Friday, 18 April 2014

nineteen.

the Beggar and the Hare by Tuomas Kyrö (2011)

 In order to earn easy money and buy his son a pair of football boots, Vatanescu from Romania,  signs a contract with a Russian human trafficker, Yegor Kugar, who quickly puts him on the streets of Helsinki as a beggar. Vatanescu is crafty and discovers that a lot of edible food is thrown into dumpsters and is feasting on the food when Yegor discovers it. Yegor is furious and sacks Vatanescu, but Vatanescu fights back and runs away with a lot of money.

And then Vatanescu saves the rabbit from a group of angry men. Together they travel through Finland, wherever their luck takes them.

The story is entertaining and I really felt sorry for Vatanescu and really hoped that he finally could buy those football shoes for his son. And it was also interesting to read the narrative of Yegor. It became disappointing towards the end, and I think the part about the political party was a bit too much over the top. But I forgave everything when I came to the last page. Perfect ending.

I stumbled upon this book at Waterstones in Edinburgh and it was the perfect companion to three meals and many glasses of wine. The Beggar and the Hare is a modern rewrite of the Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna, where Vatanen injures a hare and then they go into the Finnish wilderness together. I read that book six years ago while living in Finland and I really enjoyed it. Read it before reading this.

7 comments:

  1. Ah, det høres ut som Paasilinna tenkte jeg underveis i omtalen din, og følte meg veldig duh-smart når du avslører at det er ei modernisering. Dessverre betyr dette også at jeg ikke kommer til å lese. Hareboka er den Paasilinna jeg har likt dårligst (av de jeg har lest), så selv om jeg mirakuløst skulle slutte å være lei av mannen - hopper jeg over denne. Ikke din feil, omtalen var god -)

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    1. Jeg er glad for at det er flere år siden jeg leste Paasilinna for ellers tror jeg heller ikke jeg hadde valgt denne. Som du sa det så fint, jeg er mett. Og jeg føler at jeg kanskje har framsnakket denne boka litt mye, den fikk jo tross alt bare en 4er på terningen. Hvilken Paasilinna er din favoritt? Min er De hengte revers skog.

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    2. Av de jeg har lest er Kollektivt Selvmord favoritten, men jeg har store huller, mannen har jo masseprodusert. Har lest Tordenguden sønn, Haren, den om den gamle damen Linnea (husker ikke hva den heter) og en til, ikke den du nevner. Altså ikke mange.

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  2. I did not know that Paasilinna's novel was a 1975 release, I always thought it to be a novel of this decade. One day I might just try one of Paasilinna's novels perhaps this one, and then I'll try to keep in mind that there is a modern retelling out there that I can read later on.

    Is "Kollektiv selvmord" anything like Nick Hornby's "A long way down"? I know this has nothing to do with this review... but I hope you don't mind too much.

    Also I am a bit confused if replies on your blog is preffered in English or Norwegian :)

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    1. I haven't read anything by Nick Hornby yet (shame on me, I know), but Kollektivt selvmord is funny about a serious topic. I know Line's lesesirkel is going to read the Year of the Hare later this year if you're interested.

      And either language is fine :)

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    2. (shame indeed)
      Jeg fortsetter på norsk.
      Mari: Artig at du nevner A long way down, jeg sammenliknet faktisk de to da jeg skrev omtale om Hornbyboka for år siden - husker ikke hva jeg konkluderte med ifarta, annet enn at jeg tror Hornbys passet meg best. De er på mange måter så like at det er vansklig å skille - også er de selvfølgelig like forskjellige som urfinnen og erkebriten.
      Ok, sidetrack over.

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    3. Ingalill: Jeg bør nok lese Paasilinna selv slik at jeg kan sammenligne, det høres veldig likt ut. Kanskje Hornby også har lest finnen?

      Monika: Jeg har bare lest den ene, og den likte jeg ganske så godt. Snart kommer filmen, og den må jeg nok også få med meg. Jeg skal se om tiden strekker til for haren når Lines lesesirkel setter i gang. Det er jo ikke akkurat en murstein vi snakker om, så det bør jo la seg gjøre.

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