Author: Fredrik Backman
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Atria Books
SYNOPSIS: 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.
A Man Called Ove was recommended to me by one of my friends and I am SO happy I decided to pick it up! I listened to the audiobook (which was beyond delightful) and loved this quick fun story of a grumpy old man trying to manage this thing called life and all of it’s mysteries.
I do want to say right off the bat that there is mention of suicide in this book, so if you are at all affected by this kind of storyline just make sure to take of yourself first and come in to the story mentally prepared 🖤 I don’t want anyone to be blindsided by this.
Aside from that, this story is fun. It’s witty. It’s about a lovable old man that doesn’t feel he is very lovable. The story alternates between the present and his past as a child and growing into the man he is now. You learn why he has become the grumpy old man he is now and I love him all the more for it. His story is sad and heartbreaking which I was not prepared to feel so deeply about, but I think it was a necessary evil to make this story work.
This is a story of acceptance and change, and Ove grows as a character throughout the story which I absolutely loved watching unfold. By the end he was a completely different man than on the first page of this story and I think it showed the true meaning of this book. I leave that up to you to figure out when you read it though, because I don’t want to spoil this special book.
Fredrik Backman’s writing is absolutely gorgeous as well. This book was translated from Swedish though so I’m actually curious how the translation differs from the original work. I loved his writing style though, it’s short and crisp and to the point. Not a lot of fluff but it’s there when it was needed. I’m excited to read the rest of his work and see how he progresses as an author!
This is a short review but it was a short book, all you really need to know is that Fredrik Backman has quickly become a favorite author and you best believe I have the rest of his work on hold at my library!