A Man Called Ove book review

A Man Called Ove Book Review

Book: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Sceptre
First Published In: 2014
No. of pages: 320
Major Characters: Ove, Parvaneh, Sonja, Rune, Jimmy

I had planned to read A Man Called Ove almost two years back. I used to see this book everywhere- Amazon, Goodreads, book shops. And the impressive reviews pushed me to put it into my TBR list.

But I was busy with other books and never got the time to try it. Finally, a few days ago, when I came across A Man Called Ove at a book fair, I had to pick it up. It was enough!

And now that I have finished reading it, I will review it in this post and tell you what is so magical about this book.

A Man Called Ove is the story of a 59-year-old man named Ove (obviously). He is the grumpiest person you will ever meet who dislikes people as if they are thieves born to steal his money.

And his hate reaches its peak when it is someone who doesn’t follow the rules, wears a white shirt, drives a foreign car like BMW, or whose dog peed on his pavement.

Ove is a man of principles and has a strict routine. He lives alone and rarely talks to anybody. He doesn’t care when people call him rude and impolite because he knows that just because he doesn’t have a smile plastered on his face, he doesn’t become bad.

But when a new family moves next door, Ove’s world turns upside down. Is Ove ready for the unexpected friendships that would bring out the hero that resides within him?

The book is brilliant. The best thing in it is the character of Ove, which is almost certainly one of the best characters I have met in fiction. Although he is cranky and ill-tempered, there is a strange charm in him.

You will initially hate him for his impertinent behavior and laugh at his bizarre nature. But as you advance in the story and learn about his heart-wrenching past, you would realize he is not so bad after all. And by the time you finish the book, you would fall in love with Ove and secretly crave to hug him.

The second best thing about the book is the humor. The narrative is packed with irresistible humor. In fact, it is one of the funniest books I have read till now. So it’s no surprise I was often smiling and cracking into a howling laughter while reading it.

“Ove glares out of the window. The poser is jogging. Not that Ove is provoked by jogging. Not at all. Ove couldn’t give a damn about people jogging. What he can’t understand is why they have to make such a big thing of it. With those smug smiles on their faces, as if they were out there curing pulmonary emphysema. Either they walk fast or they run slowly, that’s what joggers do. It’s a forty-year-old man’s way of telling the world that he can’t do anything right.”

– Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

Another great thing about A Man Called Ove is, of course, the story. You see, it is no fantasy or science-fiction but a realistic story of a common person. Still, it manages to delight, fascinate, and inspire you. The story switches from Ove’s present to his past to recount his whole life.

“We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.”

– Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

You will encounter deep lessons about love, friendships, life, and death scattered in the story. It will teach you no matter how bad your life gets, you will always find things to live for. The book also touches on themes of life loss, grief, and loyalty.

“But sorrow is unreliable in that way. When people don’t share it there’s a good chance that it will drive them apart instead.”

– Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

The writing style is so simple that an eighth-grade student can understand it. The small details and vivid descriptions make each chapter seem like watching an episode of an excellent series.

I loved the book so much that I am going to read it again. The jokes never get old. And I am so impressed by the writing style and observational skills of the author that I have followed him on Instagram and watched a few of his interviews.

Books like A Man Called Ove make me fall in love with reading. They show the power of words. They inspire me to write. I have read around 150 books till now, and I would undoubtedly rank this in the top 15.

A Man Called Ove is that rare book that would make you laugh and cry at the same time. It’s an incredibly charming read, perfect for uplifting your mood. So, pick it when you crave a warm, touching, funny, and delightful story.

Next Read: I Visited New Delhi World Book Fair 2023

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