Last week I read "Kafka On the Shore" and totally totally fell in love with Mr. Nakata and thought that he is going to be one of my favorite fictional character for a long long time to come and then I read "A Man Called Ove" this week and now I am in a dilemma to who to chose as my favorite between Mr. Nakata and totally awesome "Ove". This book and the story is simply "Wow"stuff, I will run out of adjectives if I start praising it - its indeed that good. I have seen the movie a couple of months back as a part of my "Academy Fever" and saw this one in "Foreign Language Film" even that was too good but the book of-course takes the whole thing couple of notches ahead as has been the case always with adaptations. But the casting of the movie is too good and totally apt - I can say this now with no doubt as I just finished the book against my wishes :(. This became one of those very few books which I never wanted to end, unfortunately (or say fortunately) its just unputdownable and I tried stretching it as much as I could but finally finished in a weeks time - last part I read on my way from Mumbai to Pune this weekend. Terrific book and an amazing story.
I just cant not quote the blurb on the back of the book which describes it perfectly without any spoilers: "Ove is 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.” However, 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 Ove likes, dislikes, loves, hates and does plus his antics make up for a lovably hilarious story - it made me grin from ear to ear with people around me wondering what I was reading which was so amusing - I wish they knew "Ove". He hates people driving Audi's and BMW's and lets not even talk about people who drive a Hyundai :D - if you have read the book and know Ove - I am sure you will agree. Every-time I will step now into my car - Ove will come to my mind and I will think - what he would say about my car - I am glad there is no mention of Suzuki in his story - he doesn't even spare Toyota either but I guess was a bit fine with that. Also, I wonder how to get a "Saab" in India - the car that the "Real Men" drive as per Ove :).
There is no way that one wont fall in love with Ove. His life situations at times are hilarious but at other times makes one emotional - there is so much happening with him. It has an amazing start - totally loved the way he visits his wife, talks to her, have his own understanding as how she will react to different situations and he exactly does what she would have asked him to do :) - I guess Ove is such a hardcore romantic. How his life was before Sonja's arrival and how it all changes and becomes colorful is simply too good. Also the tragedy, life ahead and how he takes it. Arrival of new neighbors, his relations with older one's, differences with his best friend and how they work it out is such a nice read. Also, I realized this is one that can be re-read a couple of times without any issues - even if one knows how it ends it still will make up for a perfect book to be read again and again. I am definitely up for a second read soon, no doubts on that. And guess I will watch the movie again too now that I have read the book and will see how good it holds.
Fredrik Backman has written the whole book in such a terrific way especially from the point of view of the man in title that it is indeed hilarious. I totally loved those sentences, big ones, smaller ones and even one worded ones :) simply too good. They actually draw the reader too close to the character and work big time. If you have read the book and loved it the way I did - I am sure you will agree and guess I will be on the lookout for his other work - I believe he wrote one on a Woman similar to Ove :) - I need to get it ASAP now and read it. Do let me know how you liked this one and if you haven't read - you have no idea what you have missed - go grab it today and enjoy. Fall in love with Ove. Do not miss it at any cost.