Ove is fifty-nine, has just retired without wanting to and since nobody seems to care anymore, watched his neighbourhood to make sure everything goes right. People are just careless like those idiots next door who when moving in not only ignore the sign saying that vehicle are prohibited but also were unable to park their trailer without destroying Ove’s post-box. He is no good with people, his stubborn and know-it-all manner prevent them from coming to close. He himself also has enough of the world and his last with is to die with decency. But his new neighbour is not scared and suddenly his life gets completely out of control.
Fredrik Backman succeeded in writing an outstanding novel which makes the reader laugh and cry, which can surprise and unnerve. His protagonist is a not an easy character to like, indeed, I hated him at the beginning – the typical old chap next door who has got too much time, a control-freak spending his day rebuking everybody. But slowly this picture changes and the more the reader learns about his life, the more he starts to feel affection for him because he is not at all what he seems. It is not the character that changes during the novel, it’s the reader’s attitude which makes Backman’s “A man called Ove” a terrific reading experience.
Conclusion: an exceptional novel with a stunning protagonist who might change the way you see people.