Day 1103: A Man Called Ove

Cover for A Man Called OveI avoided reading A Man Called Ove for some time, because I had a feeling about what kind of book it would be. But my curiosity won out. Sadly, I was right the first time.

This is another one of those novels I put under the “heartfelt” category. Not that there is anything wrong with something that is truly heartfelt. But I think there is a rash of novels like this lately that manipulate us into sentiment.

Ove is a sad man with many tragedies in his life, which he handles by presenting a curmudgeonly exterior. Most recently, he has been given early retirement six months after his beloved wife Sonja died. He decides his life has no purpose.

The plot of this novel is predictable, as Ove gets pulled out of his self-absorption by the troubles of various neighbors and acquaintances. All of these characters are stick figures, and Ove himself only has two sides to his character. In fact, he is really just a caricature of a grumpy old man, as I can’t imagine there is actually anyone on earth this extreme.

The novel is supposed to be funny, but the humor is forced and cumbersome. And we’re supposed to find it funny that Ove’s repeated attempts at suicide are always interrupted by his neighbors. Ha ha. As you can tell, this one was not for me.

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6 thoughts on “Day 1103: A Man Called Ove

  1. TJ @ MyBookStrings July 7, 2017 / 12:04 pm

    Too bad this book was not for you. I did not mind being manipulated into feeling all the sadness here; I cried for most of the book and loved it. πŸ™‚

  2. Naomi July 10, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    Ha! Your review of this book has me curious about what I’ll think of it when I finally get to it. Most reviews I’ve seen have been positive – I suspect I’ll feel more like TJ. πŸ™‚

    • whatmeread July 10, 2017 / 3:13 pm

      I think I’m changing from what was indifference to a strong dislike to anything with phony sentiment. At least it seemed phony to me, but I can see that it didn’t to others.

  3. Cecilia July 14, 2017 / 11:33 am

    I tend to feel this way about this type of book too (and your review helped confirm whether I should pick this up or not). For example, I didn’t love The Storied Life of AJ Fikry the way many people did.

  4. whatmeread July 14, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    I didn’t love that one, either, but l liked it okay. This one is much worse, I think.

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