Fredrik Backman’s blockbuster bestselling debut novel is now available in a brand-new recording narrated by Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons! In this “charming debut” (People) from one of Sweden’s most successful authors, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).
It is always interesting to me to hear the answers given by authors when they are asked questions such as........how did you know you wanted to be a writer or author, or how do you begin to construct a new novel? There are many who try their hand at writing, but very few actually become successful authors. Swedish author, Fredrik Backman made a huge leap in changing careers when he became an author after earning a living as a fork lift driver. The two do not appear compatible, but having a blue collar job probably added a degree of realism to the books written by Backman.
Backman is a solid story teller, but does not consider himself to be a good technical writer. He gives credit to his wife and to his publisher and editors for assisting in that department. But, it is the storyline that sells books, not technical writing skills, and Backman has had much success along those lines. His books such as, A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here are published in many different countries, and several different languages. There seems to be a true, honest, humorous tone to each of his books.
Backman has a very easy way of structuring his novels, usually setting the beginning and the ending first, then he is free to fill in the middle with his storytelling ability. For example, Britt-Marie Was Here became a separate novel after she was a seven year old character in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. As he completed that book, he said that it seemed only natural to him that Britt-Marie have her own book. The book follows her as she goes on a quest, gets challenged, meets new friends, overcomes adversity, stands up to injustice, all to eventually learn important facts about herself. He says that writing about this character is like writing about hero types, minus the swords, lasers, and fire-breathing dragons. It is a very interesting way of explaining his concept.
In his newest book, the emphasis will be on ice hockey, for as he says.....I am Swedish, and that's what we do. It will be about a town....not one specific character......and ice hockey will be the center of the story. He says that is all he has as an idea about the book at this point. He sums up his future in writing in this way........ I plan to write until people tell me I can't anymore.