Review: Een man die Ove heet, Fredrik Backman

Een man die Ove heet, Fredrik Backman
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him " the bitter neighbor from hell. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents association to their very foundations.

Carl Fredrik Backman was born on the 2nd of June 1981 in Stockholm. He was raised in Helsingborg. He did Religious studies but did not finish and worked as a fork lift driver. When the Helsingborgs Dagblad started a free Xtra Helsingborg Backman applied for a writing job.After a trial period he continued to write columns for the newspaper. He kept a blog about his wedding and about becoming a father.
His debut novel "En man som heter Ove" was released in 2012

This was a book group book. I had never heard of the book but it was compared with "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" which I did enjoy so I was curious.
The first fifty pages gave me a hard time. Ove is a very grumpy man and I was tired of him after about 25 pages. He is simply not a person I can relate to. There did not seem to be any positive thing in his life or he was not able to see. So the rule kicked in... read 100 pages before you put it down.
And I did finish it in the end. I still had a hard time with Ove but the situations happening to him are so ridiculous that I did manage to grin at points. Some of the other characters involved in the story are likable and I totally loved the cat and the dialogue between Ove and the cat (that is if you can call it dialogue). The other reason I did finish the book is because I really enjoyed the writing. Mentioned conversations with the cat really feel like that. The behavior of the neighbors, the children and Ove's reaction to everything feel real even though the situations are over the top.

Een man die Ove heet
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Querido
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 9021447193
ISBN-13: 9789021447193
Original title: En man som heter Ove
Querido: eBook | Paperback
Een man die Ove heet
3 stars

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Ellie M.
AUTHOR
04 April, 2014 delete

Great review! I don't think I've seen this around but it looks intriguing!

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05 April, 2014 delete

Oh it's hard when you just can't connect to the main character. Glad the writing was so great, though!

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leeswammes
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05 April, 2014 delete

I loved this book! i decided that grumpy guy was half an autist and then it was easier to deal with him. I liked all the situations he got into. The translator (to Dutch) is already working on Backman's next book (with a child as the main character). I'm looking forward to it but I promise we won't read it for the book group....

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Isi
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08 April, 2014 delete

Sounds good despite the first pages and the grumpy character :)

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