A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman, Translated by Henning Koch
Published July 2014 by Astria Books (first published in 2012)
Ove (pronounced Oo-vay), is the very definition of a curmudgeon. According to Ove, the world is full of stupid people that don’t care about rules. He has made it his life’s purpose to keep them in line. His life consists of a daily patrol around his neighborhood. Any minor infraction is dealt with. Bicycles that are parked where they shouldn’t be are impounded, trash and recycle bins are inspected for proper materials, stray animals are chased off, and Ove has no qualms with letting the neighbors know his disdain for them. And they have had it!
What the neighbors don’t know, is that Ove has also had it. He has decided it is time to end his life. However, nothing ever goes right for poor Ove. His attempts are continuously thwarted by a very pushy, pregnant Iranian woman that has just moved across the street.
Despite Ove’s efforts, Parveneh and her family seem immune to his bitterness. Before he knows it, Ove has found himself in the middle of a journey that just may push him from the gloom of losing his wife, and back into a life worth living.
This book is laugh out loud funny! It is also bring a tear to your eye touching. Fredrick Backman is a truly gifted author. I don’t know if I have ever despised and then grown to love a character as much as I have Ove.
I have often revisited this book in my mind when I come across an Ove in real life. Fredrik Backman has altered my perception indefinitely.
I HIGHLY recommend this book! I would say that without a doubt, this was the best book I read in 2016. I think it’s one I will definitely reread.
I have not read Backman’s other books yet, but they are on my short list.
What did you think of Ove? Have you read any other Fredrik Backman books? Which one should I read next?