It's Fine By Me, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Audun is the only one of his family who remains with his mother in working-class Oslo.

He delivers newspapers when he is not in school and talks for hours about Jack London and Ernest Hemingway with his best friend - but there are some things Audun won't talk about.

Stories about his family, the weeks he spent living in a couple of cardboard boxes, and the day of his little brother's birth, when his drunken father fired three shots into the ceiling.

A beautiful and disquieting coming-of-age story from the winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.




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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

I liked this sweet little novel more than I thought I would: it's about not much of anything. Not much action. Not much happening at all. Lots of description. But I cared about this protagonist, a teen trying to make his way in a confusing and unhelpful world, trying to sort our relationships, trying to be a man, not always succeeding. The writing was lovely. Although I am incapable of reading the book in its original language, it seems to me that the translator did a wonderful job with the author's words.For those times when you want a short, reflective story, when you don't need great gobs of action or mystery, when you want something touching but not maudlin, this fills the bill.Thank you to the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book.

Review by

Possibly autobiography as novel, it grabbed me and wouldn't let go. Bartlett's translation reads wonderfully, but so did all the other hands I have read translating Petterson's other novels, which strongly suggests it's the author's voice that gets inside my head. It's a family story (like all his others) but also about being a boy and becoming a man in a certain era and a certain context that is now gone forever, like the industry in which the narrator goes to work, terrifyingly presented in sections that illustrate what it means to work with big, dangerous, machinery that constitutes its own environment, technological, social and political at the same time. The great thing about Petterson is that he gets you interested in characters who aren't nice, who are in fact a pain the arse and often act like idiots to themselves. This was an early novel of his and it does show in places, though it's still great to read. Finished it in 48 hours. All his novels get 5* from me, I don't uinderstand why anyone would give them less.

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