2 June 2017

Review #611: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Though lovers be lost, love shall not; And death shall have no dominion.”

----Dylan Thomas

Fredrik Backman, the Swedish international bestselling author, has penned a terrific and extremely enduring story about an old man and his struggles to adjust to the constantly changing universe and also with his life after his wife's death, in his book named, A Man Called Ove. A grouchy old man who is cynical about the modern world is turning out to be, especially after his darlings wife's death, only to be peeled away those shades of irritation to display his affectionate side by his neighbor woman, who finally saves him.


A grumpy yet lovable 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.

Ove, 59 year old recently widowed man, is cranky, critical and a crabby about the whole world, especially about his neighborhood, which he everyday checks whether there is any burglary or not. Ove is also irritated with his new neighbors who are way too cheerful for their own good, nut little did Ove knew that he would not only befriend a cat whom he hated to his heart's desire and that he would find himself and beat his loneliness with the help of his neighbor lady. Love comes in all shapes and sizes and the author gradually reveals that weird shape of love residing deep in the soul of Ove through the course of his life story.

This is by far the best book that i read it this year till date, and I bet no other book can beat the record of this book. I know I've seen it around social media since 2014, yet never found an opportunity to pick up a copy to read this book. And boy oh boy, why did I not purchased a copy of this book sooner? Maybe I was not, maybe I was meant to win this book on a Goodreads giveaway. And maybe that's how yet one more time, Goodreads introduced to me a talented international writer named Fredrik Backman. I know most people after reading this book wants to meet the protagonist called, Ove, but I want to meet the author and touch his feet and also congratulate him at the same time for concocting such a brilliantly heart touching story that is simple, that hasn't got many layers, yet that simplicity makes it an one hell of a story that after reading, one can find it real difficult to shake off the vivid image of Ove from his/her mind.

With an ingenious writing style laced purely with a satirical narrative that is both deeply evocative as well as funny, this book will suit the taste buds of any genre of readers. This book is so good, that right from the beginning just like a melting chocolate, the story begins to seeps gently through the cracks of the readers' hearts and minds and then in the end the reader is found to be frantically licking off the last piece of charm from this story. Even though the story is highly predictable right in the beginning, but the way the author depicted Ove's transition in his demeanor subtly yet with utmost depth.

The portrait of Ove that the author projected and captured into this book, well what can I say about that, I guess at this point, I can write a 300-pages long novel to fangirl about Ove and his life. Or I might begin writing a fan fiction about Ove and his world. So thanks to the humble and extremely talented author for inspiring me to write. Well let's talk about Ove in brief. Ove is the most critical man I have ever met in a fictional world, who doesn't like the way this world is shaping into, or the people in it, or anything about the modern world, or those white shirt wearing men, who can easily con people like Ove. Ove's demeanor is not that likable in the beginning, but as the story begins to roll in about his past life, that will eventually let the readers see that what a soft fur ball of a human Ove is from the inside, and in the end, readers will find themselves shedding tears of joy as well as sadness for this man called Ove who have already imprinted upon the minds of the readers.

Although there is not much romance in the book, but the author discreetly explores the topic of love through Ove's relationship and marriage with Sonja, his deceased wife and with with his neighbor lady after Sonja's death. The emotions, that the author have poured straight from his heart, will grasp and hit the readers right at the very center of their hearts. Yes this is a soul stirring read that many will find it poignant and delightful both at the same time.

Verdict: There aren't many books in our current times that hold the power to move us deeply from our soul, but this is one such book!

Courtesy: Thanks to Goodreads as well as the publishers from Hachette India for giving me an opportunity to read and review this book.

Author Info:
Fredrik Backman, a blogger and columnist, is the New York Times bestselling author of A MAN CALLED OVE and MY GRANDMOTHER ASKED ME TO TELL YOU SHE’S SORRY. Both were number one bestsellers in his native Sweden and around the world, and are being published in more than thirty five territories. His latest novel is BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE. He lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children.
Visit him here

Book Purchase Links:

1 comment:

  1. I just bought my first Fredrik Backman book. I’ve heard so many good things about his work that I’m excited to read it. A Man Called Ove is on my TBR list, so I’m glad you liked it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


Thanks for your feedback!