A Man Called Ove is a lovely, quiet story about a man who is not very happy. All of his reasons life was enjoyable are gone. But the story is not maudlin, even though some very sad things happen and it deals with some very sad issues. It is kind of a celebration of life, of following through and reaching out before it is too late, and follows a man who on the outside looks and sounds mean but is wonderful inside.
How this book didn’t delve into a sappy, depressing Oprah pick, I don’t know (no dissing on Oprah, but you have to admit she likes them quite emotional and often depressing). Most likely because like Ove, the writing is a little bit spartan. He doesn’t dwell, he moves. He doesn’t bash you over the head, he sets it out there and has slightly humorous things happen at just the right time. Lots of misunderstandings without it being slap-stick. I will admit, I did cry, but I laughed a lot too and smiled hard while reading. You know, that stupid smile you get and everyone wants to know why, but you can’t explain it without sounding like a maniac? That smile.
Ove is a man who wonders why joggers have to be so pretentious and dress like they are gymnasts just to shuffle down the street. He looks beyond the facade and expects those around him to do the same. Or doesn’t care much what you think, actually. He is a force of nature, yet can be predictable as clockwork.
It was a lovely story, my bookclub is reading it right now and I hope they enjoy it too. I can’t wait to get my hands on My Grandmother Wants to Say She’s Sorry. That also sounds amazing. 5 stars. 🙂