The Year of the Hare

Arto Paasilinna, Author Peter Owen Publishers $29 (135p) ISBN 978-0-7206-0949-3
In this back-to-nature picaresque from Finland, a ``dissatisfied, cynical'' journalist adopts an injured leveret as his companion on a series of mildly quixotic, satirically rendered wanderings. Leaving behind a spiritless job and a loveless marriage in Helsinki, middle-aged Kaarlo Vatanen lights out for the territories, the hare de-civilizing him as much as he tames it. While the hare wavers between companion, pet and symbol, the pair's innocent retreat is complicated at every turn by either man or nature. Foresters, bureaucrats and endangered-species laws are as likely to threaten them as bears, ravens and forest fires as they travel to the Arctic Circle and across the Russian border. Paasilinna's low-key narrative is translated plainly, but it never makes the most of its protagonists' experiences, despite such tempting scenarios as a bear hunt hosted for diplomats by the Finnish military or a defrocked divinity student looking for animal sacrifices for Finno-Ugric rituals. Instead, these adventures of a man and his hare unfold as superficially, though with as much ease, as a daydream. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/1995
Release date: 09/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-4417-7212-1
Paperback - 208 pages - 978-0-14-311792-6
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4417-7211-4
Hardcover - 135 pages - 978-92-3-103031-4
Open Ebook - 279 pages - 978-1-921834-72-1
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-101-47813-4
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4417-7216-9
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-101-46979-8
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-7206-1575-3
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-101-47396-2
Open Ebook - 208 pages - 978-1-101-48230-8
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