Reveiw – A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Reviewed by Angela


A Man Called Ove is a wonderful book for anyone from teens upwards. Originally written in Swedish and translated to English, there are many Swedish elements still there in their way of life and outlook on life, not to mention the snow.

Ove is a character that most of us will see in the men in our lives. We shouldn't really like him as a character because he is so rude and grumpy, even when he is being quite nice it's in a condescending way. He is set in his ways, sceptical and mistrusts anything new and modern. He is also a very funny and charming man – in a very uncharming way.

The story itself is cleverly written in that we get answers to Ove's grumpiness by going back to some awful events in his life. He is a very principled man and unfortunately some of his upstanding, very correct and ethical ways cause him to have been unjustly down-trodden by others taking advantage. Just as we are thinking that Ove really is a miserable old sod, the next chapter takes us back to an event which nearly has you crying for the dreadful things that he has had to endure in his life and we have nothing but sympathy for him. I particularly like the chapter headings of 'A Man Called Ove . . .' for current day and 'A Man Who Was Ove . . ' for when we go back in his life.

This is one of the few reviews where I don't want to give any of the storyline away because the revelations, humorous and grumpy alike, are the wonder and enjoyment of the book. It is funny, deep and, at times, so very sad. It is very much in the vein of Five People You Meet In Heaven in that all the characters come full circle and have their part to play. It also has a similar charm to The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time. A truly wonderful book worthy of a full five stars.

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