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I Refuse

by Per Petterson

Outsiders Tommy and Jim were friends in their youth, but how will a reunion 30 years later succeed? This is not an easy read, told out of chronological sequence, mainly by the two protagonists, and occasionally by others. But I found the effort worthwhile, and I think, that as the ending is uncertain, this will be a book to re-read and ponder.

Extract

Tommy had something Jim didn't have. Tommy's father was as visible as you could wish ... running up and down the road with dustbins on his shoulder, the men took part in his rough games, but then Tommy was given his beatings and surely there was nothing there to mourn. No one had ever beaten Jim, not yet, and his mother didn't beat him, she didn't believe in beatings, she didn't want to chastise her own son.
Translated by Don Bartlett

Parallels

  • The Murder of Halland
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