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‘A Man Called Ove’ (and a Reviewer Named Danielle)

"A Man Called Ove" is a great read with both humor and character development.

The+cover+of+A+Man+Called+Ove.+Courtesy+of+Simon+and+Schuster
The cover of A Man Called Ove. Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

The cover of A Man Called Ove. Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

The cover of A Man Called Ove. Courtesy of Simon and Schuster

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With the “La La Land” takeover of the Oscars, capturing categories such as “Best Picture” and “Best Actor,” it’s easy to overlook the other nominees, especially those in the category of “Best Foreign Language Film.”

One of the nominees is not only a prize-winning movie, but also a prize-winning book, landing on the New York Times Bestsellers list and selling more than 2.8 million copies worldwide. This Swedish book, titled “A Man Called Ove,” has captured readers worldwide, and for good reason. It tells the story of the curmudgeonly Ove, a man of stalwart principles, American cars and strict routines. He has little to no tolerance for idiots, cats or those who drive Japanese cars.

However, his tough exterior is only the result of hidden past tragedies, and even that veneer starts to crack as a friendly young couple and their boisterous daughters move in next door. Wanting nothing but to reunite with his deceased wife, Ove attempts to commit suicide several times, each time thwarted by “annoyances” such as a cat or his neighbors. 

The book bounces between the past and present, slowly revealing different events that shaped Ove’s character, and blending the two with both humor and tragedy. Although the book appears to be simple and shallow at first, its depth allows the reader to truly feel a personal connection to each character. The development of both character and plot adds to the book’s theme, embodying its message of judging a book by its cover. 

Fredrik Backman, the author, beautifully blends the past and the present, painting a masterpiece of both sorrow that comes with loss and joy of finding a new family. All of this and more make “A Man Called Ove” a literary masterpiece, and both book and movie are sure to delight any reader.

 

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‘A Man Called Ove’ (and a Reviewer Named Danielle)