Book Review of
A Man Called Ove
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a UHaul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).
I have been trying to read a few more fiction books, so when I saw this on Scribd, I decided to give it a try. I have heard people online rave about A Man Called Ove, but I didn’t really enjoy this book. I mean I loved the characters and the descriptions of the settings, but in the end, I didn’t really think it was worth my time. It may be because it took me a while to get into, or maybe I was disappointed in the ending. I cannot say enough though that Backman did a wonderful job of creating interesting characters. I love Ove and all people around him. They all so interesting, but the story also felt a little empty to me. I felt that I was lacking a redemptive feeling at the end: a so what. It also was choppy, going back from present to past, which I tend not to like. I do understand why people like it though, so if you enjoy modern fiction than you like this. To me, I would rather read about real people who complicated lives.