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Book Review - A man called Ove - Fredrik Backman

Updated: Nov 7, 2023




Ove, a man with a strict lifestyle of principle, lived a solitary existence without friends. At his early stage, his mother passed away and he was cultivated with a reserved father, which shaped him into a reticent adult. He tried to suicide many times because of his wife, Sonja who died of cancer. Ove, the main character failed to capture my attention and I found myself overwhelmed by the sense of boredom. Fortunately, I didn't close the book at this time, and this book is more valuable than I think.


Talk about the characteristics of Ove:


He has peculiar lifestyle rules and it is very difficult to break his rules. I don't know if this figure could exist in the real world. His way was like the hands of a clock, always moving in the same direction. But when Sonja came into his life, it seemed to turn into a new chapter. “People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.” Unluckily, the cancer took her away, and he saw no reason and purpose for his life, leading to the decision to end his life. He tried countless times for suicide but failed due to his unwavering commitment to his own rules.


What is the nature of man? It is very hard to define the real man. Many argue that a real man needs to speak less and do more. But, what does “do more" mean? and how much can be considered as “do more". “Do more" means bringing a lot of money to people we love, or willing to hit others who hurt our loved ones. Ove had not only all but also a warm heart.


This part of the book is really interesting. Mr. Ove instructed a neighbor Parvaneh, who is from Iran and pregnant. Although he grumbled at her, he was willing to protect her from a hostile man who was angry with her due to her driving skills. He used violence which made the young guys feel scared and worried but she was not afraid of him. After this problem, she was more confident and felt a loving bond like that of a father and daughter.


I'm not sure what makes his heart feel good. It could be because he lives a strict life and follows certain rules, Sonja has had an impact on him, his father's influence, or a combination of all these. The book shows aspects of Ove's life that relate to our own and teach important lessons. The power of words expresses every stage of Ove's life, and I discover the meaning of life without complex ideas.


As readers flip through the pages, they learn about the significance of love, purpose, and death in human lives. When one experiences the loss of a loved one, they become conscious of the importance of their other living loved ones. When the book is finally closed, all readers are left with a similar feeling of gratitude for life and treasuring the moments with loved ones. It's difficult to put my thoughts into words, so I jot down quotes from the books instead.


“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 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.”


“And time is a curious thing. Most of us only live for the time that lies right ahead of us. A few days, weeks, years. One of the most painful moments in a person's life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. Memories, perhaps.”

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