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Validity Book Review

A Man Called Ove

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Seinfeldia A Man Called Ove By Fredrik Backman Publisher: Simon and Schuster

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ometimes you read a book that makes you want to find everything ever written by the author and read it as quickly as possible. This was precisely my reaction to A Man Called Ove. Ove is the angry old man down the street, the one who patrols the neighborhood and contacts the authorities each time he determines his neighbors have committed the slightest infraction. Ove’s wife has passed away. He still visits her often, and has plans to be with her soon. Unfortunately, an insufferable young couple have moved to

the neighborhood and are insistent on breaking the rules. Ove is not hapBy James Lund py. They want to be friends, but Ove doesn’t want friends. He wants only two things, to be left alone and for everyone to obey the rules. I’ve known a few people like Ove and I like them, they make me laugh. Two of my favorite comedians are Don Rickles and the late Walter Matthau, both of whom perfected the angry old man shtick. Ove reminds me of them, except Ove isn’t using his disdain for humanity for comedic effect, he is serious. As with most curmudgeons, this makes for outstanding comedy. And in the end, we are often surprised to find that their heart is

just as big as ours, if not bigger. Swedish author Fredrik Backman hilariously, yet beautifully, captures the essence of a man born in another age, living a comfortable, regimented life of his own design, only to have it thrown into chaos by the passing of time, new neighbors and the loss of the only person in the world he liked, his wife. A Man Called Ove gives us hope that even a bitter old coot can, under the right circumstances, be the lovable old coot that will make your life richer. I loved this story, and though I will not admit it publicly, I may have finished this book with a tear in my eye. I will tell everyone it was just allergies. Seinfeldia By Jennifer Keishin Armstrong Publisher: Simon and Schuster

It is no secret that I am a fan of ‘80s and ‘90s pop culture. It was a great time for music, movies and television. When Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David convinced network executives to allow them to produce a sitcom about nothing, television was changed forever. Seinfeldia, by Jennifer Armstrong, is an in-depth account of one of the most memorable sitcoms of the 1990s. Armstrong gives us a glimpse behind the scenes with members of the cast and crew, as well as network executives, and explains many of the real life experiences that became our favorite episodes. Seinfeld and David knew the funniest material was most often taken from their own lives. As they mined their experiences, they hired

writers willing to dig into their own past for material. These stories were then fictionalized, to make them

funnier, and became the episodes that, collectively, created what many considered to be a cultural phenomenon. I was shocked at just how many of my favorite episodes were inspired by true events. It’s comforting to learn that other people also have weird lives. I thought I was the only one. Seinfeld altered the sitcom landscape forever. Many industry professionals are indebted to Jerry Seinfeld, Larry David and others who helped make Seinfeld one of the most beloved sitcoms in television history. As the holiday season fast approaches, the Seinfeld fan in your family will appreciate this wonderful book as a gift for Christmas, or Festivus… …for the rest of us, you can find copies of A Man Called Ove and Seinfeldia at The Old Curiosity Book Shop on the square in downtown Columbia, Tennessee, or at Order online at: www.cornerstonehs.com

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Validity Magazine October 2016  

Harvest Time in Wine Country

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