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.
“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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Fascinating Finnish Follies
- Byron B. Woolley