By Per Petterson

A NEW YORK instances ebook REVIEW remarkable ebook OF THE YEAR

It's 1989 and "three huge occasions cord round each other in Arvid Jansen's penumbral soul. His fifteen-year marriage is dissolving, his mom is death of melanoma, and the Berlin Wall is tumbling down. The parallels are obviousworlds are finishing, internally and externallybut the analogies Petterson attracts between those dramatic endings are not....I Curse the River of Time is a bit just like the starker reaches of the West, a bit just like the stonier shorelines of Maine, a bit like Edward Hopper, a bit like Raymond Carver....There is a high quality that i will purely name attraction, or anything like allure, to Petterson's basically darkish and lonely sensibility....It exerts a gravitational pull at the reader" (Stacey D'Erasmo, The ny occasions ebook Review).

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It was once so unhappy what occurred. ’ ‘Yes, it used to be sad,’ I stated, yet that used to be now not what i used to be pondering. i assumed, silly cow, what have you learnt approximately unhappy, what are you aware approximately unhappy? not anything, i presumed. not anything. ‘I bring it to mind like yesterday,’ she acknowledged. ‘Well, it’s been six years now,’ I stated. ‘Has it rather been that lengthy? ’ ‘Yes,’ I acknowledged. She shook her head and bit her lip, she was once most likely brooding about her daughter. might be Bente was once no longer doing that good, might be she had married an fool. after which i assumed: possibly she must have selected my brother in spite of everything, and he wouldn't have died. ‘Ah good, the prior, nobody can switch it,’ she acknowledged, ‘but please provide my top in your mom. inform her I’ll come by means of if she’s staying a number of days. ’ You won’t come through, i presumed. now not you. No bloody approach. ‘I will inform her,’ I stated. ‘I promise. ’ and she or he was once chuffed. Then a apprehensive expression fell over her face like a blind coming down. ‘Well, i need to now not be past due. It’s a section cold, isn’t it. It’s November, and all. ’ ‘That a lot is true,’ I acknowledged, ‘it is November. ’ and she or he acknowledged: ‘Goodbye then, Arvid,’ and that i acknowledged: ‘Take care, Mrs Kaspersen,’ and she or he cycled off on her black bicycle. I waited until eventually she had long past round the bend with the puppy roses after which I walked directly to the seashore. whilst I obtained there, I sat down within the similar spot I had sat past that morning, the place my mom had sat too. I regarded round me and observed that the ribbon of reeds had increased those previous few years and now made swimming in this seashore tough except you got here outfitted with a wide machete, and this simply because a small river bumped into the ocean simply north of the following turning the water brackish and gave to this stretch of coast a distinct personality. while i used to be a boy, there has been a bridge over the river and the reeds, so shall we stroll out to the nice bathing spots with no getting our ft rainy, yet no longer even a pole was once left of it. those that desired to swim needed to stream towards city and the shorelines there. I closed my eyes and buried my arms within the sand, and that i simply desired to take a seat right here after which I abruptly knew that popular odor and the air on my epidermis I had felt down the years in just this position, yet by no means like whilst i used to be seven years outdated, although every little thing was once various then, the season used to be varied, the complete seashore used to be diversified, no reeds or scrub again then, every little thing extra horizontal, one line in the back of one other, repeatedly, correct out to the final line, the place the clouds tumbled like smoke. yet this used to be the place we sat, on the foot of the dunes, and it used to be no longer but the Sixties. immediately to the east lay the island with the lighthouse. It used to be hazy available in the market, and the lighthouse used to be no longer lit up, yet I knew each minute the place the lighthouse used to be. I had it within the nook of my eye. It have been a really scorching day, there has been a pointy odor of drying seaweed within the air, of half-dead jellyfish baking within the splintering mild, the odor of the ocean and the prickling smell of marram grass and the tang of newly opened bottles of candy orange squash. Black-haired and small, I sat with a spade in my hand digging at the hours of darkness, wet sand, and throughout me have been my blond, full-grown, coarse-limbed brothers.

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