For the month of February my book club decided to read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Last night we met up at a local beer brewery/bar/restaurant to discuss it. Of the eleven of us that showed up, everyone liked it and several of us (myself included) absolutely loved it.
Ove is a fifty-nine year old man who is bitter, curmudgeonly, sarcastic, socially inept, and at at times hysterically funny. From the very first chapter ("A Man Called Ove Buys a Computer Which is Not a Computer") when Ove doesn't understand how an ipad works, and so lashes out at the poor kid who happens to be waiting on him in the Apple store, I found myself laughing out loud at Ove's furious tirades against the world. He's set in his ways, and quick to call anyone an idiot who doesn't do things "properly". Modern society is a disappointment to him, as are most things. He's the classic grumpy old man that we can all relate to.
A Pregnant Foreign Woman (how Ove thinks of her) named Parvaneh moves in next door with her husband and two children, and somehow she and her small daughters take a shine to the irritable and deeply unhappy man. It's quickly obvious that Ove is going to have a heart of gold beneath his hard exterior, but the author is skillful in revealing both his backstory and his developing relationship with the family bit by bit in beautifully written vignettes.
The chapters have the best names, too, like "A Man Called Ove Does Not Pay A Three-Kronor Surcharge", "A Man Called Ove and a Lot Of Bastards Sticking Their Noses In", and "A Man Called Ove and a Brat Who Draws in Color". This book made me laugh and cry several times, and that's a rare feat in any book for me! Several other members of my book club felt the same way about it. My Goodreads rating is 4+ out of 5 stars.
I highly recommend A Man Called Ove to all my avid reader friends!