This was my first Fredrick Backman.
When I first finished this book, I had given it a 3 because the story had felt slow and uninteresting. However, the story has ended up sticking with me which is why I’ve changed my mind and given it a 4.
It really is a sweet novel and it ended up being a little bit of everything — humorous, somber, infuriating, depressing, heartwarming.
Ove is an inflexible old man, dissatisfied with the world and just about every human around him. The definition of senile and curmudgeonly. The man loves to complain about everything, everyone, and stay as isolated as possible. But when a new family moves in across the street, they are determined to wriggle themselves into Ove’s heart.
Ove is a man you want nothing to do with as a reader, which is why I gave it a 3 at first. He’s incredibly annoying to watch interact with other people. He’s grumpy 24/7 and doesn’t want anything to do with anyone but himself. He was had to like, or even relate to. But, eventually, between discovering his upbringing, his struggles, and what really goes on inside his head, you end up sympathizing with him, and wishing you were the one wriggling into his heart.
The writing is wonderful, the characters are wonderful, the plot is wonderful. I came to love this book.
Readers will enjoy watching Ove’s growth and might even end up shedding a few tears near the end as well. I do honestly recommend, and I look forward to more of Backman’s novels as I now have four or five on my TBR:) I would 100% recommend.
Tom Hank’s 2022 film “A Man Called Otto” was SO cute and a great adaptation from the book. He was the perfect grumpy old man and seeing his growth on screen was so precious. I loved it, bawled through it, and would 100% recommend the film as well.
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