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  • Writer's pictureJoan Fernandez

The Man Called Ove

By Fredrik Backman

Curmudgeonly crank brings good tears.

Oh, don’t you love curmudgeonly cranks with hearts of gold? The angry Ove is brilliantly funny in his quickdraw reactions and excessive rigidity. He’s a man of principle and bemoans others (especially younger generations) who have grown up not knowing how to fix a car engine for instance.

However, Ove is far from being a blindly inflexible grump. Through adept flashbacks we learn about the loss of his parents, the imprint of values given by his good father, the struggles and misfortunes and tragedy that have haunted his footsteps. But, above all, we see how the love of his life, Sonja, is his bright anchor and star and how she influences and understands him.

This setup leads the story straight into the arms of a nutty nest of neighbors and an epic struggle against the “white shirt” nameless bureaucracy. All of this serves to lead Ove forward not exactly out of all his grumpiness but certainly into begrudging acceptance of a little love.

And I cried at the end. A sure sign that THE MAN CALLED OVE is a special read!

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