A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (2015)

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So… I tend to avoid modern books because I tend not to like them so much. But the invitations to book club kept coming, and I noticed this one had been made into a movie. And, well, I’d been a little stumped about what book to read for Amy’s Modern Classics challenge in the “book that’s been made into a movie” category. So there. I killed two birds with one stone. I went to a book club meeting (just in time to make friends and move away! wait…) AND I checked off a book for a reading challenge. 😛

 

All that said, while I never would’ve picked up this book on my own, I heartily enjoyed it. This isn’t the broccoli and kale of reading: it’s a light read, definitely, and it’s not meant to engage deep thoughts. Naw, this is a book for kicking yourself in the feels with. Over and over again. Honestly, I was quite outraged no one had told me I’d signed up to read a tearjerker, when I’ve already been wading through Uncle Tom’s Cabin and The Gulag Archipelago. I’m already reading about serious human suffering… no need to add the mourning of a grumpy old man onto that, right?

But seriously, you start the book rolling your eyes at Ove and thinking, “Wow. Get a load of THAT GUY. What a prude.” And by the end you’re in love with his old curmegeonly ways. Ove is definitely the most memorable character I’ve read in a modern book in a while. I enjoyed reading it.

Now, will it ever be a classic? … No? I don’t think so. It’s one of those books the library buys ten million copies of so everyone can read it the year it comes out, and then they have to make “book club in a bag” with their excess of copies afterward. I don’t know that it’ll last 100 years. I’m undecided if I’d pay a quarter to keep it on my shelf, not because I didn’t love it, but because there are some mature issues made light of inside it, that I’d prefer not to have glossed over like “Of course, it’s okay, only curmudgeons still believe these things.” So anyway. Not a classic. A sweet read anyway.

I’m watching the movie tomorrow at book club. I hope it’s as good as the book!

Jenna

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