Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
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.
THREE POINT FIVE STARS
“Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.”
This is the story of Ove’s life. A life where his world was neatly compartmentalized with his work and his wife. And once his wife passed on he was only left with her memories. He longs to be with her because now the world no longer holds any meaning for him. When he looks at the world going by him he doesn’t recognize it anymore. Technology has taken over and common sense is a thing of the past; like him.
The book has a bunch of relatable mishaps that anyone with parents or grandparents can relate to. Ove doesn’t understand technology and most readers of this book have dealt with an older generation person who doesn’t get it either. The story starts out with Ove trying to buy an iPad but calling it an Opad. Ove’s insistent on thinking he knows what he’s talking about when really he doesn’t. He eventually wears the sales associate down to the point of the sales associate passing him off onto his coworker and saying, “I’m going to lunch.” I’m sure my kids feel like that with me when they try to explain SnapChat to me.
A MAN CALLED OVE was a written story. There were moments when it lulled for me. I’m sure that’s because this isn’t my normal genre. If you’re looking for a grumpy old man story this one shouldn’t be missed.
“Ove has been a grumpy old man since the first day of second grade”
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