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).
Someone Like Me centers on Graham Boyce, an FBI agent who is depressed. To lift his spirits, his psychiatrist suggest that he goes out and is social. He goes out, struggles to connect with others. He feels rejected. During that night, he leaves the restaurant for a walk to clear his head. He is being followed and realize with astonishment, that the man that follows him looks familiar to him or, more precisely, that man looks exactly like him. He feels threaten and fears for his life. Against his own best judgment, Boyce decides to follow his double through the night. What happens next is a wonderfully twisted reflection of personality and uniqueness? It is an amazing, brilliant thriller in this haunting tale of appearance versus reality. Greg Bolen described his objectives for the book: “I want to place the reader into the body of Graham Boyce with this book and to make the experience of the reader’s imagination, from beginning to end, an absolutely personal one.”