Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
“A time comes in every man’s life when he decides what sort of man he is going to be,” Fredrik Backman writes in his novel, A Man Called Ove.
~ What ~
This three-hundred-thirty-seven-page paperback targets those who like a pathetic but comical, satirical look at current day life in Europe. Often using profanity, topics of illness, suicide, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers.
Fifty-nine-year-old Ove has lost the love of his life six months ago and is at his wit’s end trying to end it all. Being a man with firm principles and endless loyalty, he believes rules are rules with no exceptions. Unable to trust men in white shirts, the internet, parking meters, espressos, or anyone that does not drive a Saab, he feels he is no longer needed. When a foreign pregnant woman moves in next door with her lame husband and two little girls, the man’s plans of killing himself are up-ended time and time again.
As Ove tries various ways to commit suicide, he precariously hangs on to life by being forced to save a man, drive to hospitals repeatedly, rescue a mangy cat, teach an awkward teen how to fix things, keep aggressive drivers out of their community, and reconnect with a friend who has lost his memory. Over time, he learns there is more to living after having so many losses in life.
~ Why ~
This is a quick and quirky read that many will enjoy as it touches a soft spot in hearts who question why go on in life when there is no hope. With comical opinions, events, and outcomes, the sad underlying tone shows a broken, hurting man who finds how to feel needed again while learning to love others, even if they do not own the same car as he does.
~ Why Not ~
Some may think the story is unbelievable and predictable or that the silliness of the characters’ conversations is sophomoric. Others who have a strong faith in God may question the repeated suicide attempt issue as if too flippant a topic.
~ Who ~
An award-winning author of three novels and a novella that have been published in more than thirty-five countries, Backman lives in Sweden with his wife and two children.
~ Wish ~
Realizing the book was written by a non-American, I was not accustomed to the punctuation placements that are different than our grammar rules (however, who am I to complain it took me longer to read the book due to them as I would not want to be perceived picky like Ove for my many fixations).
~ Want ~
If you like a strange book about a man no one liked or appreciated yet became understood once his tale unfolded, this may make you laugh and cry when it comes to losing a love and moving on in life.
I borrowed this book from a friend and have freely evaluated it.
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GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.