Nov 25, 2015

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

This was a book suggested to me by one of my surgeon friends. I had never heard of this book or the author before this. I have always believed that there is just a very thin line of difference between a comedy and a tragedy and this book shows that line amazingly well.

Its a sneaky kind of book...it stealthily paws you in the beginning and somewhere near one fourth of the book, you wonder what exactly is it all about. And its then, the book starts gripping you. The author deftly like an expert magician keeps on pulling out one screen after another and shows you entirely different perspectives. Simply superb. Its like a movie unfolded into a web of words.


It brings out myriad emotions in the reader. It makes you laugh and cry at the same time. In fact, one moment I was crying with tears rolling down my cheeks and just as I turned the page I was laughing loudly with tears still in my eyes. Very few authors have this kind of talent to write HUMOUR with a perfect sense of timing, and something POIGNANT without excessive emotional baggage, with as-a-matter-of-fact kind of language, churning the readers' emotions. Reading this book felt like going inside a blanket of fog, wandering inside it initially like a lost soul and then fog lifts layer by layer, exposing the picture in bits and pieces and you come out feeling refreshed. A warm and effortless writing style makes it an enjoyable read.

Some of the lines that remained with me even after putting the book down:
"He was a man of black and white. And she was colour. All the colour he had."
"Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet its often one of the greatest motivations for living."
"This was a world where one became outdated before one's time was up. An entire country standing up and applauding the fact that no one was capable of doing anything properly any more. The unreserved celebration of mediocrity."
"Loving someone is like moving into a new house."
"Something inside a man goes to pieces when he has to bury the only person who ever understood him."
"Time is a curious thing." Most of us only live for the time that lies right ahead of us. A few days, weeks, years. One of the most painful moments in a person's life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. Memories, perhaps."

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