A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
How to describe this book?… It’s a Swedish book which was translated into English. I don’t know if I’ve read something written by a Swede before. It didn’t make that much of a difference but there were a few very Swedish things (the main character puts on clogs and drives a Saab which I assume is a Swedish car brand). I’m not sure why I started off talking about how Swedish it is, that really has very little to do with the book.
Ok, so pretty much this book is about a grumpy ‘old’ (he’s only 59) man who is forced to retire. The majority of the book takes place within three weeks although there are frequent flashbacks to his childhood and younger days and then the end of the book skips forwards in time.
How do I sell this book? It’s much more character based than plot based. Ove is a grumpy old man who I would be afraid of in real life yet through out the book I totally fell in love with him (in an, I want to bake you cookies even though you are grumpy way). Also (maybe since it’s Swedish?) I felt like this book was really open about diversity both ethnically and romantically.
Overall, this was just a lovely book. I would say that it is PG-13 for language (many many ‘bloody’s’ but there isn’t a lot of really bad language, mostly it just says that he said a bunch of bad words) and mature topics (ie death, depression, Alzheimer’s, etc.). That being said, there is NOTHING sexual in this book. I mean, it was so completely clean. There were definite romantic elements but there was nothing sexual about it. It was so refreshing! Ok, moving on.
This book was sweet and lovely and it made me cry. Have I sold you yet? It’s not a super fast read and it’s not gripping per say but it does make you want to keep reading. I got a little tired in the middle but the beginning and end were great. I really appreciated the ending. Perhaps a bit too perfect but it really tied up everything nicely. Overall, good book. Would recommend to anyone who… really just anyone who is over 13 and interested in good characters.
This is a story about change and about finding meaning when you feel meaningless. It’s sweet and sad and grumpy and is filled with a wonderful cast of characters who help you appreciate everyday life.