Spare me the heart of gold and I might consider it.

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The problem with books and films about curmudgeons is that almost inevitably, there must be some form of redemption.

But why can’t we curmudgeons just be ourselves, without conforming to society’s norms about behavior, or even worse, storytelling?

And isn’t it about time someone made dog owners obey the damn rules?


A Swedish Curmudgeon Wins Hearts, On The Page, And Now On Screen, by Lynn Neary (NPR Morning Edition)

 … Ove is the kind of guy most of us try to avoid; he picks fights with storekeepers and prowls his housing complex making sure gates are locked and garbage has been properly stowed. He loves to make sure people are following the rules — especially dog owners.

But it is the gradual unfolding of Ove’s life story that has made the novel by Fredrik Backman so popular. It was already a best-seller in Sweden when it landed on the desk of Peter Borland, editorial director at Atria Books.

“I’d never heard of it, I knew nothing about it,” Borland recalls. He took A Man Called Ove home to read over the weekend and fell in love with the novel.

“Ove is such a curmudgeon at the start of the book,” Borland says. “Then, as you gradually come to understand more about him, and learn his back story and figure out why he is the way he is, you just sort of melt.”

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