TITLE: A Man Called Ove
BY: Fredrik Backman
GENRE: Fiction, Contemporary, Humor
PUBLICATION: July 15th 2014 by Atria Books (first published August 27th 2012)
“A Man Called Ove” is a
story tale about Ove, friendship, love and life in general. The story opens with Ove in a shop having a difficult interaction with a shop assistant while trying to buy a ‘computer’. Then the story went back 3 weeks earlier, showing Ove’s daily life, the arrival of a new foreign family next door and what he’s trying to do before the said family barged in his life.
Honestly, I don’t read this kind of novels as often as I did when I was younger and maybe that’s the reason why I didn’t give this one a perfect 5-star rating. The genre isn’t for me anymore. But anyway, I’m thankful that whenever I do, I end up being satisfied. Ove made his way into my heart. He’s maybe grumpy, annoying, strict, exasperating on the outside but i knew there’s always a story behind his personality. And of course, there is indeed.
I was glad the story opens in media res, it added to the appeal of the story making it tale-like. It felt like each of important parts of Ove’s life was revealed in the right time pulling the reader’s heart towards Ove. The story of his childhood, his parents, his wife, his job, and what he’s trying to do with his life at present were just heartbreaking. The back stories make sense why Ove is such the grumpy old man that he is. Actually, before the novel reached halfway, I realized what he truly is and it isn’t grumpy or difficult. His childhood just formed him into a person who knows the should-be and set to follow those should-be rules. He’s just leading a very fixed life and personally, I think we need some of Ove in real world.
The change of his relationship towards his neighbors and old friends was heartwarming and so does the unexpected friendship with the new family in the neighborhood. The new family really came into his life in the perfect moment and I’m really glad for that. They completed Ove’s life. Now I’m teary-eyed.
Anyway, thanks to Ove’s attitude, each chapters and scenes were somehow funny while being emotion-inducing at the same time. The narration was perfect with it’s excellent pace and tone. It can be preachy sometimes as there were even several aphorisms in the entire novel. Overall, this is a charming tale with humor and heart. I think I want more story with a grumpy old men who is secretly kind and generous too. Really heartwarming. 🙂
Happy Reading Guys…