Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Book 162: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (Audiobook) read by George Newbern
Fredrik Backman's book A Man Called Ove (pronouned "Oo-vah") was translated into English and published in the U.S. a few years ago. My bestie Liz recommended this book, and I bought the audio book on Audible. It was a bit slow in the beginning, but the story picks up momentum in the third chapter.
Ove is a cantankerous old man who lives in a quiet neighborhood and has a deep sense of responsibility to his neighborhood and its appearance. As my mom would say, Ove is a stinker. People do not like Ove. But A Man Called Ove is crafted in a way that reveals Ove's true nature to both the reader and the other characters one chapter at a time, until we (and they) understand him, and in doing so, fall in love with him. The chapters alternate between the past and the present, providing us with insights into Ove's background at the same time as the present story develops. Although that sounds like it might be confusing, it's not; Backman's writing is simple and well organized. This book was beautifully balanced, too, because it paired humor with vulnerability so well. I can't say I've ever read a book that knitted things together so crisply and naturally. Ove would have been proud.
I can't tell you more, but if you pick up this book and see it through to the end, you won't regret it. Every character was gold. I loved it.