A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, is by far my most favourite book I’ve read since the start of 2018. It’s the type of book that once you begin you can’t put it down, and even when you’re doing mundane chores all you can think of are those characters, and the plot, and what could be next. A story that leaves you warm, full, with a bitter sweet feeling leading to a joyous ride.
The story is about “a man called Ove” who is your average grumpy old man, mad at the world and how things/traditions have changed over the years with the rapid development of technology and social media. A man who loves order, routine and predictability in a world that’s disorganized, flexible and uncertain can easily be defined as Ove. After the loss of his wife he tries to come to term with life without her but gives up and wishes to reunite with her. Only the problem in the execution of his plan is ruined by his new next door neighbors, particularly the wife; Parvaneh, who doesn’t back off or get scared from his yelling/curt dismissals.
“He stands there, slowly twisting the wedding ring in his finger. as if looking for something else to say. He still finds it painfully difficult being the one to take charge of the conversation. That was always something she took care of.”
Thus, begins a story where each plan goes off track thanks to a cat, an incompetent reverse parking driver, a Persian noisy wife of the incompetent reverse parking driver, a broken leg, a runaway disowned by his parents, and being there for friends turned strangers with whom one shared heartfelt moments. It’s a beautiful story narrating the journey of a man, who may come off cold and unreserved now, but was the epitome of honesty and hard work back when it mattered.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve caught myself sitting chuckling while going over the dialogues over and over again, and having tears in my eyes the very next page. I have friends who’ve known me since 7-8 years and they haven’t seen me cry! But man this book makes one shed a tear or two.
If you don’t read, or hate the very idea of books (are you even human? Just asking) get this for someone who you know that does (a.k.a a human). Gift it to your mother, father, brother, sister, best friend, significant other, the we-are-just-talking person, the friend you pissed off, or just anyone really. It’s that good, universal and a safe bet!
Onto the basics:
- Rating: 5.0/5.0
- Favorite quote: “He was a man of black and white. And she was colour. All the colour he had.”
- Reader level: Easy, well paced. A joy to read.
- Should you read: Absolutely.
- Would I read it again: Not giving my copy away to anyone!! This will go everywhere with me.
Till next time,