I Curse the River of Time: A Novel

I Curse the River of Time: A Novel

Per Petterson

Language: English

Pages: 240

ISBN: 0312429533

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


It's 1989 and "three monumental events twine around one another in Arvid Jansen's penumbral soul. His fifteen-year marriage is dissolving, his mother is dying of cancer, and the Berlin Wall is tumbling down. The parallels are obviousworlds are ending, internally and externallybut the analogies Petterson draws among these dramatic endings are not....I Curse the River of Time is a little like the starker reaches of the West, a little like the stonier shores of Maine, a little like Edward Hopper, a little like Raymond Carver....There is a quality that I can only call charm, or something like charm, to Petterson's essentially dark and lonely sensibility....It exerts a gravitational pull on the reader" (Stacey D'Erasmo, The New York Times Book Review).

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summer house, which was barely bigger than a shed, and there I found him hunched over an outboard motor he had attached to the sawhorse. He heard me coming, straightened up and turned with a monkey wrench in his hand and smiled his strange, fine and toothless smile. ‘Jesus Christ, you look just like your father,’ he said, and his voice made the air quiver. ‘I know it,’ I said. ‘Especially in those clothes,’ he said. ‘For a moment I thought … you know what I mean.’ I did, but any answer I

it into my hand. I looked down at him, and he nodded and smiled faintly, and I nodded back, he was one fine uncle, the best I had, no question about it. I took a big swig and put the glass back on the table. I opened my mouth, stood like that for a good while before I closed it again. No sound could be heard, not a glass moved, not a knife, not a fork. I tried to concentrate, but I was drunk and it showed, and I looked down at my plate and rubbed my eyelids with the back of my hand like I used to

I do.’ ‘That’s not necessary,’ she said with her back to me. ‘Yes, it is,’ I said. She turned and looked up into my eyes while at the same time pushing her bare hands against the gravel and got stiffly to her feet and was about to say something I was certain I would not like to hear, but then she let it go. ‘It’ll be dark soon,’ she said. ‘Shall we cycle home to the summer house together?’ And I said: ‘I was thinking of going into town.’ ‘Then I hope you’ve got lights on your bicycle.’

was shining in the glow from the lights along the road, in red and in yellow, and the numbers glowed on the speedometer and the tiny blue light for the main beam went on and off with the oncoming traffic and we stopped our singing on the way past Skjetten and were silent on the bridge by the station at Strømmen. Half a day might have passed since we left the garage beneath our block of flats at home, and by now we were famished, our heads were swimming and felt numb around the edges, if you

and time which had come and now was gone again: no Kvikklunsj bars on the shelves, no chocolate from Freia, no cigarette packs in their colourful rows: Winston, South State, Blue Master and Tiedemanns Teddy. The weather had just changed from sleet and rain, now winter was coming, the air was cold, was clear, but inside the bus it was warm. We were ten passengers or even fewer on board, although on that day at this time of year it was the only bus. No proletarians, not one member of the working

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