win prizes
Search our site
Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron Read the opening extract of the brand new Sophie Cameron book before its publication on 22/03/2018

I Refuse by Per Petterson

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Estranged friends for 35 years meet accidentally on a bridge in Oslo. This extraordinary novel looks at the rest of that day set against their past friendship in the 60s and other points in their lives. Episodic, not in sequence, it leaves a lot to the imagination. Terse and tightly written and full of northern gloom and sadness, it is not an easy read but certainly one that stays with you for days. Excellent. His novel Out Stealing Horses won the IMPAC literary award, the world’s most lucrative prize.

If you like Per Petterson you might also like to read books by Karl Ove Knausgaard, Richard Ford and Julian Barnes.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


I Refuse by Per Petterson

'Tommy. How long have we been friends.' 'All of our lives,' Tommy said. 'I can't remember us ever not being friends. When would that have been.' Jim said. 'I think it could last the rest of our lives,' he said carefully, in a low voice. 'Don't you think.' 'It will last if we want it to. It depends on us. We can be friends for as long as we want to.' Tommy's mother has gone. She walked out into the snow one night, leaving him and his sisters with their violent father. Without his best friend Jim, Tommy would be in trouble. But Jim has challenges of his own which will disrupt their precious friendship.


'Illuminated by a clear and insightful knowledge of what it means to be human... Petterson is really a masterful depictor of contemporary life.'

-Nordjyske, Denmark

'I Refuse is, despite its apparent realism, a nearly magical literary experience... It simply does not get much better than this.'

-Ekstra Bladet, Denmark

'Petterson confirms his reputation as Scandinavia's leading realist writer...the heart-rending contrast between power and powerlessness, silence and speech is anchored in every word in these pages. And in the reader's soul.'

-Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

'A least as good as Out Stealing Horses... Intimate, shocking, demanding, raw.'

-Morgenbladet, Norway

'Norwegian literature's clearest shining star...a masterful novel about friendship, violence and destruction.'

-Information, Denmark

About the Author

Per Petterson was born in Oslo in 1952 and worked for several years as an unskilled labourer and a bookseller. He made his literary breakthrough in 2003 with the prizewinning novel Out Stealing Horses, which has been published in forty-nine languages and won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

30th November 1999


Per Petterson

More books by Per Petterson
Author 'Like for Like'





Relationship Stories
Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites



I love reading because my cares & woes vanish for an hour or two whilst I read of the joys, adventures, lives of the characters in the book.

Jennifer Moville

I love the newsletter with reviews of all the new books coming out. Can't wait to open it when it arrives in my inbox.

Rachel Aygin

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

A well laid out site, I love the fact that is separates paranormal fiction from fantasy and horror, which other sites don't.

Jen Rainbow

My favourite thing about is the 'like for like' page this has really introduced me to some good reads! That and lots of honest reviews.

Sam Lewis

It gives a chance to read about new titles, invites comments from all kinds of readers and is run by such a nice bunch of book lovers.

Joy Bosworth

What can I say, the clue is in the title Lovereading - and awesome books.

Sarah Davis