Thursday, February 18, 2016
Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman
Author: Frederik Backman
Enjoyment Rating: ****
Content Alert: a clean read with a couple of bad words
Ove doesn't have anything left to live for. His dear wife, Sonia, died six months ago. He was just let go from the job he held for almost forty years. And he's always been grumpy by nature. He's just about to pull the plug on his life when the new neighbors, a young couple with two daughters, run their U-Haul into his mailbox. Over the next few weeks, Ove's suicide attempts are thwarted again and again as he makes friends, adopts a cat, saves a man from an oncoming train, and brings couples together, all against his will.
If you want a funny, feel-good book that isn't cheesy, A Man Called Ove might just be the book for you. Backman's Ove is so curmudgeonly that it's lovely to watch both his transformation and learn about his back story (in alternating chapters). Of course the book is a little Pollyannaish, but everyone needs a happy story from time to time. Besides, I've read so many dark and depressing Swedish books (hello Stieg Larsson) that it was really nice to read something light and Swedish for a change.