Monday, June 20, 2016

Book Review: "A Man Called Ove" by Fredrik Backman

The best way I can describe Ove is that he is that he is partly that curmudgeonly old man who yells "Get off my lawn" and part Dwight Schrute.  All the poor man wants to do is kill himself and join his beloved wife in the afterlife, but he keeps getting interrupted.  It just doesn't work.  All all starts when the new neighbors back their moving trailer into his house and knock over his mailbox.

I just love Ove.  He is so frustrating and inflexible but good.  All he wants is to follow the rules; order is his jam.  He doesn't understand new technologies or new attitudes, but he knows what is right.  And this often leads to very amusing circumstances.

Ove reminds us that there are plenty of reasons to keep living, even if it is to make sure that the right thing is done.  And no one drives in the residential area where cars are prohibited.  Ove slowly opens himself back up to the people and world around him and as is often the case, enriches their lives as much as they enrich his.

Part of the fun of reading this book is that a co-worker was listening to it at the same time.  Each morning when we'd get into the library, we'd compare notes on where we were in the story, and what wacky thing just happened.  We agreed that it is just a wonderful story with so much heart.  And now three more co-workers are waiting to read it!  My co-worker is moving on to Backman's other books right away, but I think I'll wait a bit.  It's nice to have something waiting on the wings that you know is good.

A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman
Washington Square Press, 2015.  First published 2014.
337 pages
Source:  Gift


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