"The Year of the Hare" is the very first book I've read by Arto Paasilinna. I don't remember how I've discovered him, I just know that his novels have never disappointed me. Indeed in less than a year I've read five books by Paasilinna enjoying each of them.
Unforgettable characters, a deep and sincere love for environment combined with a brilliant and clever analysis of Finnish habits these are the main themes in Paasilinna's literature.
If the only things you know about Finland are Aki Kaurismaki's movies and Alvar Aalto's architecture you should get into this novelist. Paasilinna is one of the funniest authors I've ever had the pleasure to read. He succeeds in being at the same time beautifully humorous and really accurate in his descriptions.
Every time I'm on a Paasilinna book I've got the impression that writing could be as simple as breathing.