Tuesday 8 April 2014

The Begger and The Hare- Tuomas Kyro

What a lovely, lovely book this is. An absolutely endearing quirky story following Vatanescu, a trafficked Romanian beggar as he travels around Finland searching for a way to fulfil his ultimate goal; to bring home a pair of football boots for his son. Along the way he encounters all manner of ordinary and extraordinary Finnish citizens, as well as an injured rabbit, who becomes his firm friend and travelling companion. His journey takes him far into the frozen north in search of elusive cloudberries, and through the cities of Finland, all the time staying one step ahead of the Russian trafficker who's life he has ruined. This is a sweet and funny fable, that I am lead to believe owes much to the Finnish classic The Year of The Hare, sadly although this particular book has been on my to read list for a while I have yet to get round to it, but it will now be pushed further to the top after reading the frequent references to it in Kyro's book. I am guessing that the links to Paasilinna's book are the reason why the title of this one mentions a Hare despite the text being pretty firm that the adorable spirited little creature is in fact a rabbit, that or it is down to a minor translation issue.
Either way this is a very sweet, funny and moving book about making your own way in the world, and about the varied goodness of strangers. I kept thinking about Doppler as I read this and felt that there are many similarities between the two books. This one is helped by an absolutely gorgeous cover which is always a good thing.

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