Monday, 30 January 2017

Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman has become extremely popular with many readers.
On a recent trip to Chapters, one of the staff spoke very highly of this author.
I had read "A Man Called Ove" and wasn't impressed, but thought I should give Fredrik Backman a closer look.
He lives in Stockholm, where his books are all number one bestsellers.  His books have been translated into 35 languages! Wow!  He is a popular writer.  
I have written a review here about "A Man Called Ove".

Well, I decided to try this one.  It seems to have two titles- perhaps because it is translated so often.   The other title is: "My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry".
The story is about Granny who reads "quality literature" and relates everything to fairy tales.  Her granddaughter is Elsa, a very precocious 7-year-old.
Page 42: "Having a grandmother is like having an army.  This is a grandchild's ultimate privilege: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details.  Even when you are wrong.  Especially then, in fact."
  I didn't read much further than this because there were descriptions of nearly everyone that lived in their apartment complex.
  Granny is 'unusual' for sure.  And I think that is the appeal of this book.  Not for me.

   Well, here is another unusual character- Britt-Marie.  She is 63 years old and is another 'strange' character.  I felt at first that she was autistic.  She is definitely OCD and socially inappropriate.
  I thought of "The Rosie Project", where the protagonist had Asperger's.  Ron Tillman was certainly more interesting.  I wasn't 'over the moon' about that book either, but I did like it better than this one.  Britt-Marie is just plain rude.  

  This is a very short novella about a boy and his grandfather.  It is popular and took awhile to get a copy from the library.  It is the author's attempt to deal with  the loss of loved ones.
Quote: "Noah holds the old man's hand, the man who  taught him to fish and to never be afraid of big thoughts and to look at the night's sky and understand that it's made of numbers.  Mathematics has blessed the boy in that sense, because he's no longer afraid of the thing almost everyone else is terrified of: infinity."
Poignant.  Short and sentimental.  Snatches of thought.

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