A Man Called Ove Made Me Cry

18774964Yesterday, we came back from our vacation, and I am exhausted. A vacation at the beach with three kids is always fun, but hardly ever relaxing. But that is not the reason for my exhaustion. I blame it on the weather. Because on the very last evening, it was cool enough to open the window and listen to the ocean instead of the air conditioning. And what better way to enjoy the sound of the waves while reading? Well, I picked A Man Called Ove, and after about 50 pages, I knew that I would not be able to stop reading until I had finished the book.

At first glance, Ove is a grumpy old man, the kind who walks around looking for people breaking the rules. He makes sure no cars drive in the residential area, the recycling is properly separated from the regular garbage, and all bikes are parked inside the bike shed. There is a proper tool for every type of repair and only one proper car to drive (a Saab). He refers to most people (and animals) by nicknames: the Lanky One, the Blond Weed, the White Shirt, the Cat Annoyance. The names he picks are always short, but always descriptive, and they made me laugh because they were very appropriate.

Ove admits that he sees the world in black and white, and the only person who truly understood him and brought color into his world is no longer with him. Which is why I started crying around page 80 and then pretty much didn’t stop until the end—aside from the laughter inbetween. Because Ove isn’t really all that grumpy. He’s had a lot of heartbreak in his life, and that has made him angry at times. But still, he always does what is right, even if he doesn’t want to be bothered. Which is why he ends up with a pet (Ove doesn’t like it but it needed a home), a gay roommate (Ove doesn’t like him either, but he also needed a home), and a sort-of daughter and grandchildren (who make him eat rice with saffron rather than the potatoes and sausages he’s been eating most of his life). I was so happy that love for all these people and the cat crept up on Ove, because he fully deserved the happiness they brought him.

I’m not sure what time it was when I was done with the book, but I know I didn’t get much sleep. But it was totally worth it! And if you don’t believe me, go read The Paperback Princess’ (Eva’s) review of it.

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20 comments

  1. I have a copy of Ove and need to get on it. Your review gave me faith that it indeed a novel not to skip. PS. I hope you caught up on your sleep

  2. It was your “made me cry” that made me decide to read this review. That’s one of the pinnacles of writing for me…if it can inspire that strong an emotion. Nice review. I’m adding this to the TBR.

  3. I’ve heard so many great reviews of this book and I’ve got to say, the fact that made you cry really sold it for me. I don’t know what it is about me but I LOVE when books make me cry. I hope I can get to this soon!!

  4. I know what you mean about the beach with kids not exactly being relaxing!! But, hope you snuck in a little time for yourself. And – glad to hear you loved this so much…I read part of the sample the other day and loved it. Am buying it and hope to get to it in the next few weeks.

  5. I found this book at a book sale, and was so excited (it wasn’t too long after Eva’s review). But, then, like so many other great books, it got buried and I haven’t read it yet. Your review makes me want to get it out! It sounds like something I would love. The grouchy old man thing is the reason I loved The History of Love.

    • I think you would really like this book. Ove is an even better grouchy old man than the one in The History of Love, I think. You just want to give him a hug, even though he would probably insult you while you do it.

  6. Thanks for the link!

    And I’m SO GLAD you loved this book like I did. Even reading your review of it made me tear up all over again, remembering when I read this. He did deserve the love that crept back into his life.

    I’m really curious to read Fredrik Backman’s other book! just the title alone makes me think it’s worth it – My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry.

  7. I love it when a book is so great that I lose sleep because of it. I know I’ve heard of this novel before, but I can’t remember where (it’ll come to me eventually!). It sounds really interesting.

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