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Publisher's Summary

Multiple award-winning author Per Petterson delivers an eloquent, meditative novel.

67-year-old Trond Sander lives secluded in a far corner of Norway. Casting his mind back to 1948, he recalls a horse-stealing prank with his best friend that turned tragic and changed his life forever.

©2003 Per Petterson (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"... on a par with ... Steinbeck, Berry, and Hemingway, and its emotional force and flavor are equivalent to what those authors can deliver, too." - Booklist

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    133
  • 4 Stars
    121
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    29
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    124
  • 4 Stars
    62
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    93
  • 4 Stars
    68
  • 3 Stars
    43
  • 2 Stars
    19
  • 1 Stars
    6
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • KP
  • Oakland, CA
  • 01-24-10

Quiet and powerful

I really liked reading this book. I thought the writing was beautiful or that the author did a beautiful job of portraying the main character's life from the vantage point of his old age. I was forewarned that the ending of the book was disappointing, HOWEVER, I didn't feel that way at all! It think the ending was perfect, actually. The author gives the reader just enough info to fill in the blanks but still leave you yearning, in a way. And I am yearning for more info about Trond's mother and Lars' mother... but really the story is COMPLETE the way it is.

It is such a great character study of Trond. His life was so shaped by the summer of 1948 and his dad's involvement in the war. So, it really becomes another story of the far reaching consequences of the holocaust. Trond SO loves and admires his dad. Through his story, we see how he is LIKE his dad. They don't discuss much. I wonder how the whole story would be changed IF the dad had been more communicative? There is just SO much between the lines of their relationship.

I like the way the term "out stealing horses" comes to mean two completely different things, both linked to that summer. I also love that phrase, "You decide when it hurts."Obviously,Trond had made a choice to decide that he would survive the abandonment of his father, and he makes a good life for himself, even though the reader can feel it through and through that he really IS hurt and changed by it.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Out stealing an ending

The book was very good but where's the ending? The author leaves you wanting more and feeling disappointed. The book has a good flow and a nice mix of past and present. You are drawn into liking the main character so much that the books leaves you wanting to find out more.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Not Disappointing - Amazing!

Would you listen to Out Stealing Horses again? Why?

To say that the ending is disappointing is to miss the point of the book. This book is a first person, stream of consciousness narrative about the impact a person's life adventures have had on him. Characters like

What about Richard Poe???s performance did you like?

Richard Poe WAS Trond, and he made me care about Trond from Minute One. His narration was understated and perfect for the book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

That's how life is...

Like so many others, I was almost stunned when the book was over. I was in a grocery store and not paying complete attention when suddenly I heard, "We hope you have enjoyed..." and I fumbled with my iPod to try to find out what happened. Then I realized that not knowing how things turned out is one of the themes of the story. And really - that's how life is, isn't it?
I loved the setting in Norway - something different for a change. Extremely well written book! I enjoyed it very much.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing!!

I loved the characters in this book, but when I got to the end, I was left hanging. What happened to them? I felt like it just ended, with no conclusion. There needs to be a second book to follow this to conclude it and tie up all the loose ends. I was really disappointed!!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Pleasure of Being Stolen

Extraordinarily well-written narrative that allowed me inside the protagonist's mind and fully stole my attention for it's duration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Laura
  • Sherman Oaks, CA, United States
  • 02-13-12

Not Disappointing - Amazing!

Would you listen to Out Stealing Horses again? Why?

To say that the ending is disappointing is to miss the point of the book. This book is a first person, stream of consciousness narrative about the impact a person's life adventures have had on him. Characters like

What about Richard Poe’s performance did you like?

Richard Poe WAS Trond, and he made me care about Trond from Minute One. His narration was understated and perfect for the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Terry
  • United States
  • 06-18-10

How did it end. ???

I liked the way the author flipped between past and present. You did have to pay attention which life you're in. You have to love both characters old man and boy. The ending was just that IT ENDED. Very disappointing.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful experience

Beautiful story, beautifully written and the reader is one of the best. Outstanding!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Maryola
  • Farmingdale, NY, United States
  • 12-23-08

Not one of my favorites

This book was good untill the end. It left me empty. I loved the old man, but I wanted to know more, and was dissapointed that I was left out in the cold...so to speak.

9 of 17 people found this review helpful