Out Stealing Horses (originally titled “Ut og stjæle hester”) is a novel written by Per Petterson in 2003. Originally written and published in Norwegian, it was translated into English in 2005 and published in the US in 2007. It follows the story of Trond Sander and his life with his father in a quiet cottage during the summer. Petterson’s writing voice in this novel is described as “quiet and thoughtful and even a little sly”, providing a vast variety of rich and interesting characters. Trond Sander himself is narrating his experiences from being a child to manhood. It is more of a reflection of his life as he is speaking from his sixty-year-old self, years after most of the action takes place. The novel is set in 1948, with hints from the remains of World War II and the “German occupation of Norway”.
Out Stealing Horses has won several awards in both Norwegian and English, some of which include the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize (Norway), the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (U.S.), and 2007 Dublin IMPAC Award, which is considered the most esteemed literary prize a writer can achieve. It was included in Time Magazine’s “Top 10 Fiction Books of 2007” and in the “2008 Best Translated Book Award” (translated into English by Anne Born).
At 240 pages, it’s gripping tale, written beautifully, has left the novel with an average of four to five stars on various book review websites. It has been praised as a “page turner” and some concluded it “blew me away in a very quiet subtle way”. Though fairly new to the publishing world, Petterson’s novel has clutched and caught the hearts of thousands.