“How can anyone spend their whole life longing for the day when they become superfluous?”
Incredible portrait of a very credible man. I know him! What can I tell you without giving too much away? A great example of in media res, dropping the reader into the middle of things and letting him sort it out as it zips past him. In the case of Ove, no matter how fast the world zips by, he takes it at a walking pace.
“He’d been a grumpy old man since he started elementary school, they insisted.”
Yeah, it’s PC, but that goes without saying for Right-Thinking people these days. Ove is not an Archie Bunker, however. He’s a finely drawn character.
“It is difficult to admit one is wrong. Particularly when one has been wrong for a very long time.”
Many pithy epigrams; even more signals to stop and consider. Funny, but thought provoking.
“You only need one ray of hope to chase all the shadows away.”
They don’t make men like Ove any more, at least not very many of them. I have had honor of knowing several, one of whom I’m related to.
“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.”
That business about Saabs and Volvos? Absolutely true. It even played out in America in Minnesota and Michigan at one time. (I have owned one of each, which makes me apostate. To be fair, my first example must have been built on Monday morning in Trollhättan.)
“And that laughter of hers, which, for the rest of his life, would make him feel as if someone was running around barefoot on the inside of his breast.”