Sunday, January 29, 2017

A MAN CALLED OVE by Fredrik Backman

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My first glimpse of this book, I didn’t get a copy, because budget ruled that I was not in the bookstore to purchase it after I’ve already spent money on three books. I promised to purchase it next time, but you know what next time already means. Then, I saw the movie trailer, which reminded me to buy the book next time. That was over a year ago, sadly. Like the rest of my failings, I realized I need to amend that.

On an NYT article, Backman revealed that his book was rejected several times before he finally had Forum to print him. And by October 2016, A MAN CALLED OVE has sold 2.8 million copies.

Ove is that grouchy neighbor, who makes sure that everyone walks in line all the time in his neighborhood. He’s the one you can rely on to point a finger at whoever parks in the wrong place and argue hotly about the parking fee.  He is mighty suspicious of everyone and everything. His social incompetence is oftentimes cringe-worthy and hilarious. And his greatest achievement is failing at suicide, time and again.
Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.

However, a man like Ove is tested by time with ridicule, deceit, and pain. Underneath his fa├žade, is a man with a huge heart (figuratively and literally), who allotted a space even for a stray cat. He is a man without preconception of race, appearance, or gender. Except, of course, if you're not driving a Saab. Ove’s story is a delightful exploration of one cranky neighbor’s significant impact on others. He’s an unlikely hero with an exceptional story.
People had always said that Ove was "bitter." But he wasn't bloody bitter. He just didn't go around grinning the whole time. Did that mean one had to be treated like a criminal?

I am so impressed with Ove’s story I intend to read more of Mr. Backman’s stories soon. And, I absolutely recommend this to everyone who wants an uplifting read.

Book copy details:
Author:  Fredrik Backman
Publication:  July 15, 2014, Atria
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★★


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