Ah, youth!

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Since we’re in Norway this week, here’s a very winning extract from Gaute Heivoll’s Before I Burn, which we reviewed in an earlier post:

Every second Thursday I went to Von Youth Club and sat in the same chapel room learning about the ruinous effects of alcohol. I suppose I was eight or nine years old when I first learned that your face went green from drinking beer, and already then I knew that I must never accept a bottle of beer if a tall, pimply boy offered me one (it was always a tall, pimply boy); already I had learned that there was something called the darker side of life and that was where beer belonged. I learned that I had at all costs to avoid the darker side of life, or else beer would have me in its possession and  I would be forced to drink it.  I knew that I should stay on the sunny side of life, though I had little idea as to how in reality that was to be done. But it sounded like sensible advice to a nine-year-old who had always liked being outdoors in the sun.

Gaute Heivoll Before I Burn (Atlantic Books 2010) p. 108

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