A Man Called Ove

I’m calling it now- this is going to be one of my favorite books of the year! I’m kicking myself because

I’m calling it now- this is going to be one of my favorite books of the year! I’m kicking myself because I’m so disappointed that I didn’t read this earlier! Frederick Backman has received quite a bit of hype over the past several years and while I’ve noticed his popularity, I just never got around to picking up one of his novels. But several weeks ago, at the Friends of the Library Sale, I happened to find a copy of A Man Called Ove and I snatched it up!

I started this book on a Saturday morning and finished it the next Monday in the bath while I was ‘getting ready for work’ which ended in me blubbering in a cold vat of water and being exceptionally thankful my boyfriend was still asleep and my makeup wasn’t on yet. Please tell me I’m not the only one who has these problems? It’s safe to say that I couldn’t get enough of Ove or his inconvenient neighbors.

A Man Called Ove follows the story of an extremely grumpy old man who is on a mission to commit suicide. I know, that’s not the beginning of a review that will make you jump out of your seat and rush to read this novel but here’s the thing- this novel contains a few very serious topics, but it’s also balanced with a substantial amount of humor.

Ove is determined to take his own life so he can be with his wife again, but he plans to do it in the most responsible and respectful way possible. Not only is he trying not to inconvenience anyone, he has a routine and he absolutely can’t interrupt. Ove is also set in the ‘old’ ways of doing things and when he encounters the new family moving in down the street, he has zero interest in welcoming them with open arms. And his enthusiasm regarding the cat that following him around is also non-existent.

It’s Ove’s determination to be alone that ultimately reminds him that he still has a purpose. A purpose involving camaraderie and an unconventional family that needs Ove just as much as he needs them.

Overall, this book may go into my all-time favorites list. Truly, the entire story from page one was captivating. Ove is such an honestly lovable and grumpy old man that you feel as if he could be your own grandfather. Backman did such a tremendous job developing all the vibrant and realistic figures within the novel. There is a stark contrast between the very solemn issues that are lightened with such an ironic humor and the divergence is brilliant. But don’t get me wrong, you will probably get as many laughs as tears out of this story.

Just know that I have already added every Fredrik Backman novel available to my TBR. In fact, I had to restrain myself from immediately running to the nearest bookstore to purchase them. A Man Called Ove is such a uniquely poignant yet boisterous story and everyone should read it.

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