Novel: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrick Backman
Source: OC Public Library
This novel has made to the list of my favorite novels. I just finished listening to it on my iPhone. Here is the review for this one.
The audiobook is by Dreamscape Media, LLC. Like “The Girl On The Train“, I was waiting for this novel since December. The audiobook gets 5/5. George Newbern, the narrator gives full justice to Ove. His voice brings out the emotions of characters effortlessly. I am still new to listening audiobooks. But from my limited experience, I know that not all narrators give you the same experience like you yourself are reading the book. His narration made me feel that way.
A Man Called Ove is the story of an old man Ove, who loses his wife. Soon, he even loses his job. Ove acts as unsociable, complaining and uncompromising. But on the inside, he is generous and helpful. He is a self-sufficient man and expects others to be the same. And so he grumbles when he sees young people not able to do simple daily tasks such as repairing the furniture or parking a car. He will help them, but only after ridiculing them.
His love for his wife is obvious throughout the novel. When Sonja becomes a cripple after an accident, he doesn’t give up on her. Instead, brings her back to their home against the suggestions of doctors and nurses. Then rebuilds the kitchen for her. Even builds a ramp in the school where she works when the authorities refuse to do it. And never complains because he couldn’t imagine living without her. His Sonja was still the same, her handicap doesn’t change her.
They became the strength for each other and never even once thought of giving up. For Ove, Sonja was his miracle, the color in his black and white life. When she is no more, he wants to kill himself to be with her.
Life, on the other hand, has a different plan for him. That plan comes in the form of a pregnant lady and her family as his neighbors. And then the following sequence of events change the course of his life forever.
What do I take away from the novel?
Never give up so easily. Ove fought with all the authorities over and over again for what was right. He failed repeatedly but that didn’t stop him from fighting for his friend in the end.
Help others because by doing this you are actually helping yourself. Even take help from others if needed. Ove alone was not able to save Rune, but with the help from all his neighbors, he succeeded.
We are different. Some love chocolate ice cream while others vanilla. We must respect these differences and work together. Not fight because the other fellow doesn’t love the same flavor. Suppose if we fight even after that, then we must not delay reconciliation with that person.
“We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.”
― Fredrik Backman,
This quote about death and fear is another favorite of mine.
“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 for the 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.”
― Fredrik Backman,
This novel is a must read, at least once. I liked it so much that I might read it again.
If you have read this novel, share your thoughts in the comments. Even suggest some similar books to me. Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day. Happy reading!