Ut og stjæle hester - Per Petterson This one of the most famous modern Scandinavian books out there, and for anyone with an interest in Scandinavia or Scandinavian literature, it's a must-read. I've heard about it for so long, bought it, forget I bought it, wished I had bought it, then found it again, and finally actually started reading it. It's been hyped up for quite some time, so I was expecting absolute awesomeness. I was possibly a bit disappointed, but not by much, and without the hype I would have been thoroughly impressed. So I'm going with that.

Per Petterson is the kind of author who deserves to get rich on writing books, because he can really, reeeally write. There's no pretentious crap (which I feel happens so easily in Swedish/Norwegian), the text just flows so very nicely - all the words are placed at just the right place. The narrative is really slow, mellow, nature bound and utterly Scandinavian (in the classic sense). At the same time, Petterson manages to create a story that makes you go "Oh" every now and then. There's an element of surprise in all the slowness. The different time periods are, furthermore, perfectly interwoven, and the pacing is impeccable.

One thing I did notice, however, is that if I would have read this in a language I were not fluent in, I would probably have been frustrated with passages related to workmanship, horses, felling trees, etc. There's lots of specialized vocabulary, but when you actually understand all of the text, you realize when such things aren't actually crucial to the general understanding. If you're not fluent in Norwegian, however, then this could definitely be challenging.