Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

A Man called Ove

35 Comments

I read the book in the summer of 2016. It remains one of my favorite books, though now in 2022 I remember the feelings I had reading it more than the details of the story itself.

Just this week, while noting the buzz about the new Tom Hanks movie, I learned there had been a movie made in Sweden based on the book, back in 2016, and that that version is available through Amazon Prime right now.

We have Amazon Prime.

But before I get ahead of myself, here’s the review I wrote after reading this lovely book six years ago:

I loved it. Every bit of it, and especially the crotchety old man Ove. Little by little, baby step by baby step the author explains why Ove is as he is by revealing bits of his past. His relationship with his parents. His love for his wife. The bits of drama and tragedy that shaped him. He is sullen and moody and angry but all of that seems reasonable in an unreasonable sort of way.

I can’t tell you more or it would spoil it for you. Just know that under that gruff exterior is a gentle and loving man who just didn’t know what to do with himself until a crazy neighbor moved into his neighborhood.

The writing is gentle and profound and simple and true.

“And 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.”

“It is difficult to admit that one is wrong. Particularly when one has been wrong for a very long time.”

“But we are always optimists when it comes to time; we think there will be time to do things with other people. And time to say things to them.”

I didn’t want this one to end. But I knew it had to…everything does, and Ove had been trying to end things for a very long time. It’s just that the neighbors interfered with his plans, and in the process gave him a reason to postpone the inevitable.

Ove had a heart that was too large. You’d never know it when you first met him. But if you let him in you’d know that truth for sure.

So anyway, with vague memories of a book I loved, my husband and I sat down last night to watch the original movie complete with English subtitles. Some small bits I didn’t remember, but the gist was all there. I remember sighing with tears in my eyes at the end of the book. The tears were running down my face at the end of the movie.

I knew it would be that way…but I was surprised about why my eyes filled with tears. It wasn’t the ending, which I knew, but the fact that I suddenly saw my own parents in Ove and his wife, and I truly, madly, hope that what I saw at the end of the movie is true.

But I can’t tell you what that is, because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

I’ll probably go see the Hanks version, set in the US instead of Sweden. No need for subtitles. I’ll probably enjoy it, maybe even love it. But I doubt it will pack the emotional punch I experienced last night.

Because when you’re expecting it, it’s just not the same.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

35 thoughts on “A Man called Ove

  1. Dawn–this is such a beautiful review. We don’t have Amazon Prime, but I am going to find this book–I love it already.

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  2. I read the book, watched the Swedish version awhile ago and yesterday we went to the new movie. I ugly cried almost all the way through it. I was already in a “blue mood” but this movie was just so…..emotional. So well written, so well acted, and the characters were just as I had imagined them when I read the original book. It really is a gift. I would love to hear what you think after you see it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I read the book and loved it. I’ll check Prime for the Swedish movie, then wait for the Tom Hanks version to be available via streaming. I don’t really do theaters anymore.

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  4. I’ve read this book. It’s a tale that I recall often. ❤

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  5. Dawn, It was a wonderful movie. I cried. My wife, daughter, and I went to see it after dinner last night. It was our last night to hang out as a family before she headed back to MSU. I have ordered the book via Amazon and it arrives tomorrow and I am not sure about the movie on Amazon prime, I’ll wait to watch the movie after I finish the book and with the read I read books these days, it might be a while! Stay well. Peace.

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  6. Sounds wonderful — thanks for the review. I’ll have to check it out!

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  7. I read this book a few months ago and I am so with you in that I didn’t want it to end. It was beautifully written. I was told to not bother with the movie because it was shite. Now that you have watched it and loved it, I am reserving judgment and shall watch it. And I will definitely watch the American version because, let’s face it, Tom? He will do it justice. So what they call him Otto instead of Ove… From the commercials, they seem to have followed the story anyway. Looks like my movie for tomorrow is determined!

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  8. Isn’t wonderful to be profoundly moved by a movie or a book? It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, what an unforgettable experience.

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  9. I’ve watched the Swedish version quite a while ago and loved it. The book is one of my all time favorites and as soon as I saw the Tom Hanks version I knew I had to see it. Chris and I both thoroughly enjoyed the modern version— the acting was amazing especially by the character Marisol (neighbor). I would highly recommend it but take Kleenex. I did the ugly cry….

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    • I will definitely take Kleenex. Your original comment ended up in spam somehow…but I got it out of there, and posted it. Have a wonderful week, Beth Ann! Maybe you’ll get some sun. We haven’t had any in weeks. So if you see it, send it on up here!

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s that funny? I have one commenter that I always have to approve or check spam and she comments all the time! Feel free to delete extra comment! Sun is out today— happy to share!

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  10. What a beautiful review, Dawn. I have not read the book (it’s on my reading list — maybe I should bump it up), but did see the movie (the Swedish version). I loved it. I’m not sure I want to see the Tom Hanks version, afraid that an Americanized version might have ruined the best parts (we sometimes have a way of doing that). Let me know if you do see it.

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    • Yes, I think you should read the book, though if you saw the Swedish version of the movie, it’s very close…so maybe you don’t have to read it. I understand what you mean about the American version…I’m a little bit unsure myself, but will probably go.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Can you believe I haven’t read the book yet? Haven’t seen a movie in many months, either. Do you think I’m living in a bubble? Your book and film reviews, in any case, are very compelling.

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  12. I have seen the previews for Tom Hank in A Man Called Otto but that is all I know. I am probably the last one to see anything as I wait for the DVD to come to the public library ~only rabbit ear television here. My Wills is still trucking along, he cannot see much but he knows when I tap my foot there is a treat for him on the floor by my foot. He wear his nappie with grace and still carries his stuffie around. Thirteen and a half years we have had each other. Thank You for continuing to think of us Dawn.
    Sweet William The Scot & Lee

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you’re still together. He’s a sweet boy. I’m sure the American version will be on a DVD at the library sooner or later. Please give Sweet William a kiss on the head from me and from Angel Katie-girl.

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  13. I loved this book, too! Tom Hanks is so good in everything he does, I’m sure he’ll do justice to the character.

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  14. Someone (don’t remember who) said something similar about teaching… the kids won’t remember what you taught them, but they will remember how you made them feel. I never made the correlation with authors/books, but it is so true!

    Loved the book, and looking forward to seeing the movie. Tom Hanks never disappoints.

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  15. I’m catching up on some posts I missed while away. I LOVED this book! It’s one of those books that just stays with you. So heart-warming and thought-provoking at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I didn’t know there was a movie or two…I loved the book. My husband and I listened to it together:)

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