A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: A tale of loss, a tale of life ★★★★★

“You only need one ray of light to chase all the shadows away.” – Fredrik Backman

Ove is a 59 year old man who is disappointed about everything around him. He has taken upon himself to make sure everybody sticks to the rules because if he doesn’t monitor the situations around him everyday like a hawk then things would awkwardly go wrong. He had been the same cranky, principled, uncompromising person who is pretty much devoid of emotions until he met Sonja. Sonja was the love he ever felt and wanted to feel forever. After he lost his job and his wife’s demise, Ove could not take any longer and decides to die.

Rating: 5/5

Well crafted plot and magic between the lines

The book is extremely detailed and has a profoundly rich theme without leaving anything to the reader’s imagination. It is poignantly written following a very detailed description of Ove’s day to day activities, vivid representation of Ove’s incessant disappointment with the world, or his rigid principles. The plot feels exquisitely real at every point, it almost seems like as any grandfather would do the same.

The flash backs are well placed shedding light on the multi-faceted characteristics of Ove. Specially, the onset of Ove and Sonja’s love is pleasant to read as it is least expected from a grumpy person like Ove. The pace of the book is fluid and never wavers from its core at any time. Not that Backman tries to prove a point, or bring a social cause to the prose yet he manages to instil in us the importance of little joys in life.

Ove is delightful to read

A grumpy old man who breathes to live by the strict rules and regulations which are made to be followed unmistakably in every situation. He takes the responsibility of incorporating a pre-defined system with everything and fights to get that calibrated wherever and whenever he can. Sounds like a usual grandfather figure in our lives. Every chapter is going to bring you closer to understanding the complex nature of Ove.

What makes him unique is that he has an earnest desire to die. He has organised his death in a bunch of folders and plans to die very soon. Why would he not want to die? He has had his fair share of experiences with life being unjust, be it his wife’s demise, losing his job or defending his principles against the men in white shirts that he wants to be done with it now.

Ove can make you cranky but there will be hysterical laughs as well. Beyond the tough exterior, lies a man filled with compassion. His friendship with Rune sets an example of forgiveness which A Man Called Ove possesses. The neighbors whom Ove never considers worthy of owning a Saab in turn becomes a family for him in spite of his resistance. He remains the same rude, dispassionate, old Ove but around them a new ray of light strikes him. Never have I met a character who seemed annoying to me in the beginning but ardently loved him by the end.

A Man Called Ove and Sonja

He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had.” – Fredrik Backman

Backman’s exploration of love and loss is very different. Not an age old flowery romance but a sense of togetherness from within the crypts of the heart. Ove had loved Sonja to the extent that her death has left a mark on him. Her presence resonates in the house even after she is gone. His sense of loss has messed him up so much that he thinks by ending his life will put an end to his enduring grief. Sonja’s death has made him A MAN CALLED OVE.

Highly Recommend

A Man Called Ove is about finding thousands of reasons to live even when there doesn’t seem to be one. Overall, this book will bring a smile on your face. You would immerse in the plot so much that after the ending, it would take some time to sink in the emotions.

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If you consider getting a copy after reading this post, please buy it from Amazon.

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