Becky Spratford's Reviews > A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
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really liked it

Three Words That Describe This Book: heartwarming, charming, upbeat

I had bever gotten around to reading this book. I had met the author when it first came out. I read bits here and there, and I have read A LOT about it. I have also book talked it and given it out to hundreds of readers. Everyone loves this book. It has witty and thoughtful writing style and it is an extremely engaging story.

But, many people have challenged me over the years that they can't call it upbeat because it is all centered about Ove's depression and his failed attempts to kill himself.

But, as I tell people, they entire point is that he is depressed and thinks there is no reason to live, but over the course of the book he rediscovers why he wants to keep living. It is so uplifting and was perfect character centered, fun read for right around the holidays.

There are so many wonderful characters and funny laugh out loud moments. This is a story about community. It is the fictional biography of a man who, while not having had an easy life, knew he was lucky to have the partner he did.

The story is not told in a linear fashion, but I liked that. It made the story more engaging and allowed the true complexity of the Man Called Ove [the actual man, not the book] to be revealed in a more satisfying and 3-dimesional way. It felt more real to learn about him in pieces. And to learn about his relationships, old and new.

It is a diverse and inclusive story without trying. Ove is surrounded, like all of us, by all types of people. There are different ability levels, body types, races, sexual orientations, class, everything just like areal neighborhood. And Ove is a curmudgeon to all comers, no matter who they are. It was nice to read a story where the diversity just WAS present because that is how life is.

I liked the little differences in culture between the USA and Sweden. They were small but adorable.

Audio Narration: Sine the entire story is told from an omniscient narrator who is privy to Ove's thoughts, the narration really matters. The reader was of an average age and had just the right amount of gravitas. He was engaging and was able to make clear when we were with past Ove or present Ove. There is quite a bit of subtle humor and even the emotions, which are clear and range from happiness to despair and all in between, are subtlety noted, and the narrator did an excellent job conveying that.

I could listen to this story again I enjoyed it so much.

Readalikes: I thought of the movie UP right away for obvious reasons. Another charming and quirky book about loss, but this time of how parent deal with losing a child, is THE TOWER, THE ZOO, and THE TORTOISE by Julia Stuart.

Also one of my all-time favorite gentle reads with a curmudgeon is MAJOR PETTIGREW'S LAST STAND by Helen Simonson. It is also charming and quirky with a diverse cast.

A few other books that are charming, quirky, and thoughtful, books that like all of these mentioned are ultimately upbeat but have a loss or sadness at their core still are THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE by Bradley [first in a mystery series], ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman, and THE SUPREMES AT EARL'S ALL YOU CAN EAT by Edward Kelsey Moore
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Reading Progress

December 12, 2019 – Started Reading
December 12, 2019 – Shelved
December 12, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
December 20, 2019 – Finished Reading

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