by Fredrik Backman, Author
Henning Koch Translator
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published July 2014 by Atria Books (first published August 2012)
Original Title: En man som heter Ove
ISBN 1476738017 (ISBN13: 9781476738017)
Several people had suggested this book to me, but I admit that I checked it out from the library, started to read...and took it back the following day without having finished the first chapter.
I didn't get it. Ove, a widowed elderly man, gnashing his teeth over any infraction that a neighbor might make, such as parking a bicycle against the side of the shed, or allowed their dog to pee on his paving stones. And he wants to buy an iPad, making the sales clerk break into a cold sweat when Ove asks for the keyboard.
Then, a few weeks later, "A Man Called Ove" appeared while scrolling through the list of available audiobooks on my library's phone app. With a shrug, I tapped it into my queue of books. Guess you could say my curiosity took ahold of me.
And am I glad I went in for that second try! Hilarious! Not only does Ove's very pregnant neighbor, Parvaneh, barge into his life while dragging her two daughters behind her, but she interferes with every solemn daily ritual that the old man has come to adore. As does Adrian, who was a pupil of Ove's late wife Sonja, and Jimmy, an obese fellow who's computer savvy works a smart trick against 'the men in the white shirts'.
Cannot omit Cat, either. Did you know there was a cat? No!?! Cat is as important as all the others, and his opinions of Ove and the three-year-old child from next door will make your belly shake like a bowlful of jelly.
As mentioned, I listened to an audiobook, with a reading in English. The original book is in Swedish, and a movie of the story was also made in Sweden. Please consider "A Man Called Ove" for your reading list, as I found it funny, a bit sad, snarky as all get out, and one of the best books I've enjoyed so far this year. Ove is every man, every woman, every one of us who plow through life, trying to do the right thing.
|Patty says, "Quit typing and fetch my noms!"|