Book Reviews

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Summary : A grumpy yet loveable man who finds his world turned on its head when a young family moves in next door.

Synopsis : This book, as the title suggests, circles around every little detail that happens around Ove and his daily way of living.

This is a man who is very tightly bound between his principles and routines and doubts everything and everyone that don’t have a set of rules to live by. He is particularly opinionated about a person based on the car they drive and nothing is good enough unless it’s a ‘Saab’. In his opinion, everything happening outside his rules, is an agenda or a conspiracy against humanity. As the book progresses into more detail, it gives out an explanation for each one of Ove’s peculiar behaviours and enlightens the fact that this grumpy old man has a big heart (literally) and underneath this hardened exterior is a soul that’s purer than most people on this planet.

Review : In the beginning, this book seems like nothing more than about a grumpy old man who’s set in his way with no room for adaptation or change. To be honest, when I first began reading this it was difficult for me to hang on to it because I am not used to this kind of writing.

This book is divided into a total of 39 chapters and an epilogue, each chapter not more than a few pages and each chapter talking about something different initially and slowly picking up and continuing the story and pushing it forward a little.

It feels somewhat like a game of ‘Snakes and Ladders’. With each chapter you go a little further into the story and towards the end, but the next chapter pulls you all the way back to the past giving elaborate reasoning for Ove’s behaviour in the present.

What initially seems like a compilation of random chapters slowly pans into an elaborate love story of a man who simply existed but never lived until he met a woman and then goes back to just existing after she’s gone. It sends out a strong message of how powerful love is and how it could influence a person’s actions and  behaviour. Ove, a stubborn man without her by his side, is heavily influenced by his father’s teachings and strives for perfection because he believes that’s the only way to do things.

To conclude, this story will take you on a journey from just knowing about Ove to rooting for him in the end. Simply be patient cause it will give you every kind of closure that you need, tie each loose end and not leave you hanging in any way. It is a nice, elegant, simple and beautiful read!

-The Travellothoner

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