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337 pages, Hardcover
First published August 27, 2012
“People said he was bitter. Maybe they were right. He’d never reflected much on it. People also called him antisocial. Ove assumed this meant he wasn’t overly keen on people. And in this instance he could totally agree with them. More often than not people were out of their minds.”
"Loving someone is like moving into a house. At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren't actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there, and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfections, but rather for its imperpections. You get to know all the nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when it's cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without them creaking. These are the little secrets that make it your home."
“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. Is it really necessary to dress up as a fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast in order to be able to do it? Or the Olympic tobogganing team? Just because one shuffles aimlessly around the block for three quarters of an hour?”I simply adored this book. Backman's writing is clean and simple, at times deceptively so, with its gentle, episodic and occasionally repetitive structure. The story is laced with loneliness, with life's numerous disappointments and the great grey weight of the real; the last chapters deliver some unexpectedly savage emotional blows. But this is tempered with a sense of quiet celebration.
Shout out to this absolutely fabulous book in my latest booktube video - all about the best books I read each month and 2019's bookish stats (and yes, I really did read 365 books in 365 days!).
Ove is the quintessential grumpy old man.
He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced.
Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.But then...Sonja came into his life.
She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realised that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.And immediately, Ove's life was forever changed.
Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.But, after many, many blissful years of marriage, Ove is grieving. Grieving far harder than he ever would have thought possible.
Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations for living.Ove has always been grumpy, but since the loss of his wife, those characteristics have grown tenfold.
1) where has this book been all my life?!To summarize - this one was truly one of the best books I've ever read. It is so well-written and it's has the perfect blend of heartwarming and heartwrenching.
2) according to the audiobook, he's "Oo-vah". It's weird, and I'm honestly disappointed that it's not "Love" but without the "L"
3) this is, quite possibly, the best book ever