Year of the Hare

The Year of the Hare is a 1975 novel by Arto Paasilinna. It was originally written in his native language of Finnish, and has since been translated into many other languages, including the English I read it in.

It tells the story of a journalist who is bored with his life. He runs off into the wilderness with a tame hare he becomes friends with. He travels around Finland meeting people and picking up odd jobs.

Given it has been a best-seller in both Finland and France, and won several awards, I was expecting more. Perhaps it is the fault of the translation, but the language is uninspiring. I could not help myself wondering what Steinbeck could have done with such a tale. I probably missed the point though.

The plot is silly, and it is supposed to be. It is both a description of what it means to be a Finnish man, and a farce. Being British, some of this is lost on me. Looking back though, it does accurately and humorously sum up many of the elements of Finnish culture.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2016 at 10:31 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.