Ove

a-man-called-ove-fredrik-backman

It’s a charming, page turning fable. An international bestseller.  A debut written by Swedish blogger Fredrik Backman.

Here’s Ariele Stewart with an excerpt from her book review: “If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove.  Ove has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him ‘the bitter neighbor from hell,’ but he’s just the type of man who puts his head down and gets his work done without help from “twitters” or “iPizzles” or whatever it is that people have their heads buried in these days. But while Ove is a taciturn, unsmiling curmudgeon of a man, his disapproving exterior hides an unexpectedly moving personal history–and the pain of his lost love for his recently deceased wife Sonia. Even now, it makes me teary to think of Ove’s beautiful love for his wife, his light leaving the world.”

There’s no single quote that I could find that catches the spirit or the rhythm of this story but this will capture a bit of the soul of Ove:

“Sonja said once that to understand men like Ove and Rune, one had to understand from the very beginning that they were men caught in the wrong time. Men who only required a few simple things from life, she said. A roof over their heads, a quiet street, the right make of car, and a woman to be faithful to. A job where you had a proper function. A house where things broke at regular intervals, so you always had something to tinker with. ‘All people want to live dignified lives; dignity just means something different to different people,’ Sonja had said. To men like Ove and Rune dignity was simply that they’d had to manage on their own when they grew up, and therefore saw it as their right not to become reliant on others when they were adults. There was a sense of pride in having control. In being right. In knowing what road to take and how to screw in a screw, or not. Men like Ove and Rune were from a generation in which one was what one did, not what one talked about.”

If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly love this novel.

A Man Called Ove: A Novel: Highly Recommended


Comments

  1. I love reading books but nowadays buying books has become a costly affair. Thanks for sharing. Looks enjoyable.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved it – reminded me of The Life and Times of AJ Firky (title may be off – still on my first cup)

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That book excerpt…Ove sounds like so many of the men I know and love. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Then, pick up this book. Here’s another few excerpts to whet your appetite:

      He believed so strongly in things: justice and fair play and hard work and a world where right just had to be right. Not so one could get a medal or a diploma or a slap on the back for it, but just because that was how it was supposed to be. Not many men of his kind were made anymore, Sonja had understood. So she was holding on to this one. Maybe he didn’t write her poems or serenade her with songs or come home with expensive gifts. But no other boy had gone the wrong way on the train for hours every day just because he liked sitting next to her while she spoke. And when she took hold of his lower arm, thick as her thigh, and tickled him until that sulky boy’s face opened up in a smile, it was like a plaster cast cracking around a piece of jewelry, and when this happened it was as if something started singing inside Sonja. And they belonged only to her, those moments.

      or

      “And time is a curious thing. Most of us only live for the time that lies right ahead of us. A few days, weeks, years. One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. Memories, perhaps. Afternoons in the sun with someone’s hand clutched in one’s own. The fragrance of flowerbeds in fresh bloom. Sundays in a café. Grandchildren, perhaps.”

      or

      Ove knew very well that her friends couldn’t understand why she married him. He couldn’t really blame them. People said he was bitter. Maybe they were right. He’d never reflected much on it. People also called him antisocial. Ove assumed this meant he wasn’t overly keen on people. And in this instance he could totally agree with them. More often than not people were out of their minds. Ove wasn’t one to engage in small talk. He had come to realize that, these days at least, this was a serious character flaw. Now one had to be able to blabber on about anything with any old sod who happened to stray within an arm’s length of you purely because it was “nice.” Ove didn’t know how to do it. Perhaps it was the way he’d been raised. Maybe men of his generation had never been sufficiently prepared for a world where everyone spoke about doing things even though it no longer seemed worth doing them. Nowadays people stood outside their newly refurbished houses and boasted as if they’d built them with their own bare hands, even though they hadn’t so much as lifted a screwdriver. And they weren’t even trying to pretend that it was any other way. They boasted about it! Apparently there was no longer any value in being able to lay your own floorboards or refurbish a room with rising damp or change the winter tires. And if you could just go and buy everything, what was the value of it? What was the value of a man?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That single quote from the book.
    I’ve often wondered, what would happen to the world if this kind of men seized to exist?
    I grew up thinking this was the only kind of men.8
    I am and I’m not a feminist.
    But, the mere one day many years ago ” what if THIS kind of men decides one day that they’ve been doing this for too long???”
    That would be the end!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Have had this one in the queue for a bit–sounds like I need to bump it up. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. this sounds like a wonderful read, thanks for sharing it with us )

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love it. My mister isn’t silver-tongued or romantic because he comes from Birmingham (UK), but he’s excellent at mending stuff. He also likes his dinner on the table at set times, or he gets very grumpy! I think that this book you’ve recommended will greatly amuse and move me. And I love all things Swedish. On my reading list.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Its on my list! Thank for sharing its goodness DK.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. in the middle of it right now…..love Ove

    Like

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