Author Fredrik Backman
This is the spoiler free review of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. If you would like to read the spoiler full review and get the full impact of this lovable old bastard please visit here.
A Man Called Ove is a gift. It’s the kind of book that will hit you right in all the feels in all the right ways.
Fredrik Backman writes beautifully. He takes realistic characters and binds them together with just enough sap to get you right in the heartstrings.
Ove is an old grump who is outwardly rude and will certainly remind you of at least one person you’ve known closely. On the surface he is probably someone you choose to avoid. He’s extremely rude and says things you definitely don’t agree with. This man is also the sort to harshly judge you for not knowing how to drive a manual transmission.
Over the course of the novel we get to know Ove through his current adventure as well as flashbacks. We see how he became the man he is and why the man he is has so much value.
Everyone has a story that gets them to where they are. Ove’s is fascinating and is guaranteed to bring out sympathy for him regardless of his poor behavior in his older age.
His story is woven together with a mismatched group of his neighbors all from their own various background stories and personality types. By the end of the novel they will be a big somewhat functional family.
How they get to that (mostly) happy ending is entertaining, humorous, relatable, and enviable. I enjoyed seeing how all of their personalities could work together with more than just a little effort.
A Man Called Ove is an optimistic book. It assumes greatness within most people. It reminds the reader to assume greatness in others until absolutely proven otherwise. This is a lesson we all need over and over and over again in life. It’s very easy to forget and very damaging when we do.
Ove’s story encourages the reader to take another look at that old crank in their own lives. My personal experience would mostly be with my step-father. That whole shtick with the manual transmission still kind of irks me. (Then teach me why don’t ya?!)
But Ove helps us take a step back and remind ourselves that everyone is more than they appear to be and not everyone shows emotions in the same way. Ove shows love by building things for the people in his life, things he knows they would love. Maybe he doesn’t say the words but the gesture means even more than that.
Be patient with the ones close to you that you feel you don’t understand. They have a story that might be more similar to your own than you realize. And do yourself a favor by reading this book. It’s exactly the kind of feel-good book we could all use during extremely distressing times.
5/5 cats 🐈🐈🐈🐈🐈
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Buy it here: A Man Called Ove: A Novel