Sunday, March 5, 2017
A Man Called Ove
2014, Atria Books
Source: E-Galley, My Own Bookshelf
Audience: Adults, Older Teens
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
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.
What a wonderful story with a wonderful translation. I notice translation more than most people because I have been taking classes in Spanish translation, and there was only one part of the book that caused me confusion (one of the characters appeared out of nowhere and that fact was not addressed at all.) Impressive, since virtually every Girl With the Dragon Tattoo book confused me OFTEN.
I really enjoyed Ove as a character, and the writing style made it even better. It had an adult Winnie the Pooh vibe, with Ove being Eeyore. Seeing the new chapter in Ove’s life was fantastic and I was rooting for him the entire book, in spite of his major curmudgeon personality. I enjoyed the book so much that I watched the movie, and while it requires English subtitles, (I know some people hate that) I think everyone would enjoy it.