Saturday, October 29, 2016

Big Reads: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove is another What Should I Read Next? recommendation. And boy is it a good one.

I was hesitant to try this book, even with the glowing recommendation on my favorite podcast. After reading the summary, it just didn't seem like something I would like to read. But it was available on audio from the new digital media service my library connected with, Hoopla. I decided to check it out since it was free. If I didn't like it, I definitely didn't have to finish it and I wouldn't be out any money. Very low risk, you see.

Then I started listening to it and I was just not feeling it. It's about a man (called Ove - duh) who is a huge grump. Enormous grump. Utterly insufferable grump. It was... not appealing... to listen to. But then it's revealed that Ove has decided to kill himself, but each attempt keeps getting interrupted by his nosy new neighbors. That's when things got interesting.

Ove, though he remained a huge crumedgeon, drew together an entire neighborhood and made the residents a family. He became an honorary grandfather (the kind that spoils his grandchildren rotten.) He provided a home for an ousted teen. He reunited a father and son. He punched a clown and got kicked out of a hospital. He stood up to the man and won.

A Man Called Ove is a book that will make you laugh on one page (about something completely unfunny, like suicide) and cry on the next (about something that should never make you cry, like an iPad.) And when I reached the end, I was at work, sitting in my office, and I just cried. Like boo-hooed, tears streaming down my face, ugly cried. And there was nothing I could do about it. So if you read A Man Called Ove, and I hope you do, have your tissues ready. Please excuse me while I go read everything Frederik Backman has ever written.

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