Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: 3rd July 2014 (1st published 2012)
Pages: 304
Book Source: Hatchette Australia & NetGalley

Synopsis: There is something about Ove.

At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible...

My Thoughts:
Hard to believe this is Swedish author Fredrik Backman's debut novel ... what an unexpected delight! Can't believe I've used delight ... for a story in which the protagonist, 59 year old Ove wants nothing more than to end his life and join Sonja, his wife of 40 years who has recently passed. 

Ove is a grump, a die-hard Saab owner, a man who lives by the rules, cynical, ornery, taciturn but underneath all that bluster is a marshmallow heart. According to Sonja, Ove can be 'unforgiving' ...  Ove calls it having 'firm principles'

As we get Ove's backstory, we see him through Sonja's eyes, we share their sweet love story, and we feel Ove's heartache after Sonja dies and the colour leaves his world. 

Enter new neighbours, Parvaneh and her family, a stray cat, a bunch of other interesting characters, a list of demands, and Ove's ordered life goes out the window. Along the way for me were unexpected laughs, tears and joy as Ove found new meaning and purpose in life. Oh that mangy cat and Ove were a match made in heaven :) 

A Man Called Ove is a whole lot of feeling ... deeply touching, warm, sweet, snerk-funny, smart, sad, endearing. I laughed and cried. It really is quite irresistible. 



19 comments:

  1. Seen this book around. Thank you for the review. Unusual.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Mystica, quite different to anything else I've read and so worth it!!

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  2. Wonderful review! I love this book and laughed and cried just like you :)

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    1. Thanks Anette, you just have to read this one don't you ... it's hard to explain just how good it is.

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  3. Reminds me of that Clint Eastwood movie ... Gran Torino ... cranky old man with vibrant people living next door! LOL!!!

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    1. lol yes Julie, I loved that movie and laughed and cried!

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  4. Delightful is a great description! I loved this too.

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    1. I would probably have missed out on this treasure if it wasn't for your review Shelleyrae :)

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  5. I guess I could read it in Swedish then ;)

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  6. You taught me a new phrase:snerk funny. I am going to see if my library has this.

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    1. Hope you love it too Felicia, let me know :)

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  7. Lovely review, Teddyree! I recently read this book and thoroughly enjoyed it.

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    1. Thanks Beth, I'm so glad to have read it, quite different to my usual reading. Glad you enjoyed it too.

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  8. I think I would enjoy this one Teddyree. It sounds like it has humor and heart.

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    1. for sure Kimberly ... hilarity and tears, wonderful combination. Hope you love it as much as I did

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  9. Oh my word sounds like one I should put on my list, good on you for trying an untried author.

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    1. not my usual reading Kathryn but I'm so glad I tried it after seeing Shelleyrae's glowing review. Hope you give it a go :)

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  10. I've been seeing this one everywhere, but this is the first review I've read. I am definitely adding this one to my list! I like the idea of a character with so many interesting layers, especially when he seems to be mostly grumpy on the surface.

    Thanks for sharing!

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