A Man Called Ove
Fredrik Backman (2012)
When I reluctantly turned the last page and closed this book, I told myself I’d just finished the best book I’ll read all year. This December, when I’m compiling by annual recommended list for 2016, I’ll be extremely surprised if I don’t feel the same way.
This book, which I thought was going to be merely an entertaining, light read about a lovable curmudgeon, unexpectedly grabbed me by the heart and wouldn’t let go.
The eponymous sourpuss, who gains small comfort in policing the rules of his neighborhood, is continually irritated by just about everyone who crosses his path and in his droll internal monologue, Ove dubs them with descriptive names such as the Lanky One and the Pregnant Foreign Woman. He doesn’t mince words nor suffer fools gladly. Just to follow Ove as he goes through his daily routine would have been entertaining enough, but then a wonderful thing happens, and the book reveals itself to be much more than a delightful romp through Grumpville.
I don’t want to say any more, because to know too much gives away the pleasure of discovering Ove for yourself. And to know Ove, is to love him and his story.
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