Seldom do I change my tune about a book. My initial reading of Ove left me cold; basically, the utilitarian style annoyed me. I found the writing rigid , lacking rhythm or any sort of dynamic variety. Also, the story relies heavily on flashbacks, a technique I don't care for in movies and find it equally as distracting in novels.
When our book group chose toe read this book, I decided to concentrate on the character rather than the trapping, and guess what? I am enjoying the story of the ersatz crabby old man. If you're a fan of PBS's Doc Martin, you have a pretty good idea of what Ove is like. His straight forward manner borders on bully behavior, but (gotta admit it) those flashbacks inject information about how and why he honestly came by his ways.
Ove is frustrated by planned obsolescence, over-specialization and technology. He believes that people should own and do "just enough." Any more than that complicates one's life.
A point comes in Ove's life where we begin to see him loosen up. He shares more. He is quicker to react and to reach out. At that some point, the pace of the writing quickens, making this a more enjoyable read for me than it was in the first 100 or so pages. The author sprinkles the story with clever lines - mainly in meta type unspoken thoughts seen through the eyes of an omniscient narrator. And there's symbolism in the most unexpected forms - a cat and a pregnant woman.
About 150 pages to go. With Heart-A-Rama getting closer, I'm not sure how consistently I will be posting but stop back anyway.
Chatter - on Friday night my friend, Mary, and I took a risk and went to one of the painting with wine sessions. OK - we didn't paint with wine, we were offered wine while we painted. The facilitator, Amy Zander, was knowledgeable and patient. She had us paint a Kandinsky inspired work. Of the twenty plus people there, I'd say about five pieces were quite impressive, including Mary's. We were pleasantly surprised to find Angie, another book club member there painting as well. We always knew that Angie has art in her soul, and her painting rocked. Mine will not be hanging in a gallery anytime soon. But, it was fun, and - watch out Amy- I might be coming back!
Thanks for stopping by