Friday, November 21, 2014

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove: A Novel
Fredrik Backman
337 Pages

A delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

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 U-Haul. 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 and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.

My Thoughts - I thought that this was fun book - since we all know a grumpy old man and most can identify with an older person who is ready to go on to the next world.   Ove is just trying to rush his final days until he meets his new neighbors and re-kindles a long lost friendship.  

Ove shows that even in old age, a person can grow, change, and feel like he is important in the life of another.   The love story between Ove and his wife is filled with challenges but they show that love can overcome many obstacles and in spite of their problems the love they shared was amazing.

I enjoyed the story and think that it is a good story for all ages.   It is a great reminder for all that we are important no matter our age.

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