January 2019 Book of the Month: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Translation by Henning Koch
Originally Published: August 27, 2012
TW: multiple sucide attempts
Episode Five: A Man Called Ove
[WORDS ABOUT WORDS THEME]
ANNOUNCER: This review is brought to you by Words About Words.
BREE: Thank you for tuning in! Today we will be discussing our first book of 2019, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
TREE: So what where your general thoughts? This had been on my TBR forever and I’m so glad I finally got to read it.
BREE: Same. I think I picked it up in a BookOutlet order like 3 years ago. It’s good to finally cross it off my TBR. But what was something you liked about A Man Called Ove?
TREE: I really enjoyed how we slowly learned about Ove. There was not a singular big reveal about what made him tick. We slowly peel back the layers of what made Ove, Ove and it was fascinating to watch.
BREE: Yeah, I really liked Fredrik Backman’s writing style. His work I’d so well-written and thought-out. My only issue with it was that. Due to it being translated the wording and candace were sometimes off.
TREE: Yeah I am not sure how much of that is due to the translation and how much is due to the writing style itself. I did have a hard time following who was speaking at times and I am not sure if that is just how Germans talk or if that was a stylized choice.
BREE: I noticed that as well. Sometimes the speaker just got lost in the flow. On the other hand though, I thought the cast of characters was diverse and eclectic, and I really enjoyed that.
TREE: The characters were great on so many levels. I could really picture them.
BREE: I do have to say that initially I kind of hated Ove. I mean, in the first few chapters he’s introduced as this grumpy, crotchety old man who is a stickler for rules, and I just wasn’t a fan.
TREE: I definitely think Backman did that on purpose. Everything he said just reminded me of my grandpas and Mr. Fredrickson from the movie Up, which was entertaining. Plus, I guess I sort of knew we were going to grow to love him based on reviews I had seen.
BREE: I mean, I expected a change of heart eventually, but I didn’t think he would be that old man-ish in the beginning, especially since he’s only 59 and not in his 80’s.
TREE: I really expected him to be older than 59 and forgot for most of the novel that he was not in his 70’s.
BREE: Exactly. Ove ended up being much more lovable in the end though, despite his crotchetiness.
TREE: I loved seeing him reluctantly helping everyone. Especially him having to continually drive his neighbors to the hospital.
BREE: Yes! He grumbled so much about it but ended up being a great, reliable guy.
TREE: I did not expect to cry while reading this, but I teared up a few times and then was full on crying at the end. I looked like the crying emoji.
BREE: Same for me. I teared up at least 4 times in the first half of the book.
TREE: Well do you have any other comments before we share our final ratings?
BREE: Nope, I’m good to wrap this up. I really loved this book. It was heartwarming in all the right ways. I was just the right balance of all the things I enjoy in a story.
TREE: I would definitely recommend this to basically anyone and I am looking forward to picking up more of Fredrik Backman’s books. I have heard good things about his other books.
BREE: Yes, me too. Fredrik Backman’s writing is so unique that I can’t wait to see all the other worlds he’d written. Overall, for me, I would say this book was a 4/5 stars.
TREE: I would rate it 4/5 stars too. It was really great, but it wasn’t perfect.
BREE: Okay, well that’s all the time me have for today!
ANNOUNCER: Thanks for tuning in for this review of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.
TREE: Make sure to tune in next month when we review 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne!
BREE: Ahhhh yes! I cannot wait for this book. I am a huge Sally Thorne fan, ever since you got me to read The Hating Game.
TREE: Her debut was phenomenal and I have been waiting for this since I finished The Hating Game.
xoxo, Bree & Tree