20 September 2014

Review: A Man Called Ove | Fredrik Backman

* Copy courtesy of NetGalley *

Ove is a cranky and seemingly bitter old man, missing his late wife and without purpose in his life. He's a stickler for the rules (no cars in the residential area), stubborn (won't turn the heaters up in winter because it's too expensive) and resolute about what is right and wrong. Oh, and he loves his SAAB.

Everything changes though when a family move in next door and Ove's routines are completely shattered when pregnant Parvaneh takes an immediate interest in him.

Ove is a practical man, and his gruffness and short temper are endearing (and sometimes funny), making it hard not to like him. Some of the stories from his past are amusing, some heartbreaking and it was interesting to watch events and people shape his character over the years. I especially liked the backstory between Ove and Rune (a neighbour, former-friend and fellow member of the Resident's Association).

A Man Called Ove is based in Sweden and translated - extremely well - into English.  Fellow reviewers have admitted that Ove's story brought them to tears, however I wasn't as deeply moved. I found A Man Called Ove an enjoyable read and think it will be popular with readers.

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!

2 comments:

shelleyrae @ book'd out said...

Oh I love love loved this Tracey :)

Tracey said...

Thanks Shelleyrae, it's very popular with book bloggers right now, and I'm assuming it'll soon flow on to regular readers. The translation was excellent.