By Sean Howe
May 25, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Out Stealing Horses

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The simple, bleak premise — a 67-year-old man named Trond moves to a remote cabin in eastern Norway and meditates on his youth — sounds like any number of snowy Ingmar Bergman films. Indeed, Out Stealing Horses seldom relinquishes its eerily quiet tone, even when Trond’s memories take detours into violent tragedy, logging expeditions, and WWII espionage. Per Petterson fluently jumbles his chronology, sustaining mysteries within several subplots and vivifying evergreen ideas about determinism and the bonds of family. But the real trick is in the way everything finally, neatly converges into an emotional jolt. A

Out Stealing Horses

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