Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove
By Fredrik Backman
Published by Sceptre
Available in paperback and ebook

Ove is a grumpy old git - he knows it and he wants the whole world to know. Don't worry this isn't Victor Meldrew in novel form...

His miserableness might be down to the fact that his wife, the love of his life has recently died or the fact that he was dismissed from his job or even the new neighbours have no fucking clue about the way things are done in the neighbourhood. Either way he wants to kill himself but life keeps getting in the way.

Along the way, he helps neighbours with their parking problems, DIY disasters and ferrying them back and forth to the hospital. Ove even hits a clown on one of his adventures and somehow inherits a cat who becomes his shadow, watching Ove and his failed attempts at suicide.

Fredrik Backman's novel, A Man Called Ove, may sound like a depressing read about being old but this is actually a comic story about friendships, growing old, and the need for community.

The old man next door isn't mister average but Ove doesn't want a fuss especially after he rescuses a man from the train tracks. He tries to avoid the journalist who wants to write an article about him. If anything his stubbornness is making him more appealing to his neighbours and the journalist. This book will have you laughing at Ove's antics and his misadventures. We can all relate to wanting to be left alone to be miserable and we all know that it never happens.

This is one of those books that will get lots of book groups nattering about the issues surrounding elderly care - especially the question of when should the state step in and assist - and who has the ultimate responsibility.

By the last page you'll be warming your heart to Ove and his grumpiness, and maybe stepping outside your front door to hug the next elderly person you see walking past.

A Man Called Ove can be purchased from your favourite bookshop.

I was sent a copy via Bookbridgr. 

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