The Year of the Hare

The Year of the Hare

A Novel

Book - 2010
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Suddenly realizing what's important in life (with the help of a bunny), a man quits his job and heads to the countryside in this internationally bestselling comic novel.

"Which of us has not had that wonderfully seditious idea: to play hooky for a while from life as we know it?" With these words from his foreword, Pico Iyer puts his finger on the exhilaratingly anarchic appeal of The Year of the Hare .

While out on assignment, a journalist hits a hare with his car. This small incident becomes life-changing: he decides to quit his job, leave his wife, sell his possessions, and spend a year wandering the wilds of Finland-with the bunny as his boon companion.
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 2010
ISBN: 9780143117926
Characteristics: xi, 194 p. ; 20 cm


From Library Staff

List - Midlife
WhatcomAdultLibrarians May 13, 2013


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Mar 25, 2016

When I first finished this book I felt a little "meh" about it. But after mulling it over for a few days I came to appreciate the story more. But only after considering it more in the context of Finnish mythology (see MST3K's The Day the Earth Froze for an abbreviated version) and folktales in general. The foreword in the English translation encourages a literal reading of a story about a man walking away from what he sees as an empty existence in the city in preference to one in the wilds. But to really appreciate this narrative it's better to prepare oneself for a semi-surreal folktale of a forest shaman who has, as another commenter said, Odysseanesque adventures. You remember how the movie Oh, Brother Where Art Thou brought the story of Odysseus to a more modern time? This book should be read like that. It's satirical allegory has too light a touch to be taken literally. I think the ending in particular confirms that the story is not supposed to be taken too seriously. For that reason, ignore the foreword. Don't read this as a book for self improvement or self evaluation. Read it as a folktale that pokes fun at a bureaucratic system all too happy to take from individuals in the name of the common good, how people can be focused on other matters so much that they forget to live and in the end, if it's fun to do, it's probably against the law.

Mar 12, 2016

I really enjoyed this one. A young hare acts as a catalyst for a life-changing decision to leave everything behind and "live free."

Vatanen and his hare make an adorable pair as they journey their way through many lands and shenanigans.

It gets a bit wild at the end there, but I still left it feeling pretty refreshed and happy with the whole thing.

Sep 21, 2015

After a strong start, I found this mid life crisis caper increasingly bizarre as a political satire of modern Finland takes over. It zipped along though, & there's a few laughs, so no reason to stop reading this bear, hare and man hunt.

Jul 23, 2013

"The year of the Hare," while charming and a pleasant light read, is written in such a tone that renders the content highly unbelievable and seems almost unfitting and too airy for such a wildly adventurous tale. However, Vatanen and his hare are an endearing pair, and the book is a foray into the vagabond drop-life-and-live lifestyle that we all occasionally dream about.

Apr 28, 2013

Hilarious! A bit of Oddysseus but preferable to the version by Joyce, IMHO.

Aug 10, 2012

The time I spent reading this book
is time I will never get back....


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