Here is a remarkable novel, one which appears to be about nothing in particular, featuring barely half a dozen characters, several of whom have no names. Hardly anything happens. A boy dies, a man gets shot, another boy is given a new suit, and that, more or less, is that. There is a good deal of description, though of the plainest kind, several emotions are registered after an understated fashion, but the author makes no attempt at centring these elements on a complicated plot. Having reached the middle of the book in the perfectly comprehensible expectation that Something Really Important will take place if only we hang on long enough, we are scarcely surprised when after all it doesn’t.Yet Out Stealing Horses, which has already won three prizes (including, recently, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2007, given to both the author and his translator), is as touching and enthralling as any more traditional novel, its qualities enhanced by the candour and simplicity of Per Petterson’s style and Anne Born’s limpid English translation.