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Book review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Knowing that the movie based on A Man Called Ove was in the cinemas, I raced to read the novel on my Kindle.

My friends who had already read it told me that if I liked Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, then I would also like Ove.

And there were many similarities between the two books, both centred on a misfit who liked certainties and did not like ambiguity.

Both Eleanor and Over were terrible at small talk, and could seem abrupt to outsiders.

However, the reasons behind this behaviour was quite different, as became clear in A Man Called Ove.

Ove was suffering from the loss of his wife, and of his trust in the goodness of people, especially those wearing suits (in positions of governmental power).

He has had enough of life before some new arrivals in his neighbourhood change his plans of joining his wife in the afterlife.

While I did not like Ove and his constantly grumpy demeanor, I did find this portrayal of a man who had been betrayed by society to be illuminating. I understood why he might feel there were few people he could trust, and enjoyed his quiet kindness to those he did trust.

I was surprised by the ending, but felt that it was satisfying and made sense.

Now, I’m looking forward to heading to the movies to see Tom Hanks play Ove.

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