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Out Stealing Horses: A Novel Cover Image
By Per Petterson, Anne Born (Translated by)
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Staff Reviews

Tragic, but most often humorous,  this fictional book centers around growing old, redemption and family. Ona Vitkus, a 104 year old phenom, befriends a boy and then his father while going after a Guinness Book of Records feat for the elderly. This is a book about healing on many different levels. Ona’s life story comes through in clever ways that will draw the reader further into the story while following the emotional growth and subsequent happiness of the father. A character driven book that encourages the reader to feel compassion and love for the story.

— From What Susan is Reading

Spring/Summer '09 Reading Group List

“Sixty-seven-year-old Trond Sander wants to live in peace and quiet but finds himself confronted with a turbulent period of his youth. This award-winning and provocatively written novel loses nothing in translation from Norwegian, and, after reading Petterson's novel, the conversation in our book group was lively and inspired.”
— Cynthia Claridge, Paulina Springs Books, Sisters, OR


We were going out stealing horses. That was what he said, standing at the door to the cabin where I was spending the summer with my father. I was fifteen. It was 1948 and oneof the first days of July.

Trond's friend Jon often appeared at his doorstep with an adventure in mind for the two of them. But this morning was different. What began as a joy ride on "borrowed" horses ends with Jon falling into a strange trance of grief. Trond soon learns what befell Jon earlier that day—an incident that marks the beginning of a series of vital losses for both boys.

Set in the easternmost region of Norway, Out Stealing Horses begins with an ending. Sixty-seven-year-old Trond has settled into a rustic cabin in an isolated area to live the rest of his life with a quiet deliberation. A meeting with his only neighbor, however, forces him to reflect on that fateful summer.

About the Author

Per Petterson is the author of books including In the Wake, To Siberia, and I Curse the River of Time. Out Stealing Horses has won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize. The New York Times Book Review named it one of the 10 best books of the year. A former bookseller, Petterson lives in Oslo, Norway.

Praise For…

“Petterson's spare and deliberate prose has astonishing force.” —The New Yorker

“A gripping account of such originality as to expand the reader's own experience of life.” —The New York Times Book Review

Out Stealing Horses looks like a charming but modest chamber-piece. In retrospect--and this is a novel that strikes deep and lingers long--it feels more like some shattering literary symphony.” —The Independent

“A . . . miracle of a book. ” —The Irish Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312427085
ISBN-10: 0312427085
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: April 29th, 2008
Pages: 256
Language: English