Book Reviews

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“Love is a strange thing. It takes you by surprise”

“Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” is something we have been taught since we were kids. However with this book that’s exactly what i did. In a sea of Black and White and Dark colored book covers this light mustard-bluish pastel colored book with a silhouette of a man and cat just mesmerised me. It also has these cute doodles on the inside pages which you can color into. And the fact that its tiny and just 290 pages odd made it a perfect travel book. The summary at the back doesn’t give much insight into the story except that it is a story about a grumpy man called Ove.

Ove is rule abiding, routine obsessing ,sarcastic, self righteous old man who loves his Saab. He is the kind of neighbour who will not return your cricket ball when it falls in their balcony. He reminded me a lot of Amitabh Bachchan’s character in Piku. Awesome movie BTW.  Another main character is Ove’s new neighbour Parvaneh who is a kind, helpful, friendly but no nonsense woman. She is the only one who isn’t scared or doesn’t think Ove is crazy old man and takes the initiative to go and talk to him. Make him feel that he isn’t forgotten.

The book starts with Ove going to an Apple store to buy an iPad and you immediately start thinking like why does want an iPad ? whats he gonna do with it? He certainly comes across as someone who hates technology. Then from next chapter we go three weeks back in time with Parvaneh and her family moving into the house next to Ove. There is also a cameo by a cat named as “Cat Annoyance” who becomes Ove’s new housemate. As the book progresses we get to see the present day happenings in Ove’s life as well as a glimpse into his past. The loveable , soft, a little weird side of Ove. His relationship with his wife is a perfect definition of what love is. To quote Sonja (Ove’s wife) :

“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 perfection, but rather its imperfections. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when its cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. And these little secrets make it your home”

The story writing is simple yet it brings the various aspects of not only Ove but the other characters to life. I just loved the story. It has humour, love story, friendship, tragedy, a little action; it has everything. I even had a few tears in my eyes. It has lot of social  messages as well. Just because we are from a different generation doesn’t mean we shouldn’t or we don’t have anything to talk to older people. We can learn a lot from them as well as maybe teach them a few new things. And not just old people. Even someone who is totally opposite to us. Accept people the way they are and they will come through. And like i began this post, “Don’t judge a book (person) by its cover”.

I would highly recommend it and give it 5/5 stars . 👻 👻 👻 👻 👻

The lines that gave me the feels:

“He was a man of lack and white. And she was color. All the color he had.”

“I just wanted to know what it felt like to be someone you look at.”

“There is a difference between being wicked because one has to be or because one can.”

“We always think there’s enough time to do things with people, time to say things. Until there isn’t and we are left with a ‘if'”

“Love is a strange thing. It takes you by surprise.”



4 thoughts on “A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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