A Man Called Ove

Fredrik Backman
Star Rating
Reviewer's Rating
Feb 23, 2016

A Man Called Ove is one of those stories where you initially hate the main character but fall completely in love with him by the end of the book. Ove (pronounced ooh-va) is a sad, lonely, and grumpy older man. He believes everything should have a purpose, and one should always follow the rules. Ove does not believe in exceptions, he never smiles, he has zero tolerance for small talk, and he'll tell you to your face if he thinks you're ignorant. According to Ove, almost everyone is - especially if they don't drive a Saab. As you're listening to Ove complain about everyone and everything not being as good as it used to be, a sad, humorous, and inspiring story slowly unfolds to reveal his past.

Ove's story starts with him complaining about being pushed into an early retirement, how his neighbors are all bloody fools, and how nobody knows how to properly install a hook. A recent event has caused Ove to think that a life without purpose is a life not worth living. But soon an interesting friendship begins with some new neighbors that forces him to participate in life. 

While the the author does a wonderful job of quietly adding people into Ove's story without giving everything away at once, the plot is a little predictable. However, you can't help but root for and love Ove for his principles and all he's lived through. The story of Ove is a mixture of comedy, sorrow, and hope that will leave you thinking about him for a long time.

Reviewed by Catherine G.
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