A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman


Slamming the door shut as my co-workers left, a thrill of excitement overpowered my hitherto dull and a busy day. finally, I had the office to myself. I sat infront of my desktop and start opening my Goodreads account, after a month of not logging in it, here I am browsing for some new books that I want to explore. Finding myself stumbling across this interesting book. Well, it’s interesting because the story is all about an old man, old because he’s 59 years old, and his name is Ove (looks like the word LOVE that lacks in “L” and pronounced ooh-veh), he is a grumpy, firm and practical old man who just wants people to follow the rules and to leave him alone. He is a man of absolutes. Right is right, wrong is wrong, and never the twain shall meet. So when his new neighbours drive up on his lawn, destroy his mailbox, and ruin his garden, he is understandably upset. Day after day his plans are interrupted by neighborhood concerns, no matter how much he tries to get away from it all. And yet, even though he is extremely reluctant to communicate with his neighbors, some of them foreign, some of them the kind of losers who can’t even back up a trailer, some of them insinuate themselves into his life and little by little, he starts to become involved with them.

I find it impressive that Fredrik Backman is able to pull this off; Ove is quite an unlikable man, however you can actually empathize with him and slowly, as you get to know him, you actually come to like him. Frankly, there’s simply something irresistible about this character. Words can’t express it but it’s definitely there, as many of the characters in the book agree with. Speaking of which, many of them are also very likable and epitomes of certain types of people most of us will recognise from our own life. We all know some blond, shallow, cruel lady that owns a Chihuahua and hates cats, nicknamed by Ove; Blond Weed and Mutt respectively or a nice, cheerful but clumsy and kinda foolish next door neighbor who means well but somehow always manages to mess up.

The story is filled with everyday and kind of ordinary events. This doesn’t create a dull story, on the contrary, Fredrik Backman really managed to present these ‘dull’ events in a way that can’t be described any differently than delightful and amusing. He achieves this via Ove’s thoughts and comments coupled with the hilarious dialogues that make up this novel. This demonstrates that everyday life is full of excitement and riveting things as well. Combined with the recognisable minor characters, this creates a lot of familiarity, yielding an easy to relate to novel into which many of us can effortlessly project ourselves.

This novel will make you laugh out loud, bring you on the verge of crying and will stay in your mind. It is filled with conversancy yet those elements are presented in a way that’s highly enjoyable, which prevents them from being dreary. I find this to be the perfect novel to curl up with on the couch on a rainy, grey day as it’s certain to lift your spirits. It’s extremely entertaining and shows how seemingly little things can have a great influence on someone else‘s life. It’s a feel good story, but it also gets you thinking and changes the way you perceive what’s around you. I can endlessly rave on and on about how amazing this novel is, but you simply have to read it and meet Ove yourself. And once Ove is in your heart, life will never be the same.

I salute you Mr. Fredrik Backman, you are one of the best!

“Loving someone is like moving into a house. At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren’t actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there, and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfection, but rather its imperfections. You get to know all the nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when it’s cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without their creaking. These are the little secrets that make it your home.”

5 out of 5 stars


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