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Ceridwen

Ceridwen

You kids get off my lawn. 

Out Stealing Horses - Per Petterson, Anne Born There are books that are Gifts, and then there are books that are gifts. One gives you something you didn't expect, the other comes wrapped in paper on holidays or birthdays. This is one of the latter.

I can see why it was chosen. Some very heavy hitters have blurbed the crap out of the back cover. The author is from Norway; some of my great-grandparents were Norwegian. Very well.

I think I've said this before, but it bears repeating: I've never had the bother of trying to grow from a boy to a man. Books predicated on this experience have to be a damn sight more explicit in what all the sighing and innuendo is about. I can't intuit it out of air and descriptions of logging. (Although, to be fair, I enjoyed the longish sections that were about doing things, like logging. Interesting.)

Another problem I ran into was one of translation. The translator is clearly British, and the dialogue in the book must be written in some sort of Norwegian colloquial dialect. To get this across, she uses British colloquialisms, which I found alternatively jarring and hysterical. "Blow me" does not mean the same thing in British English as it does in American English. And there's always something funny about the word "trousers."

I liked some of the things the author pulled off: musings about characters not being the protagonists of their own tales, some meta stuff about characters reading and how they read. However, when the main character truly isn't the potagonist of the tale you're telling, then the reader is left with a hole at the center where a story should be.