Considering the apparent popularity of this book, I'm not sure how it escaped my attention or my “to read” list until last year. I wasn't even familiar with Backman until I read Beartown a year ago, but sheesh now I feel like I see this book everywhere. (An upcoming moving with Tom Hanks might be a factor…)
We are offered Ove. He is a character who we probably wouldn't like, and likely would avoid, if we met him in real life. But over the course of a story, Backman gives us sympathy for him, and we find ourselves rooting for him. This is good fiction, doing one of the things I think literature should do best — invite us to be aware of the experience and humanity of others.