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June 22, 2024
Literair overzicht

A man named Ovi decides to die: A book about death is not necessarily a tragedy

A man named Ouwei decides to die. This is my favorite book written by my favorite author. The first time I read it was in my undergraduate course, and now it is the fourth time, which still moves me. When you first see this name, many people may think it is a tragedy. However, when you open this book, you will be captured by the warm touch of the author, soaked in the words of gentle healing, crying and laughing for the man, and sad and happy for the man.

The author of this book, Frederick Bachman, is a columnist who is famous for writing novels that heal and warm the heart. His debut film “A Man named Ovi Decides to Die” made him famous, translated into 25 languages and became an international best-seller. In 2015, it was adapted into a film of the same name, and was nominated for the 89th Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. His works include “Grandma’s Apology Letter”, “List Life” and “Bear Town”, each of which is a warm story.

Stubborn Ovi

You just want to sell me a pile of garbage. That’s what you think. ” Ovi would angrily wave what he had dragged from the nearest shelf.

In the first chapter of the book, the first thing you see is a stubborn old man, a stubborn old man who is holding up “being photographed” in the Apple store and arguing with the clerk. The stubborn Ouwei gets up from bed on time every day, makes a cup of coffee, and then goes out to patrol in the community. Although this is not his job, there are always people who can’t see the sign “No Driving in the Community”, or fail to classify the garbage according to the regulations, or fail to place bicycles according to the lines. “If I don’t stand up, the world will be in chaos.” Ouwei’s heart will probably mutter, kicking the three-legged signboard to make sure it is still strong. Every time it is three-legged, no more, no less, no change.

When Ovi was very young, his mother died, leaving only Ovi and his father. Father doesn’t talk much, but he always uses his actions to teach Ouwei the truth of life. Perhaps it is the lack of maternal love. Ouwei has lost his soft side. His life is always full of rules and regulations. He doesn’t want to be broken by uncertain factors. So all the cars he bought in his life are Saab. However, there are always unpleasant things in life, such as the false accusation of losing a favorite job, the fire of a neighbor’s house, the miscarriage of his favorite wife due to a car accident, and the death of cancer.

Ouwei’s ideal life is to work hard, earn his own living, economize and buy the first Saab; Accept education, pass exams, apply for interviews, get decent jobs, be grateful, never get sick, and pay taxes on time; refuse to be contaminated by an evil influence; Encounter a woman and get married; Work hard and get promoted; Buy a new Saab; Go to the bank, borrow a loan with a repayment period of five years, and buy a townhouse that the wife thinks is suitable for raising the next generation; Repayment by installments; scant oneself in food and clothes; Buy a new Saab; Go to the place where foreign music is played in the hotel for a holiday, and drink red wine that my wife thinks is exotic; Then go home and continue to work, take responsibility, support yourself and keep clean.

This is Ovi, a stubborn Ovi, a young man who likes to remain unchanged. But because of a train, a girl, a chance encounter, he had only one color of life, splashed with colorful colors.

“If someone asked, he would say that before her, he had no life. Neither did he.”

Lovely Ovi

People always say that the world in Ovi’s eyes is either black or white, and she is color, all of his colors.

Ouwei has worked on the railway for five years. It is stable, calm, and black or white. But the next morning, he jumped on a train and met her for the first time.

If you believe in fate, then for Ovi, Soya is his destiny. Ouwei, who was supposed to leave work at 6:30 in the morning, returned to the train at a glance at the platform. For her, the unchanging boy took the train for an hour and a half in the opposite direction of home; For her sake, Ovi, who was absolutely honest and did not lie, told a lie; For her sake, Ovi slept on the bench and went home with her after class, and this impulse was three months without hesitation. This girl, named Sawyer, has another identity in the near future, Ovi’s wife.

Suoya is a lively girl who likes to laugh. Her laughter sounds like the sound of champagne foam in Ouwei. She likes to talk, while Ovi likes to be silent. In the eyes of Sawyer’s friends, they are totally incompatible. Ouwei sticks to the time, and even needs to set a precise schedule for travel. Sawyer challenges Ouwei’s bottom line time and time again, making countless people wait for her for a quarter of an hour in his life. Sawyer loves to laugh very much. No matter how life treats her, she always faces her positively, but Ovi is stubborn, irritable and full of resistance. Women around her often remind Suoya that Ouwei was a little old man when she was in junior high school, and Suoya is very beautiful, and suitors can queue up.

But for Sawyer, Ovi was never gloomy, sharp or mean, and instead was cute. He is a man who is willing to repair fences for strangers on the way to travel; He is a man who can build a wheelchair ramp in the school where Suoya works for Suoya who has a car accident; He is the man who can demolish the whole kitchen table and shorten it for Sawyer; He is a man who can resist the whole world for Sawyer. More importantly, Ovi is very similar to Sawyer’s father.

Suoya believes in fate and believes that every path in life will eventually “lead you to the destined destination”. Once upon a time, when she said these things, Ovi would vaguely deal with two sentences and start to screw up, but he never contradicted. For her, it may be “something”, which has nothing to do with him. But for him, it is destined to be “someone”.

For Sawyer, Ovi is very cute.

Ovi decided to die

She died six months ago. However, Ovi still went around all the rooms twice a day, felt the radiators, and saw if she had turned them on quietly.

Some people may say that those who want to leave the world are cowards. On the contrary, the house he built brick by brick was swallowed up by the fire in a flash and did not beat Ou Wei. In the car accident, his wife was disabled and died, and he did not beat Ou Wei. After his wife died, he went to work normally and fulfilled his responsibilities and obligations. In front of the fire, he was brave to save people. When someone fell off the train platform, he was brave to help. When his old friend Rooney was forced to be taken in, he was also brave to fight with the government personnel. But he just can’t face, can’t face a world without a wife, can’t face a world without color, and losing his job is the last straw, let Ovi completely forget, want to leave with his wife.

But the sky always fails. The first time he hanged himself, the rope was broken, he wanted to be poisoned by exhaust gas, but he was dragged to the hospital by his neighbor, he wanted to lie on the track, but he didn’t want to leave a shadow on the newly grown driver boy, he wanted to swallow a gun, but he was interrupted by two visitors, he wanted to take medicine to commit suicide, but he was constantly monitored by the cat… Ouwei’s plans were always interrupted, as if there were days in the dark, which was preventing Ouwei from giving up his life.

The blind stream, the Parvana family, the stray kitten, the IT boy next door, the Rooney family, and the students of Suoya who live across the street, more and more strange factors enter his world and gradually color his dark world. When Parvana’s two daughters were called Grandpa Ovi, Ovi found the meaning of his existence again, repainted the crib he was going to make for his children and gave it to Parvana.

When Parvana asked Ouwei to take her to the hospital for the first time, it happened that Ouwei wanted to commit suicide through exhaust poisoning. Although Ovi tried to hide it, she saw the plastic hose on the ground and the pungent smell in the car, and she faintly guessed Ovi’s idea. When she broke into Ovi’s kitchen and saw the shortened stove and the tire marks on the ground, she understood Ovi’s deep love for Soya. Getting rid of the stray cat raised by Ouwei, disturbing Ouwei again and again for help, and getting rid of Ouwei’s teaching her to drive, are all trying to take Ouwei out of the shadow of his wife’s death. It turned out that she did it.

Ovi is such a stubborn but lovely person. He is 59 years old, with a strange temper, swearing and complaining about everything in life, but unconsciously extending a helping hand when others need help; He abides by various rules and regulations every day, but he will break his principles because of the people he loves. The author introduces Ouwei, who wants to leave the world now, and Ouwei’s experience in the past in the way of interlude. Together, the author forms a vivid character image, which makes readers can’t help liking the old but lovely uncle.

The shaping of other tasks in the book is also very successful, optimistic and cheerful, unable to walk in the face of misfortune, and comforting Ouwei’s “whether busy with survival or death, Ouwei. We must continue to walk”; Parvana, who has a bold disposition and does things in a flamboyant but delicate way; The same stubborn old man Rooney, the caring programmer Jimmy, the student Adrian of Sawyer, and even a stray cat without a piece of hair all have created a very full and complete model, not only marveling at the author’s skill.

Death has always been a heavy topic. Some people fear him, some ignore him, some face him bravely, and some choose to embrace him actively. Everyone has different lives and different stories. No matter what choice they make, as long as they do not violate the principles, they should not be blamed. But when you want to give up the idea of living, you might as well look around. Maybe you are trapped by too many misfortunes and can’t see the beauty around you. As Li Sheng said, “Be happy friends, the world is not worth it”.

At the end of the book, Parvana’s daughter wants a birthday present,

Ovi leaned forward and the girl put her hands together into a funnel and whispered to Ovi’s ear:

“An iPad.”

Ovi’s expression is like what she just said, “one…”.

In fact, it is the best summary of the book. A stubborn old man who once wanted to die found a new meaning and began to accept new things for the girl who called her grandpa.


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