A MAN CALLED OVE

a-man-called-ove-9781476738024_lg

AUTHOR- FREDRIK BACKMAN

PUBLISHED IN- 2012

PAGES- 352

SPOILERS AHEAD. (Not really, this time)

I had seen this book everywhere. People kept posting about it in Facebook (in groups dedicated to books). A friend of mine had this book and I grabbed my chance to read it.

Basically, an old widower who wanted to die, gets interrupted by people around him and eventually gives up. That is just a plain one line summary of the entire book but it was much more than that line.

Initially, I disliked Ove. He was too nosy, complained about everything and was extremely grumpy. It’s hard to love a character like that. But when you see his background, you completely understand him and why he was the way he was. In a manner, his character was brutally honest and pure heart-ed.

Towards the end of the book, he dies peacefully and I felt my eyes getting all teary. Souls like his are worth shedding a tear or two. But then again, I usually find myself crying by the end of most books.

Since I read this book about a month ago, I don’t remember the finer details. But here are a couple of quotes that I fell in love with.

To love someone is like moving into a house,” Sonja used to say. “At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one’s own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That’s it, all the little secrets that make it your home.

I also recently moved, like about a month ago. The entire time, this very paragraph ran through my mind. It’s true though. Having left my home which I had known from the beginning of my life, it was true that the cracks and crooks had made it home. And to have this analogy with falling in love? It’s bloody brilliant. After the lovey-dovey phase of a relationship, it becomes a real challenge to go on. The same habits which were once appealing become annoying now. I have myself always wondered, how do two people manage to not get bored of each other and live together till ‘death do them apart’.

Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for the living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.

Death is always a fascinating topic, ain’t it? I am afraid that I have always voluntarily found myself in the waiting room.

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

This book has such innocent romantic lines that one can easily miss it out. It’s so subtle that it makes it endearing. So, I can have fun around with colors. I can sketch and paint quite decently. I have always found pleasure in black and white and greys. I seldom use different colors. There is just so much beauty in black and white that I don’t even find the need to go over to the colors. Having stated that, the above quote meant differently for me. My world is monochromatic, shades of black and white spilled brilliantly over everything. Maybe there’s a world full of colors out there but right now, I am content with mine.

P.S: That makes it 15 books for the year 2018. I had read Deception Point by Dan Brown but totally forgot to write about it. I am surprised that I was able to read 15 books. With the kind of crazy year that I had with numerous setbacks; mentally, emotionally and career-wise, it’s good to know that I was able to read something or the other. I honestly don’t care about the number of books but rather the content of it. 2018 was a good year in terms of books. There were some wonderful characters that made my heart swoon. Two of the characters, Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the wind) and Liesel (The book thief) became very dear to me. I often found myself thinking of them as my good old friends. Liesel taught me the love of books. And Scarlett taught me love.

And for that I say, THANK YOU, NEXT.

 

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