A Man Called Ove – Review

9.6 Best Book I Read So Far


Pass the first 30 pages, you will not be able to put the book down anymore. A brilliantly beautiful story! I almost forget story telling can actually be so sublime! It was heart-warming, funny and gut wrenching, all at once! Although it is about a man who wants to suicide, this book is by no mean a heavy, depressing read. There is a lingering sorrow. But it was carefully kneaded and nearly invisible between the humors. The lightness in Fedrick’s magical writing made the words almost dancing at you.

“And she was color. All the color he had.”

It was easy to see Ove as a grumpy, stupid and stubborn old man. But he was also a man of principle. REAL PRINCIPLE. In his world, there is only black and white. Nothing, absolutely nothing in between. In a sense, he was pure. Even in killing himself, he wanted to leave things in the mostly orderly way possible. His meticulousness could drive the most obsessive perfectionist crazy ten times over. Except his wife, he had no faith in people. A bullying co-worker falsely accused him of stealing, con-man tricked him into buying fake insurance. He looked at his own house burnt down because he didn’t want to sell it. His unborn baby died and his wife paralyzed in a bus accident thanks to a drunk driver. After his wife died, he just wanted to go after her. But his plans always got interrupted. As the story slowly unfolds, it is hard not to have a soft corner for this thorny old man. Ove built fence for people on his vacation, mended neighbors’ heating system, taught friend how to drive, took care of a stray cat. He was making new friends, whom he found very annoying! Yet his new friend was getting good at seeing through Ove’s hardened appearance and find a kind heart within.

He had no friend yet hundreds of them came for his funeral.

I grow with the story. It is tempting to categorize others based on superficial impression. Personalities are too complicated to be judged from a few encounters. By the end of the story, I truly felt for Ove (and yes, very sorry for the iPad salesman at the same time). The world does not make his type anymore. This book is a very plain account of ordinary people’s lives. Every character is like someone just around the corner of the street. Yet the storytelling and character development are extraordinary. There is already a film based on this book. But I think (albeit have not seen the film) that a motion picture just cannot do Federick’s beautiful writing justice. You will lose out so much imagination, and in that imagination process, the connection with the characters.

Highly recommend this easy page turner and I am sure you will be impressed.


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