Book spotlight: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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

I didn’t expect to like this little Swedish tale at all, let alone love it. A story about a grumpy old curmudgeon who hates cats and thinks most young people are wastes of space? Boy, I thought. Sounds like a right casserole of laughs. 

My friend James of Short Story Cast has excellent taste in books, however. If he enjoyed A Man Called Ove, then it was definitely worth a gander…

Ove is not a man of glittering smiles and fawning pleasantries. Instead, he’s the neighbour that fixes your broken bike chain and drives you to the hospital in sub-zero weather without expecting as much as a thank you. Will he call you a dumb shit the wh0le way and tell you to keep that damn dog off his lawn? You bet. But what do words matter? It’s Ove’s deeds that count, and his deeds come from the heart.

Ove’s insistence on decency and rules contrast vividly with the untamed collage of the world around him. His love for his deceased wife is as solid as the headstone he solemnly pats every time he visits her grave. To me, this is a story about those times in life when the things we push away the hardest are the things we need the most.

This is a wonderful, cozy read for the first, crisp mornings of Autumn. I highly recommend the audiobook for its wickedly charming delivery by George Newbern (you may know him as Sephiroth from Final Fantasy).

Read the book, then watch the movie in your favorite woolly socks and a nice cup of spiced tea in hand!

Read this book if you:

  • Like heartwarming tales about grief, perspective and reflection
  • Like witty prose
  • Like watching reluctant friends turn into ride or die family
  • Want to feel ALL THE FEELS

Fredrik Backman can be reached via his website and Twitter.

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3 thoughts on “Book spotlight: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

  1. Excellent write-up Rachel, and thanks for the mention. Glad to see you’re blogging again, it’s nice to read your writing without having to suggest edits!

    I loved this book too. Ove is an example of why you should judge people by what they do and not by what they say. He seems mean but he’s really a lovely person.

    Liked by 1 person

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