A man called Ove is a story of a fifty-nine-year-old angry retiree. The story begins with a conversation describing Oves Struggle while trying to purchase a computer from a young man. Frustrated, he storms out of the store (A Man Called Ove). The narrative applies flashbacks to explain how Ove ended up in these circumstances, and his reason for opting to purchase the computer. Essentially, the narrative discusses a man whose thinking and way of life was different from everyone elses. He had a unique love for numbers and an obsession for orderliness. However, an event which changes his lifestyle, and nearly ending his life happens.
Ove is a simple man whose simple life involves working in a factory. For the more significant part of it, he is content with his life until his wife, Sonja, unfortunately, passes on. As if not enough, a heart condition results in Ove's early retirement. Depressed and with nothing much to live for, Ove contemplates suicide on several occasions, but all attempts are, however, accidentally ruined by animals and other people who seek his help (Toumarkine). Ove is an isolated individual who spends most of his time picking quarrels with his neighbors. He is the kind of neighbor nobody would wish to have. With his strong principles and regulations that only he cares about, he is appointed as chairman of the neighbourhood association but later loses the position to Rune. Despite losing his position, he still moves around ensuring that garbage is disposed correctly, and everybody parks in the right spot.
Behind the heroic protagonist lies a sad and lonely man whose grief is manifested by his frequent visits to the wifes grave. Ove has not had an easy life. His prolonged emotions of grief date back to the death of his mother at six, his upbringing by a strict father, the loss of a child that he and Sonja had longed for, and an accident that left his wife incapacitated. However, his solitary life changes when a Persian family with two daughters moves in next door. By accident, the family interferes with Oves orderly routine by flattening his mailbox. The event ironically results to an unexpected friendship. The couple helps him reconnect with his life by bringing back the long-lost joy (Backman 46). Notably, despite an attack by robbers which nearly takes his life, Ove manages to live a few more years and peacefully dies in his sleep.
A man called Ove is a book worth reading. It is a memorable read which incorporates both heart-breaking and exciting scenarios. The sombre topics somehow are twisted to appear delightfully thrilling. Its ability to invoke human empathy manages to keep the reader glued. More importantly, the book seeks to explain the power of human connection. It emphasizes on looking beyond the unfriendly, hostile, and unlikable nature of people, and, instead, try to bring out the best in them (Backman 89; A Man Called Ove). Ove is the centre of this narrative. In the beginning, he is portrayed as angry and unreachable. However, the author's interesting shifts of flashbacks gradually enables the reader to change the perception initially created. This way, the story gets more fascinating.
The books relatable nature enables the authors to communicate with the reader efficiently. Ove is an aging man bitter with life because he feels that he failed to achieve a number of his goals at an earlier age. Markedly, Backman and Koch explain how frustration can affect the overall life and character of an individual. The narrative invokes the reader to access an Ove in their lives. Additionally, A man called Ove is a perfect illustration of character development. The many instances of miscommunication between the characters is comical, and each one of them touches the reader in a unique way. For instance, Oves personality is unbearable at first. Nonetheless, his integrity, humorous, and realistic nature is charming.
Some aspects of the book become personally intrusive, hence making the book non-recommendable. Ove's dislike for the cat is funny to some readers but annoying to others. He kicks the cat and leaves it to die in a snow bank. Luckily, the neighbor manages to save it. In some instances, Ove's actions are heartless and inconsiderate, thus, a turnoff for most readers. For example, he goes ahead to insinuate that Jimmy let himself grow fat (Backman 103). He further refers to the man as a Quarter-tonner' making the reader interpret it as a general dislike and disrespect for fat people. With such perspectives, most readers are likely to keep off the book
In a nutshell, A man called Ove is a life touching story. Its ability to relate the events of an individuals personal life and the expectations of the society makes it memorable. It enables the reader change perception towards cranky people who come into their lives. Backman and Kotch also portray the extent by which social relationships influence an individuals well-being. All-in-all, the book is one of the most fulfilling, ethical, and fascinating narratives.
"A Man Called Ove." Simonandschuster.com, www.simonandschuster.com/books/A-Man-Called-Ove/Fredrik-Backman/9781476738024. Accessed 26 October 2017.
Backman, Fredrik. A Man Called Ove: A Novel. Washington Square Press, 2015.
Toumarkine, Dorris. A Man Called Ove. Film Journal International, Sep. 2016.
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