Monday, June 27, 2016
QUICK REVIEW: 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.
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published July 15th 2014 by Atria Books (first published August 27th 2012)
ISBN 1476738017 (ISBN13: 9781476738017)
Ove (pronounced ooh-vey, to rhyme with you-may) is a grumpy and cantankerous old guy who has a touch of OCD. Everything must be handled in a particular way, and as part of his routine. He can be gruff with people and keeps to himself.
Then a family moves into the neighborhood, and they seem to be able to overlook his crotchety demeanor. They insert themselves into Ove's life, perhaps against his will. Before he knows it, this family has turned his life upside-down, and Ove is doing things he probably never would have done before.
This is a charming story, reminiscent of Major Pettigrew's Last Stand. It disproves the old adage that you can't teach an old dog new tricks. Ove is an old dog who definitely learns some new tricks. The author deftly writes the character to make him quite likable by the end of the story, and you can't help but like the family that infiltrates his life.
An easy read. Cute, sweet, and funny.
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The Cerebral Girl is a forty-something blogger just digging her way out from under a mountain of books in the deep south of Florida.
This book was the April 2016 selection for the Cape Coral Bookies.