Swedish Sensation

Refreshing novel causes both consternation and joy.

Fredrik Backman’s debut novel, A Man Called Ove, made me irritated, confused, sad and surprised. I laughed out loud, covered my mouth and stopped reading to let the moment sink in. I cried and learned something about Swedish culture, frustrating government policy and the nature of memory. It’s a quick read, but if you can’t bring yourself to pick up the book, the film version, which played at the Landmark Theatre last fall, is now available online. And yes, it is in Swedish…the subtitles are a humorous revelation on their own.

Backman’s next books, Britt-Marie Was Here and My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry, continue the heartwarming laughter.