About the Book:
A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
What a gem! J.K. Simmons’ narration is the perfect marriage of voice and book. This is the kind of book that should be on everyone’s TBR.
I guess I was one of the few people who hadn’t yet experienced this treasure of a story but when I saw the audiobook version narrated by J.K. Simmons, one of my favorite actors, I immediately downloaded it. This is the rare book that is a combination of dry humor and beautiful sadness. Ove is a grumpy man who lives to chastise his neighbors for parking in the wrong place and who relishes disputes with his one friend. The only light in his life: his beloved wife Sonja, who was as radiant and optimistic as Ove was sullen.
“He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced.”
Ove lived a simple life, the kind of hard-working man who believed that a “job well done is a reward in its own right,” and who had no patience for those who didn’t follow his way of thinking. When new neighbors move in, Ove’s colorless and orderly world is turned upside down.
This story is ultimately joyful and uplifting, and just an absolute pleasure to listen to. Although I’m wary of the upcoming Americanized film called “A Man Called Otto” starring Tom Hanks, I can’t wait to watch the Swedish film adaptation of this book. A must read for all!
“Love is a strange thing. It takes you by surprise.”