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It's Fine By Me

by Per Petterson

This story of Audun, a young boy growing up without his father in a dysfunctional family in working class Oslo, is convincingly written. It is very easy to empathise with his problems. There are some beautiful descriptions of the Norwegian countryside and an horrific chapter about Audun's short career in a printing workshop. A real feel-good read with a happy ending.

Extract

'NOT ONE MORE STEP!' I shout. 'WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING HERE? GO AWAY!' . He stops I raise my clenched fists, and my body tells me I am stronger than him. He stops, resting his hands on his hips and tips his head to the side in a pose I know so well, and it always unsettled me, which is what it's supposed to do. I stand with my fists in the air, and maybe he too feels unsettled. At any rate he turns and heads back for the main road, and I stay there until I am certain he has gone, and only then do I hurry down, back to the houses. I'm just a few steps along the footpath when I hear his laughter, and it makes my blood run cold. I cannot restrain myself and break into a run.
Translated by Don Bartlett

Parallels

Joe Speedboat by Tommy Wieringa
 

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