The Year of the Hare

  • by Arto Paasilinna
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • 4 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Vatanen, a journalist, is feeling burned out and sick of the city. One summer evening, he and a photographer set out on an assignment, and as they drive through the country, the car hits a young hare. Vatanen leaves the car to save the injured creature, and the grateful animal adopts him. This small incident becomes a turning point in Vatanen’s life as he decides to break free from the world’s constraints. He quits his job, leaves his wife, and sells his possessions to travel the Finnish wilds with his newfound friend. During their farcical adventures they encounter forest fires, pagan sacrifices, military war games, killer bears, political scandals, and much more.
ARTO PAASILINNA is a writer whose works have been at the top of the bestseller lists for twenty years. His books long remained unnoticed by Finland’s chronically antagonistic literary critics, but thanks to his great popularity, many of them have reassessed their opinions. In France, his books have not only proven bestsellers but also critical triumphs.


What the Critics Say

“Paasilinna has been amusing Finns for thirty years and readers in twenty-five languages.” (New York Times)
“This picaresque novel could simply depict a middle-age crisis, but it reaches beyond fantasy or fiction, becoming mythic in its universal themes. The story is inventive, satirical, and quite humorous.” (Booklist)
“I love The Year of the Hare…Which of us wouldn’t secretly want to live in a novel as fresh and as full of events as this one?” (Pico Iyer)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Fascinating Finnish Follies

A reporter in Finland rescues a baby hare and discovers his humanity and physical strength tested.
The ending is most gratifying.
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- Byron B. Woolley

Interesting for a Book Club Book Discussion

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It was satisfying and in keeping with the plot and character.s

Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughing out loud several times.

Any additional comments?

Interesting view of life through Finnish author writing in the seventies

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- Tuesday's child

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-28-2010
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.