368 pages | Washington Square Press | Contemporary | 07/15/2014
Along with Ikea, The Skarsgard family and fish-shaped candy, Fredrik Backman is the newest Swedish export making money moves in the U.S.
Ove is best described in the novel as “a man with his hands perpetually in his pockets”. He is the human equivalent of the Old Man Yells at Cloud meme. At 59-years old he has a fondness for the way things used to be and fights progress with indignation and a solid hurmph. Ove has a plan for what should come next in his life, a plan that gets turned upside down by the boisterous family that moves in next door, a mangy old cat and a community of unlikely neighbors.
Backman writes with a capricious tone with an infinity for in medias res. This book is translated from Swedish and there were only a few times where I felt like something wasn’t translating
I’m not sure what I expected from this book but it as a lot more fun than I was anticipated. Ove truly becomes an endearing figure, and I really like stories that explore life in all its stages a la The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or Big Fish.
A quaint, heartwarming story that is satisfyingly earnest and has universal appeal for fans of contemporary fiction.