Instaread Summary of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Four out of five stars
Ove is an elderly man that lives in a town in Sweden and his beloved wife of many years has recently died of cancer. He also has a heart condition that has forced him to take an early retirement, so he no longer has the distraction of working to take him away from his overwhelming feelings of sorrow and despair.
Ove is a man of routine and organization, so when he makes the decision to kill himself, he first must put all of his affairs in order. For several days, he has worked up a different plan for causing his death, but other things, generally due to someone needing help intervened, convincing Ove that he is too busy to kill himself today.
In a manner similar to the classic movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Ove learns the value he gives to others when they need assistance and eventually he gives up on suicide and concentrates on doing what he can for others. Although he wants to project an image of being a cranky old man, Ove has a heart of gold and demonstrates it while he lives and even after he dies.
This summary is a readable synopsis of what is an old plot reworked in another way. An old man that seemingly has little to live for suddenly discovers that his presence is very important to many others. The best line in the summary appears in the “Author’s style” section.
“A’ Man Called Ove’ is a sweet but not cloying novel that is as charming as it is predictable.”
It was obvious to the reader of the summary that the novel is predictable, well before the appearance of the previous sentence.
Another sentence in the “Author’s style” section states something that was obvious much earlier.
“The story has a certain simplicity that reflects the sensibility of its protagonist.”
From this summary, it is clear that this is a story that is not really all that complicated, having no real surprise plot twists or unexpected conclusions. If you like stories that have a positive feel-good closure, then it is clear that the book being described is one that you will want to read.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.