"Petterson's sparse writing features the coming-of-age memories of Audun in early 1970s Norway. The author balances brutal realism with tender humor and longing, shifting forward and backward in time to suit the nonlinear plot. Adam Verner performs the perceptive novel with nuanced expressiveness, audibly bringing a myriad of experiences to life. He pronounces Scandinavian phrases and names seemingly without effort. Family dynamics abound, sometimes placed into high relief by loss and grief, making the story feel more autobiographical than fictional. Lyrical imagery describes the play of darkness and light, color and the lack thereof. Although the novel evokes its share of melancholy and alienation, the listener is left with a sense of Norway's quiet beauty. A.W. (c) AudioFile 2012, Portland, Maine"