Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Ove is a curmudgeon--but behind that cranky exterior there is a story--one that Backman tells with such humor and tenderness that I found myself utterly captivated by this sweet and charming book.  Ove has strict routines, committed principles, and a very short fuse.  When a chatty young couple with two young daughters moves into the complex where he lives and accidentally flatten his mailbox, this puts into motion a series of events that allows Backman to tell Ove's story, and tug at our heart strings all along the way.  This book is currently one of Sweden's most popular literary exports since Steig Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo." 

To give you just a brief sample of Backman's lovely writing, here is one of my favorite passages:  "Death is a strange thing.  People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations forthe living.  Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury.  Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis.  Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival.  We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves.  For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by.  And leave us there alone."

This is a wonderful book, well worth your time.  

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