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October 2012 Indie Next List
“This is a dark, brooding novel with a fine, thin, persistent theme of hope that life's better possibilities are just around the corner, waiting for Arvid Jansen (Norway's Holden Caulfield) to believe in them and in himself. A nuanced observation of the pain and disappointments of growing up from one bright and bruised young man's point of view, this is a book about the ordinary yet crushing losses we all incur and the decisions we make to pick ourselves up and continue forward. Petterson is a master at a kind of understated power, and this novel is well worth the reading.”
— Linda Milleman, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
"Reading a Petterson novel is like falling into a northern landscape painting—all shafts of light and clear palpable chill." —Time
Fans of Per Petterson's other books in English will be delighted by this opportunity to observe Arvid Jansen in his youth from a fresh perspective. In It's Fine By Me, Arvid befriends a boy named Audun. On Audun's first day of school he refuses to talk or take off his sunglasses; there are stories he would prefer to keep to himself. Audun lives with his mother in a working-class district of Oslo. He delivers newspapers and talks for hours about Jack London and Ernest Hemingway with Arvid. But he's not sure that school is the right path for him and feels that life holds other possibilities. Sometimes tender, sometimes brutal, It's Fine By Me is a brilliant novel from the acclaimed author of Out Stealing Horses and I Curse the River of Time.
About the Author
Per Petterson is the author of books including In the Wake, To Siberia, and I Curse the River of Time. Out Stealing Horses has won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Norwegian Booksellers' Prize. The New York Times Book Review named it one of the 10 best books of the year. A former bookseller, Petterson lives in Oslo, Norway.
Don Bartlett has translated dozens of books of various genres, including several novels and short story collections by Jo Nesbø and It's Fine by Me by Per Petterson. He lives in Norfolk, England.
“It's Fine By Me . . . convey[s] those ordinary experiences close to Petterson's heart: the pleasure, for example, in the midst of domestic strife, of slowly and very carefully rolling a good cigarette, brewing the perfect coffee and settling down on the sofa with a fine book, like this one.” —The Guardian
“It's Fine By Me is many things--an engaging coming-of-age tale, a writer's halting journey and a story of family drama and the inevitable stages of grief. With Audun Sletten Petterson has created a hero with gutsy resilience and a nose for the truth of things. You'd like to meet him on a street in your own home town.” —The Scotsman