A Man called Ove is an emotional ride into the life of Ove, a 59 year old man. The author easily grabs the interest of the reader in the first chapter itself where Ove goes to purchase an iPad and gets mad because he thinks the salesman is tricking him by not providing the keyboard along! A Man called Ove is filled with similar funny events and it’s not difficult to love Ove and his reactions.
A Man called Ove works because of Ove. Ove is irritating, old-fashioned, almost hates everyone and everything which isn’t according to his wishes, expects perfection and cleanliness, follows a fixed routine and reprimands anyone and everyone who comes in his way. He keeps check of everything in the locality and is very particular about “No driving in residential area!” It’s been 6 months he lost his wife and the only objective in his life is to end his life, to commit suicide. Every day, he tries a new method and every time he is constrained unintentionally by some situation. The entry of new neighbours pushes Ove to the edge, but gradually he begins finding meaning to his life again in their company.
A Man called Ove is heart warming. As much as we love Ove’s muttering under his breath, we feel for his state. He never expected a life without his wife and her sudden (but expected) death wasn’t something he could come to terms with. The entry of Parvaneh, the pregnant woman next door and her family keeps Ove busy as he disagrees to every move of theirs. Ove and Parvaneh’s exchanges are hilarious and he needs a lady like Parvaneh to give him competition. While most of them fears Ove, she is the only one to stand up to him, order him and force him to do something which he wouldn’t have ever dreamed off. For example, she forces him to start petting a cat when he actually hates cats. The portions where Ove shows his compassionate side is so overwhelming, especially with Parvaneh’s daughters. The story also shows the value of neighbours and establishing a good neighbourhood.
In real life, a man like Ove may not be liked by everyone. At the same time, people like them should be given time to understand the reasons behind their principles.
As a book, the author Fredrik Backman fills the story with entertaining metaphors which makes the reading very enjoyable. The book doesn’t offer twists and turns. It’s a simple story on the life of Ove. Go for it!
P.S: For a crime reader, this book wasn’t exciting and hence I have given an above average rating. I am sure the ratings would be higher for the other genre readers.