Just finished listening to “A Man Called Ove”, and if I can stop the sobbing, I’ll let you in on my response.
I have to confess, I almost gave up on this book twice, not really seeing the point of reading about a grumpy old man – Ove could have been my father – despite the promise that this was a humorous tale. Ove’s constant intimidation of others must have struck too close to home, yet, I persevered. Maybe it was the arrival of the new neighbours, who threatened to push Ove’s patience over the edge, that kept me engaged. I definitely know I was committed the moment Ove goes to visit his wife.
Fredrik Backman’s first novel has earned him much deserved acclaim. His characters are very believable, each of their stories weaving together in delightful and surprising ways – all suitable supporting characters for Ove’s big reveal, which I won’t disclose here.
The narrated version of this book is performed by George Newbern whose monotone delivery captures the main character’s personality. I found myself having to inject sarcasm and nuance to grasp the humour, but appreciate the reasoning behind Newbern’s approach.
Beckman’s “A Man Called Ove” is well worth the read. It is a reminder that we should never take the behaviour of another personally, and if we are willing to push the outer walls, we might just find a real treasure.