the year of the hare by Arto Paasilinna

notes-

this book was originally written in 1975 ,and may be describe as new age in a way ,Arto Passilinna is Finnish a journalist poet and novelist .The year of the hare is his most successful book being named a U.N.E.S.C.O BOOK IN 1994 .The book has twice been made into a film in 1977 and 2006 .Arto has published over twenty novel his last published in finland last year Elävänä omissa hautajaisissa (“Alive at His Own Funeral”) .

THE BOOK –

The story revolves around Vatanen a finnish journalist ,he and a photographer are driving home one evening when they hit a hare . they gather the injured hare .At this point Vantanen decides to nurse the hare and follow it to the far north and wilds of finland,abandoning his previous life and his family as he does so ,but along the way taking a number of small jobs with an assortment of characters he runs along .He wants the hare as his constant companion and only real friend .in the end Vantanen ends up in prison in the old soviet union as the hare doesn’t know about borders . but not even this keeps him from freedom with his hare at his side .

my view-

this book seems to be of its time 1975 ,it is a  new age novel in the vein of Jonathan Livingstone seagull about freedom and being yourself no matter what .Artos use of the hare is wonderful through history the hare has been revered as a magical and mischievous creature .The book is wonderfully paced with short snappy chapters and at 130 pages long is a two sitting or all day book . A real find of a book .

links –

peter owens page

QUESTION –

Have you read this book or any finnish fiction ?

April 2010
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