4. Arto Paasilinna, Harens år (1975) (4/24/18)
The cover of the Norwegian translation calls the book a "whimsical fable from the Finnish forest," and apparently the author, Paasilinna, was beloved in Scandinavia back in the 70s. Perhaps I don't share those northern sensibilities.
There is something to be said for the self-discovery, self-reinvention novel, which is ostensibly what this is. And it's possible that Vatanen ended up happier after his year of carefree vagabondage. But me, I didn't like the man: he started out selfish and unhappy, and ended up merely selfish.
As for Norwegian, after a year of struggling through this book, I feel barely more competent than before. That's a little depressing too. But masochists that we are, we're currently considering what the next book will be. Doctor Proktor's Fart Powder by Jo Nesbø is in strong contention.
* The first book in our series, finished on September 29, 2016—this is a very slow process: we meet maybe once a week, for an hour, hour and a half, and there is much paging through dictionaries and scratching of heads—is reported on here.