Saturday, October 21, 2017

The Year of the Hare, by Arto Paasilinna (author), Herbert Lomas (translator), Simon Vance (narrator)

Blackstone Audio, ISBN 9781441772169, December 2010 (original publication 1975)

Vatanen, a Finnish journalist, is out on assignment with a photographer when they hit and injure a wild hare. Vatanen decides to rescue the hare, and the photographer, after waiting and calling for some time in increasing exasperation, drives off.

It's not long before the journalist, already burnt out in his job anyway, decides to quit his job, leave his wife, sell his formerly beloved boat, and wander the wilderness with his new friend. It becomes a journey of self-discovery, and rediscovery of life outside the big city of Helsinki. Cows, bears, and his own fellow human beings all surprise him. He meets a devotee of ancient Finnish religious beliefs who wants to sacrifice his hare; a local police chief who believes Finland's prime minister was replaced by a different man years ago, leading to an apparent change in the direction of his politics. He finds old Soviet tanks, fights a forest fire, leads a cow and calf through a swamp, and crosses the Finnish-Soviet border in pursuit of a bear.

It's not normally my type of novel, but it's a lot of fun.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.