Ove is a man who is set in his ways. He has a routine that he sticks to daily. He is angered by people who pay no heed to the rules. He is grumpy, cantankerous and a right old curmudgeon. He is also a man with more yesterdays than tomorrows.
The thing with Ove is that he dislikes change and all of a sudden everything in his life is changing. He has new interfering neighbours; his working hours have been cut due to his age and he cannot get his head round new fangled technology. Ove is a simple man. However, all the recent changes begin to open him up to a word of possibilities – possibilities that Ove reluctantly begins to accept.
Can Ove open himself up fully to these changes?
I was initially dubious about this book. I saw similarities to Mr Frederickson from Disney’s Up and if I am really honest I saw similarities to my own granddad who spends his days bemoaning that things aren’t like they used to be. It was through these similarities that I really fell in love with Ove. He tried his very hardest to be unlikeable but your just couldn’t help but become enamoured with this unlikely hero.
As a whole, A Man Called Ove tackles the larger issues of loss – loss of loved ones; loss of time and mostly loss of control. Ove strives to right the wrongs that the authorities, his bosses, the man sets for him. As I have said, Ove is a simple man but he knows what it right. And he diligently fights for the right thing throughout the book. You see this grumpy old man open up to the people and possibilities around him and grow; he is warm and loving he just didn’t have a chance to show it.
For anyone unsure about reading this book I would implore you to give it a try. If we are lucky we get to grow old but that doesn’t mean that we become feeble or helpless or unable to make decisions for ourselves. The elderly should be shown compassion and reverence not shot down for being older. This book reminds us to have empathy and respect for those who are older than us. A Man Called Ove – like the older generations around us – should not be ignored. Read this book.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is available now.