Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Man Called Ove; Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove; Fredrik Backman
Atria - July 2014

First released in Sweden, A Man Called Ove is a delightful read.

Ove is an angry, grouchy, 59 year-old man whose wife has passed away. Sonia was his Ove's rock, seeing the bright side in everything and the good in everyone. Ove, on the other hand saw only black and white. A man of routine, he's not fond of his neighbors nor does he tolerate rule breakers. So when his new neighbors move in and destroy his mailbox by accident, Ove is beyond angry.

To make matters worst Ove's recently been let go from his job as an engineer to make room for younger folks into the workforce (isn't this illegal in Sweden?) With his routine gone and not much to live for in his mind, Ove decides he is ready to join his dear wife Sonia on the "other side".  As he plots his demise lots of funny things happen along the way, and there are some nice people who really do care about him. His Iranian neighbor, Parvaneh, a woman expecting her third child, just won't let Ove be Ove. She is bent on getting him involved in things he doesn't want to deal with, but her intentions are good and all in Ove's best interest. There's even a homeless cat trying to get find the gentler side of Ove. 

Ultimately a feel good story that will make you smile and laugh and maybe even leave a lump in your throat at times. It's a great read. If you like books with quirky yet sympathetic characters, you must meet Ove. Be sure to pick up a copy of this book - you'll be glad you did. 

5/5 stars
(review copy)

There were a few passages about death and living that made me stop and take notice. I thought I'd share them with you....

"Death is a strange thing. People live their who lives as if it did not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations for living.  Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury.  Some need its constant presence to even be aware of our antithesis.  Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival.  We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves.  For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone."

"And time is a curious thing.  Most of us only live for the time that lies right ahead of us.  A few days, weeks, years.  One of the most painful moments in a person's life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead.  And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. Memories, perhaps. Afternoons in the sun with someone's hand clutched in one's own, The fragrance of flowerbeds in fresh bloom. Sundays in a cafĂ©. Grandchildren, perhaps. One finds a way of living for the sake of someone else's future....."

15 comments:

  1. I'll read your review after I've read the book. Am very excited to have it! I see you gave it 5 stars. Great read!
    Harvee
    Book Dilettante

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  2. I'll be reading it in a few weeks so I'm glad you loved it, Diane!

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  3. I'm anxious to read this one - it sounds wonderful!

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  4. I loved this too, made me laugh and cry.

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  5. I am really looking forward to reading this one, Diane, and am so glad you liked it so much! Note to self: Must read soon!

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  6. That does sound seriously good!

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  7. I just started reading this book and am loving it thus far. I'll bookmark your page so I can read your full review after I've finished.

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  8. Ove does sound like a terrific character. His grouchy temperament after losing his wife and his blowing up over his mailbox being detroyed reminds me of the movie Up. :-)

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  9. I love that last line especially "living for someone else's future" that is breathtaking. I can't wait to read this one!

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  10. Ok, I must read this one! Off to Goodreads...

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  11. So glad that you loved this! I am already missing Ove and wish I could reread this book again. Such a delightful character!

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  12. So glad you loved it because I want to read this book. After your review, I want to read it even more. :-)

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  13. This sounds a little like AJ Fikry (which I loved!)? Loved the passages you posted.

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  14. This sounds like a Swedish Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - I loved that one so will definitely put this on my list.

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