Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman | Book Review

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Reading Group: High School+

Personal Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Given Summary: Read the New York Times bestseller that has taken the world by storm!

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 feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).

Cover: The cover of this book is drawn, given a slightly cartoon look.  It displays Ove looking out at something we can't see and the cat looking at it with him.  I think the cover does a nice job of showing Ove looking forward towards the future.

My Review:  I thought this book was so cute.  It's the type of book were you just smile and shake your head because everyone knows an Ove.  Someone who is just stubborn and stuck in their ways and believes the world is full of morons.  The use of metaphors and similes in this story were fantastic and added such a funny level to a scene were maybe things were tense or awkward.  The main part of the story takes place over three weeks, and yet that's all it takes for Ove's life to completely change.  A new family moves into his neighborhood and suddenly people need him for things like ladders and driving lessons and keeping their husbands in their home and buying gifts that parents refuse too.  In the process of trying to kill himself, Ove finds so may reasons to live.  Ove suffered his fair share of unfortunate events, but he was always to do what he thought was the right thing, but when he lost his wife he didn't see the reason to continue on.  So he tried to kill himself.  Numerous times.  And he was never able to do it because something always interrupted him and eventually he stopped trying and died years later when it was his time to die.  Ove turned into a seemingly bitter old man to someone who was considered a grandfather to the neighborhood kids.  His wife always said that when she lost her own child she was able to gain thousands through teaching and so did Ove and he was able to learn a lot along the way.  This book was a great read and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who knows someone too stubborn for their own good.

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