I laughed most of the way through this book until the end when I cried like a girlie. I'm not ashamed about that. When somebody has taken so much effort to create a work of artistic genius the least a person should do is respond with the appropriate emotions.
Perhaps the main reason I got so caught up in this novel was the fact that the main character is me. If my wife was to write a biography of me this would pretty much be it, although I'm not a handyman like Ove. His attitude towards the rest of the world and his unstinting rigidity in sticking to what is right and condemning that which is wrong is me all over. Ove is a decent man and in my world that is about the highest accolade a man can receive.
The following review is from The Daily Express:
Ove is fed up. So fed up that he intends to end it all.
His efforts to exit this mortal coil are scuppered time and again, however. For Ove (his name rhymes with mover) is just too useful. Much to his annoyance, he is a man who people come to rely on, even though he makes it clear he is not in the least bit interested in making friends.
His misanthropy is initially very funny. His glass is half empty, people are disappointing, he fights a futile one-man war against traffic offences and he rails against bureaucrats, the "men in white shirts".
There is a sense that Ove is flying the flag for all those who live life fairly and squarely but find themselves beset by injustice and bad luck. He has certainly had his fair share of sadness.
This word-of-mouth bestseller has sold more than 650,000 copies in Sweden and has been a hit across Europe. It deserves to do at least as well here. I loved A Man Called Ove so much that I started to ration how much I read to prolong my time with this cantankerous, low-key, misunderstood man.
Each short chapter of A Man Called Ove could stand alone as a beautifully crafted short story. Bring the chapters together and you have the most uplifting, life-affirming and often comic tale of how kindness, love and happiness can be found in the most unlikely places.
I agree with the reviewer entirely and I would strongly recommend that anyone who has a heart should read it themselves. Alternatively, buy the unabridged audio version read by Joan Walker. She really does bring the beautifully translated tale to life.
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