“People don’t have useful things anymore. People just have shit.” ~ Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s book A Man Called Ove)
Life is a roller coaster full of twists, turns, and loop-de-loops. This is a much delayed book review on the Books & Broad’s Book Club choice for JULY! As many of you have read, Dear Bloggites, my Paternal Half of the Parental Unit (Dad) is dying of Cancer. A few weeks ago, he suffered a stroke that rendered him incapacitated on his right side of his body and a crooked smile like my beloved pup who I had to put down almost a year ago.
As you have all guessed, I did not get to finish this book, but I did learn quickly within the first few paragraphs that Ove is my Dad. My Dad is Ove! The July book club choice was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. This is Fredrik Backman’s first novel and it is a winner! From the first utterance from Ove asking if the tablet in his hand was an “O-Pad”, I was hooked and laughing and crying and just giggling my head off.
The talent of the author with infusing the different characters with such quirky traits while keeping the storyline on target was amazing to me. The author is a Swedish writer and so the novel was translated into English. Many books that are translated tend to lose the impact or purpose the author is trying to convey throughout the novel. This did not happen with this book. The translation was on point and the reader understood the purpose of the storyline.
A Man Called Ove is story about an old, grumpy man with many quirks that are off-putting to all he comes in contact with throughout his life. The entire story, Ove unsuccessfully tries to kill himself because there are certain things that must be made right before he goes to see his wife or else he will have hell to pay once he is dead.
Sounds like it is a sad story, huh, Dear Bloggites? It is not. From the moment Ove’s new neighbors move across the street, he is constantly being interrupted during his quest to kill himself. Add a stray cat into the mix, and you have the makings of a great storyline.
All the characters were developed and complex. Everyone had a backstory that you learned about throughout the book but did not break the streamline effect of the overall story. The descriptions given in the story from Ove’s point of view, allowed the reader to truly feel as if they were standing right next to Ove witnessing the silliness or stupidity of the world around him. Unexpected friendships, new purpose in life, and a life worth living in the end makes this an amazing book for any reader of any age.
I give A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 5 out of 5 Bookmarks. To steal a phrase from the books description, “Ove is all you need.”