Judy's Reviews > A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
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really liked it

I tend to be skeptical when books gain blockbuster status. Too often I have found a book that reviewers and the public went wild over were overrated, or not to my taste.

"A Man Called Ove" really is wonderful and prompted me to also buy "Britt-Marie Was Here," which I liked almost as much. There are so many reviews already out there that spell out the storyline, so I will just say that the author does a superb job of ever-so-slowly revealing the good man underneath the surly, sour and rigid protagonist who seems at first to be almost irredeemably unlikable. But as Backman takes us back in time to Ove's past, including the transformative love of his wife, we begin to appreciate what he does have going for him: an instructable sense of honor and loyalty (not the least of which is to the carmaker Saab) and somewhere, a heart that is both broken and yearning.

Backman skewers the heartless bureaucracy of the socialized medical system in Sweden though a subplot involving his former best friend Rune, and the "state" trying to take him away from home, where his wife, Anita, desperately wants to take care of him. This also gives Ove a chance not only to help patch over an ancient feud with Rune but express a longing he would never admit he has to give to others.

Funny, briskly written, and poignant.
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Reading Progress

June, 2017 – Started Reading
Finished Reading
August 2, 2017 – Shelved

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