A Swedish book about a man called Ove, a grumpy 59-year-old man, an isolated retiree who has his routine and is a stickler for the rules. He has a short fuse. Does not suffer fools gladly and just about everyone is a fool. For example, Ove’s favorite car is a Saab; all other cars are horseshit.
Turns out that he has lovable qualities as well once he starts interacting with his new neighbors, a young family, which isn’t that great for Ove because all he wants to do is die and join his wife. Ove is dealing with grief.
He is old school. He is honor-bound to do the right thing, pissing and moaning the whole time.
It is now an international best seller, but the translated book didn’t take off in the United States. It took six months of word-of-mouth promotion and support from small independent bookstores to land the book on the bestseller lists.
“(Backman) claims he really doesn’t know what makes the book so popular, because “most of the time I have no idea what I’m doing. But I would hope people would respond to Ove because he’s human. He’s a good person, he’s just not very nice all the time. Most people I know are built that way.” – The Daily Beast
“It’s a funny book.” – Charlie Snyder.
And I can relate to the character. My dad was nothing like Ove, but he played the role of the curmudgeon at times. After he died, I had a cousin tell me that he was afraid of my dad. Him? Really? My dad helped everyone out at the senior-living apartments where he lived, but he loved doing that stuff, being useful.
“You will laugh, you will cry, as his heartbreaking story unfolds through the diverse cast of characters that entire his life, all uninvited. You will never look at the grumpy people who come into your life in quite the same way.” – The San Diego Union-Tribune