Thursday, 1 October 2015

Book review: "A man called Ove"

Once in a while I read a book that just takes me totally by surprise. One that I can not wait to share with you . One that can not wait for the roughly 3 monthly book post. One that I want to talk about now and am going to ever so subtly push you to read.

I am not sure why we have never read many Scandinavian authors before the recent flood of them. Maybe the publishing world woke up to the wonderful possibilities recently- who knows? The only ones I can remember reading previously was  "Out of Afrca" by the Danish Isak Denissen (or more correctly the Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke ) and the formidable medieval historical trilogy Kristin Lavransdatter  by Norwegian nobel prize winner Sigrid Undset. Somewhere in the 1990's Danish writer Peter Hoeg published the excellent Miss Smillas sense of snow (or feeling for snow depending on the edition) and a few other books. That was it!

Then came the Girl with the dragon tattoo series by the late Swedish author Stieg Larson. (No I have not read book no 4 as yet) Soon some of us discovered Henning Mankell the Swedish crime writer and master suspense writer Norwegian Jo Nesbo. I have enjoyed many hours with the excellent webs of intrigue these two spin. Somehow it seems that the peaceful Scandinavian countries have a love for crime , blood and gore.

Then came the wonderful "The hundred- year -old -man that climbed out of the window and disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson from Sweden. (currently living in Switzerland) and we got a taste for the off beat Scandinavian humour. I totally loved the book and had to read his next one "The girl who saved the king of Sweden" which I possibly loved even more for the way out South African angle. Then last week I read a book which is without a doubt my best Scandinavian find as yet. A formidable accomplishment if you take into account the books mentioned above.

A man called Ove by Fredrik Backman - a Swedish author. It is a book that spoke to me on so many levels and in so many aspects. 

"People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was colour. All the colour he had."

Ove is a slightly odd man - possibly the only real description I can give. But there is something about Ove that you grow to love as the book progress. Once in a while you read a book that you love, totally love but am unable to explain just why you love it so much. This is one of those books. So very well written- totally talking to you emotions. I laughed, I wiped a tear and I increasingly grew very fond of Ove and all the wonderful other characters that populate this book. And absolute must read.

So, have you read it? Will you try it ? And have you read any good books lately?


  1. Ah I took A Man called Ove out of the library but didn't have time to read before returning but Cliff read and enjoyed. I must get it out again. I also have the 100 year old man ready and waiting on my reader, so many books, so little time

  2. Sounds like a read I would totally enjoy. Just a pity I don't have as much time to read like I would want... (Debs, Life with Jamie & Shae)

  3. Ooh, a new author for me to read! I hope my library has this book.

  4. I'm intrigued. Will definitely go get that on my next library visit. Thank you for the recommendation.

  5. I've heard about this on the internets :) A girl wrote a really sweet thing somewhere about it reminding her of her grandfather (who had since died) and how she missed him so much.


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