Thursday, 17 July 2014

Review: A Man Called Ove

Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Frederick Backman
Published by: Atria Books on July 15th 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Buy it from Amazon or Book Depository
Check it out on Goodreads

*I received a copy of this book free from the publisher via Netgalley for review consideration, this in no way affects my opinion of the book.*

Goodreads Synopsis: In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon; the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, Fredrik Backman's novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.

My Thoughts: This book was such a joy to read and is populated with a wonderful and diverse cast of characters that made me laugh and cry in equal measure.

Ove is a grumpy old man who thinks that everyone is a complete twit and I spent the first few chapters of the book annoyed by his judgmental closemindedness but as the story progressed and I got to see what made him the way he is, I fell in love with him and you will too.

Since Ove's wife died, life has not been the same for Ove and not worth living, so he has decided that it is time to be reunited with his her. Luckily (or not) for poor old Ove, each time he tries to leave this world, he is interuppeted by his neighbours, who need his help with one thing or another. The relationships that develop between Ove and his neighbours are so wonderful, touching and funny, I couldn't stop smiling whenever I thought about them. Love and friendship bloom between the most unlikeliest of people and that is what makes this story so heartwarming and feel-good.

I loved every character in this book from 'the pregnant one' to 'the cat annoyance', and even though these characters were wonderful, I felt that they were a touch unrealistic at times, such as the cat acting a little too human. But I think that these unrealist touches add to the charm factor and likeabilty of the characters.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good heartwarming story and to those who just may need their faith in the good of humankind restored.

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