It has been a long time since I have read a book that touched me as deeply and profoundly as A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. There are books that make you laugh. There are books that make you cry. There are books that make you think about, believe in, and love the characters. Very rarely is there one book that does all of those at once. A Man Called Ove is one of those rare breeds of books.
From the very first page, when you read these words: “Ove gives the box a skeptical glance as if it’s a highly dubious sort of box, a box that rides a scooter and wears track suit pants and just called Ove “my friend” before offering to sell him a watch.”
I was listening to the audio version and when I heard this part, I was hooked completely. The book, performed by George Newbern, is full of these quips that make you laugh, quite literally, out loud.
And then there are the tears. I cannot tell you much about why, for worry of giving away part of the plot, but trust me, there are tears. Mixed very nicely with all of the laughter, mind you.
And the characters. You know, the ones you think about, come to believe in and love…Ove is a man of very few words, but endless thoughts. He is very angry at the world. He is angry at people. He is many times angry at himself. However, when you begin to get to know him, you cannot help but to love him.
And love him is exactly what Parvaneh and her family come to do. At essentially the perfect time, they move in across the street from Ove and turn his life upside down and completely right side up. And throughout the process, you find out snippets of Ove’s youth and marriage and how exactly, he came to be the way he is now: A man whose heart is too big.
Whether you read the book or listen to the audio, or both, as I did, start now! Trust me, you’ll be so happy that you did. I give this a firm 5 stars. I would give it more, but Ove would say that is excessive. And I wouldn’t want to displease him.