Grumpy Old Man: A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman


man called ove book review fredrik backman

A Man Called Ove was an unexpectedly delightful story and I am now a HUGE fan of Frederik Backman. I found it hard to explain what this book was about when I was recommending it to everyone from my mother to my kids’ orthodontic assistant because nothing sounded quite right.

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“This is a wonderful story about a rude and curmudgeon-y old man who is trying to kill himself” somehow does not evoke readership. “A Man Called Ove  is a hilarious story about a mean and miserable man who hates everyone he meets” doesn’t bring confidence that the characters are relatable or likeable. Yet, somehow, I could not put the book down.

Ove stomped forward. The cat stood up. Ove stopped. They stood there measuring up to each other for a few moments, like two potential troublemakers in a small-town bar. Ove considered throwing one of his clogs at it. The cat looked as if it regretted not bringing its own clogs to lob back.” ― Fredrik BackmanA Man Called Ove

Mr. Backman has a wonderful way of capturing the reader’s interest with wonderful characters that find themselves in hilarious situations. I laughed out loud- a lot- while reading. A Man Called Ove does indeed start with Ove trying to take his life and continuously being interrupted by his new neighbors. But, this book is so much more than that. As the story progresses, Ove is able to have a profound impact on the life of everyone he meets.

I loved this book so much that the first thing I did when I finished it (other than recommend it to everyone) was order My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. I highly recommend to anyone that is looking for a feel good story. Sometimes, you just need a good laugh!

What’s the last book you read that made you laugh out loud?

Grumpy Old Man: A Man Called Ove by Frederik BackmanA Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 15th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Humorous, General
Pages: 352
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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.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).