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A Man Called Ove and The Meaning of Life

Book Cover - A Man Called Ove
Book Cover and Book Blurb from Goodreads
Source – Goodreads

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, Henning Koch (Translator)

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

What A Man Called Ove Is All About?

No point in guessing that the book is about a man called Ove. He is an old grumpy man who has no desire to live after the death of his wife. Ove has to retire from his job as well. So, he decides it is time to end his life. Things change quickly when a young couple moves next doors and brings chaos into his life. A husband who does not know how any tool works, a wife who is pregnant and their two little kids. They are enough to keep Ove busy and, unfortunately for him, they keep him from dying as well.

As the story unfolds in the present, we get to see Ove’s life. His childhood, his relationships and, most importantly, his life with his late wife. We get to see it all. We get to live it all.

The story is about a man called Ove who lost his wife but then found a family again. This book is about how families are bonded and how grumpy old men have a very important role to play in our lives.

What I Liked About It

Every single time Ove tries to kill himself, his plan fails, and he ends up making someone else’s life better. I love each and every character and the way they are described and how they grow over the course of the book. Fredrik Backman wrote this book in non-chronological order. The story moves from present to past and yet it flows so smoothly.

Use of simple language (despite it being a translated work) makes it an easy and fast-paced read.

What I Didn’t Like About It

It got over a little too quickly. That’s the biggest problem with every good book. They just get over too quickly. They get over before I have a chance to live in the story as long as I want. I don’t think any good book will be long enough for me.

Who Would Like It?

If you love character based stories, you would love it. If you love grumpy old men or small town simple living or the memories of a love too deep, you would love this book.

Final Confessions About – A Man Called Ove

Splendid book. I enjoyed it a lot. But at the same time, I am a little scared about reading other books by the same author. I am afraid that they might not be as good. This book has set the bar a bit too high.

I have already bought Anxious People but still haven’t started reading it yet.

Another point to note is that I read this book in English while it was originally written in Swedish. I love the translation by Henning Koch

Also, there is a Swedish movie based on the book. An English movie will come soon staring Tom Hanks. Can’t wait to see that!

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