job anyway, decides to quit his job, leave his wife, sell his formerly beloved boat, and wander the wilderness with his new friend. It becomes a journey of self-discovery, and rediscovery of life outside the big city of Helsinki. Cows, bears, and his own fellow human beings all surprise him. He meets a devotee of ancient Finnish religious beliefs who wants to sacrifice his hare; a local police chief who believes Finland's prime minister was replaced by a different man years ago, leading to an apparent change in the direction of his politics. He finds old Soviet tanks, fights a forest fire, leads a cow and calf through a swamp, and crosses the Finnish-Soviet border in pursuit of a bear.

    It's not normally my type of novel, but it's a lot of fun.

    Recommended.

    I bought this audiobook.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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