The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna

The Year of the Hare

Arto Paasilinna

Amazing, witty and philosophical this is a gentle exploration of the value of 'stepping out' of the rat race. This reader was enchanted. I'd love to see the film of this modern Finnish classic.

Extract

He sat on the back seat of the bus, with the hare in a basket. Several countrymen were sitting at the back, so they could smoke. When they spotted the hare, they started building a conversation round it. There were, it was soon established, more leverets than usual this summer. They tried to guess: was it a doe or a buck? Did he intend to slaughter and eat the hare when it was fully grown? No, he had no intention, he said. That led to a general consensus: no one would kill his own dog; and it was sometimes easier to get attached to an animal than a person.

Parallels
  • The Alchemist by Paul Coelho
  • Any collection of short stories by Guy de Maupassant