Stealing horses a popular pasttime

No, the title doesn’t have anything to do with South Dakota and horse thieves. Rather, it’s about the interest Per Petterson’s book Out Stealing Horses is generating.

Still ranking as one of the best books I’ve read this year, my review of it has prompted an increasing amount of traffic. Here’s just a few statistics from the services I use:

  • The review accounts for more than 15 percent of all the page views here since July 1 compared to five percent in May and June.
  • It is the first page 18.5 percent of all visitors have come to since July 1.
  • The words “out stealing horses” are the most popular search term bringing people to the site from search engines, basically doubling the next most popular term.
  • Use of the the title and/or Petterson’s name has accounted for 8.5 percent of the last 4,000 searches that brought people here.

I speculate that reading lists for high school and college literature classes and reading groups account for the recent upsurge. I base this on the fact that Amazon’s world literature best sellers list contains a number of books I know are used in AP English and Lit classes and various college lit courses. While Out Stealing Horses isn’t on that list, I have no doubt its excellence and quality means it is being used in a growing number of classrooms and it is or will be a big reading group selection.

Regardless of why it has become a hot topic, welcome if that’s what brings you here. And just so you know, Petterson’s 1996 novel, To Siberia is scheduled for U.S. release at the end of September.

To tell the truth, I have nothing against the face in the mirror. I acknowledge it, I recognise myself. I cannot ask for more.

Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses

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