A Man Called Ove

Now here is a character who is irresistible, unintentionally very funny and ultimately a big-hearted softy, but on first acquaintance Ove seems to be the grumpiest man you will ever meet.

“I really don’t think he’s an odd person. He just has his principles. Everyone does; it’s just a matter of different principles. The thing that makes Ove funny is his disproportionate response to everything. And that makes him interesting as a character.”  Author Fredrik Backman on Ove.

Ove has given up on his life and feels that he is totally surrounded by incompetents, but circumstances conspire to prevent him doing what he really wants to do.  The cast of characters, including a very mangy cat, are diverse and very well-described. We gradually get to know more about Ove through his varied and fiery interactions with neighbours and the other characters he encounters. Then his quite tragic history unfolds which helps us to understand and forgive his very inflexible behaviour.

This best-selling book, translated from Swedish by Henning Koch has sold nearly 700,000 copies in Sweden and deserves to be much better known here. I found myself laughing out loud on numerous occasions and loving this old curmudgeon.  The book was made into a movie in 2014 in Sweden.

“A man called Ove”  by Fredrik Backman is available in Adult Fiction and Large Print Fiction in our library collection.