A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman | Book Review

Hello Readers! I thought I would mix it up and read fiction this week! We’re discussing A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.

Obviously this book is about an elderly gentleman named Ove and a series of events that unfold after a new family move in next door.

There’s always a story

Backman’s work reminded me that everybody has a story and these relate to the actions people take. The narrative of Ove’s life switches between past and present and provides context for the seemingly ridiculous behavior on behalf of Ove. You realize through the contrasting comical and tragic events that unfold, that life experiences sculpt everything about us.

A time like that comes for every man, when he chooses what sort of man he wants to be. And if you don’t know the story, you don’t know the man.

Love your neighbor

This message was depicted literally and metaphorically. In Backman’s work, we see the relationship between various community members and Ove develop (with varying degrees of success), but none is more symbolic of loving your neighbor than the friendship that blooms between Parvaneh and Ove. The relationship that’s built truly shows you the importance of loving your neighbor even though there are seemingly irreconcilable differences. The juxtaposition of hilarious and heartbreaking moments truly shows you the importance of having people around you that love, support and accept you for who you are.

And then he utters seven words, which Parvaneh will always remember as the loveliest compliment he’ll ever give her. “Because you are not a complete twit.


I love the unique writing style that Backman craftily uses to depict Ove. Backman’s writing is quirky and engaging and manages to balance the love-hate relationship you develop with Ove perfectly. I love how you’re on an emotional journey during which you are frustrated with Ove’s stubbornness, yet over time develop an understanding of what the underlying reason is that drives his behavior.

I also love the transitions between past and present that Backman uses to provide the reader with an understanding of Ove’s background. The constant switching between past and present kept me continuously engaged and always left me wanting more answers.

Ove feels an instinctive skepticism towards all people taller than six feet; the blood can’t quite make it all the way up to the brain.”

Who should read this book?

If you want a roller coaster ride of emotions this book is for you. It will take you through moments of joy and sadness, it’ll make you laugh and cry, happy and sad! It touches on a variety of emotions that make the narrative extremely engaging. If you want to be taken on an emotional journey that highlights the beauty of life, this book is for you.

People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.
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