Brown Baggers met on October 20 to discuss Fredrik Backman’s wildly popular debut novel A Man Called Ove. The book follows a recently widowed and retired 59-year-old man who is a bit of a curmudgeon while he figures out what to do next with his life. It has sold nearly three million copies worldwide.
Most readers enjoyed Ove and his adventures. While some felt the character was too curmudgeonly, most liked his bad attitude and after a discussion, decided he might fall somewhere on the autism spectrum and be a bit OCD.
Readers thought this book was poignant, and said it had them laughing and crying at the same time — a rare occurrence when reading a novel.
They mused over Sonja’s motivations in marrying such a thorny character as Ove. Maybe she liked how odd he was. But most decided she needed to be needed as completely as Ove needed her. This was also reflected in the career she chose, as a teacher for difficult and special needs children.
The novel skips around in time, but it didn’t bother readers. They enjoyed how the author used this device to set up his big reveals and slowly unfurl Ove’s backstory.
Readers who had seen the movie adaptation felt it was remarkably well done and approved of the casting. News had recently been released that Tom Hanks would play Ove in the American adaptation, which stirred more discussion from the group.
Interview with author
Other works by author
Swedish film adaptation
Other Titles Mentioned:
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
Brown Baggers will meet next on Thursday, November 16th at noon to discuss Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. The following meeting will be on December 21st at noon to select books for the next 12 months. Join us for a holiday potluck and some lively voting.