In this charming debut ("People") from one of Sweden s most successful authors, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Read more...
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In this charming debut ("People") from one of Sweden s most successful authors, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He s a curmudgeon the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents association to their very foundations.
A feel-good story in the spirit of "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" and "Major Pettigrew s Last Stand," Fredrik Backman s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. If there was an award for Most Charming Book of the Year, this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down ("Booklist," starred review)."
Publishers Weekly Reviews
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2014-05-05
- Reviewer: Staff
In this Swedish bestseller, Ove is a lovably miserable neighborhood curmudgeon—think a cross between Up’s Carl Fredricksen and Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson—who spends his days inspecting his community and criticizing others, judging each by how closely he follows rules and his choice of automobile (Ove cannot reason with BMW drivers). After his handicapped wife dies and he is forced to retire from his job, Ove decides he’s ready to leave the world behind. But every time he tries to off himself, he’s interrupted—first by his new neighbor, the pregnant Parvaneh; then by Parvaneh’s clumsy husband, Patrick; Anita, the wife of Ove’s former best friend; Jimmy, Ove’s overweight neighbor; Adrian, the neighborhood mailman; and finally a mangy feline Ove calls “Cat Annoyance.” Ove continuously pushes his demise from one day to the next, and, as time passes, these characters slowly weave themselves into his life, offering Ove a chance at rebirth. The debut novel from journalist Backman is a fuzzy crowd-pleaser that serves up laughs to accompany a thoughtful reflection on loss and love. Though Ove’s antics occasionally feel repetitive, the author writes with winning charm. (July)