A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman follows a grumpy man. A man with principles and a routine. A very, very lonely man. He just doesn’t know it yet.
Ove thinks he’s surrounded by idiots who can’t do anything on their own anymore. People who can’t even back up a trailer properly. He learned that one the hard way when his new neighbors plowed down his mailbox while trying to back up their moving trailer.
His world gets turned upside down when the new chatty neighbors begin butting into his life. His once quiet life is now filled with unwanted interruptions, men in white suits and a mangy cat. Ove must decide what’s important to him.
I first picked up this book because I needed a nice light read to add to my monthly haul. Oh boy, was I mistaken. Although the book has many, many laugh-out-loud moments, it’s the sad moments that hit me the hardest. The emotions in this book can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. But in the end it was completely worth it.
This book was wonderful. I loved Ove, even though he is a grumpy old man with questionable views on the rest of the world. I loved the neighborhood filled with a melting pot of people. I even loved when things just plain didn’t go right.
“People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.”
I kept imagining Ove as older than he really is in the book. I had to, at times, remind myself that he is only a fifty-nine-year-old man. I couldn’t help but sometimes imagine him being in his seventies. He clearly is older at heart.
The book jumps back and forth between past and present in different chapters. Don’t worry, it’s not too confusing, I promise! Going back into Ove’s past is a treat. You truly get to see what makes this man tick. Being able to see the struggles he had to endure in his life helps you understand him on a more intimate level.
The characters will stick with me for a long time. There was a genuine connection between the characters, whether some of them wanted to admit it or not. Ove is a complex character with many, many layers to peel back. What truly makes the story fun and playful is when Ove grudgingly befriends a stray cat. The cat acts more like a dog in some aspects, but then again, so does my cat.
“Ove stomped forward. The cat stood up. Ove stopped. They stood there measuring each other up for a few moments, like two potential troublemakers in a small-town bar. Ove considered throwing one of his clogs at it. The cat looked as if it regretted not bringing its own clogs to lob back.”
This book was absolutely beautiful to me. I loved the humor, the characters and the scenarios. The chapter titles even gave me a little chuckle. The book is clever and undeniably well written. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a good laugh and doesn’t mind their heartstrings being tugged at. Or ripped right out.
“We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.”