Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He isn't as young as he used to be. He drives a Saab. He points at people he doesn't like the look of. He is described by those around his as 'the neighbour from hell'.Every morning he makes his inspection rounds of the local streets. He moves bicycles and checks the contents of recycling bins, even though it's been years since he was fired as Chairman of the Residents' Association in a vicious 'coup d'état'.
But behind the surly pedant there is a story, and a sadness. And when on a November morning his new (foreign) neighbours in the terraced house opposite accidentally flatten Ove's letterbox, it sets off a comical and heart-warming tale of unexpected friendship which will change one man - and one community - from their very foundations. Quirky and bittersweet, heartbreaking yet outrageously funny, A Man Called Ove is a life-affirming fable for our times.
©2014 Fredrik Backman (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
Wonderful book and beautifully narrated. So many beautiful moments - full of pathos and understated emotion. Want to read it again as I'm sure I'd get something different out of it with each reading. Made me laugh and cry
This is a story about a lovely man called Ove who would prefer to be left alone to get on with the things he wants to do, but circumstances occur to stop him and as he gets more involved in other peoples lives his story unfolds, this is not a sad book in fact in places its very funny, but it could be based on anybody life and how we see our selves as being alone when in fact we are not, we are surrounded by people and the Cat, you will love the cat.
This is a very good book and I throughly recommend it.
Much like the people who interact with Ove (pronounced Oo-vah) I have a love-hate relationship with him. The opening pages firmly establish him as an impatient curmudgeon at odds with this modern digital world. His feisty exchange with the young computer salesman sold me and I purchased the audio book (not sure why, but I would've preferred a male narrator- it might have given more authenticity to an grumpy old man story). I thought I would enjoy his clever angst. Sadly, his angry-at-everything personality really grated on me. For the first half of the book I disliked Ove and his unrelenting negativity. I'm all for railing against the stupidity of this modern world, but he got grumpy at EVERYONE for any little thing. He was an uptight stickler. It's only when the story delves in his past that he can be viewed with more affection and understanding. He hates the world because he no longer feels he is apart of it. Loneliness has made him hard and once you understand that, he is likeable and sympathetic. His little friendship with the neighbour's daughter in the latter part of the story is genuinely endearing.
I agree with reviewers who have mentioned that the characters and storylines are simplistic and unrealistic. To me, the author writes with the tone and rhythm of a fable and so the simple narrative is fine in that context. I liked Ova and his neighbours, but not initially. A lot of them are annoying or too one-dimensional to be truly engaging. However, by the book's end I was accustomed to their world and was sad to say goodbye. It's an imperfect novel but enjoyable nonetheless. What I appreciate about this book is that it's a timely reminder that the elderly aren't treated particularly well. A Man Called Ove gives this largely invisible demographic visibility, empathy and a voice. Read the book, then go give your grandparents a visit. They might need it more than you know.
Such a lovely story, written so beautifully as it unpacks life's difficulties with such humour. At its ending, I felt I was all the better for reading it. Highly, highly recommended!
"5 Stars is not enough"
This is one of those rare books you wish would never come to an end. I loved it and will recommend it unhesitatingly. Joan Walker did a fabulous job. I look forward to more from Fredrik Backman.
Yes. It was one of those books that I never wanted to finish. And when finished, I missed Ove and knew it would be hard to find a book I enjoyed as much.
Ove is a composite of people we all have known. He is an ethical curmudgeon but we are ever hopeful for some sign of compassion from him.
No, but I will now look for other books she narrates. She has become one of my favorite narrators.
Pavana would be an interesting character to have dinner with.
I listened to this book as I walked in the morning. There were times I laughed aloud and a couple times when I was teary-eyed. When I got home, after my walks, my husband would ask, "So, what's new with Ove today?"
"Fantastic little story"
This was such a pleasant listen. Love the story. The voice actor was perfect and brought the character and events to life.
excellent excellent wonderful great moving sensible a read a must never put down very good
If I could, I would give it more than 5 stars in all categories. It's about and old quirky man unwillingly being involved into friendships that ultimately change everything. It's also about his past and how the story of Ove come to be. One moment I was laughing my head off and on the next page the story-line broke my heart and at the end I was bawling. This is one of those books that stay with you long after you've closed it... I wish I knew Ove in real life.
"A wonderful story with amazing characters"
I started to like the character Ove from the very start. It is like the book says: "People like Ove is not made anymore". A lovely story with a good narrater. I highly recommend you to read this and then see the film
"Boring and predictable"
Boring and predictable enough that I couldn't finish it. Narration a bit too over the top. Maybe there's a surprise ending that makes it worth it? If so I didn't get that far. Sorry to the author but this one just wasn't for me. Tried twice and gave up in exasperation. Perhaps I'm just as old and quirky as Ove....
"One of the best books I've read"
I had high hopes for this book and it definitely did not disappoint. This is one of the sweetest and most beautiful story on love, family, friendship and learning to not judge a book by its cover. It will be worth every minute of your time!
"A Well Written Excellent Story"
This was a beautiful story about A Man Called Ove. I don't want to give any spoilers but it was well written, had an interesting story line and well developed characters. It was delightful.
This is a fantastic book. I laugh I cried and I wish it never finish .
"All you need is Ove"
Ove is one of those characters you wish existed in real life. This is one of those books that you want to never end. Highly recommended if you want to read something funny, sad but most of all uplifting.
"BEST BOOK EVER!!!!"
Fantastic characters, well written, heartwarming story. Stick with the first few chapters as I wasn't sure if it was "my thing" but I loved it!!
"Want to recommend to everyone!"
Joan Walker's performance compliments the style of the book perfectly.
Loved the way the author slowly builds the character of Ove up. Opening up his story gradually so he becomes less of the "grumpy old man" and into the neighbor you'd love to have
This is first of Joan Walker's performances I've heard but think she done an amazing job narrating this book and her style reminds me very much of Victoria Wood.
This book will delight and surprise you. Guaranteed.
"Ove's grumpiness becomes loveable"
Ove ( aka señor Saab) makes me laugh from the start. At first he's just funny. I know grumpy old men like him - mentioning no names.
But then gradually I become privy to Ove's personal history and his character and his values. And so I start to understand him, and even agree with and - dare I say - respect his crankiness!
And even as someone who is not remotely interested in cars, I was fascinated to learn that there are differences (but acceptable differences) between a man who drives a Saab and a man who drives a Volvo. But BMW? How very dare you? And let's not even mention Renault.
I laughed out loud. I felt for him. I cried.
Ove doesn't compromise his principles - no matter what happens, he follows the rules. On Ove's watch, no car is allowed to enter the residential area - even if it is an ambulance. And even if it is coming for him.
The story of Ove has been compared to Allan's in The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. But Ove and Allan are completely different. The characters are both Swedish. Yes. And the structures of their stories rely heavily on flashbacks to help us understand them - because they are both older main characters, I suppose. But Allan is the opposite of Ove. He seems to saunter through life without a care in the world. Ove is annoyed about everything! His story remains down to earth and tugs at the heartstrings.
"Narrator a little robotic ."
it had some very endearing moments. Loved the premise but got bored throughout and didn't feel any of the characters came alive.
Haven't read anything to compare. All of human life is here, brilliantly described and read.
No but I will be looking for more now.
I have enjoyed this book as much as any other I have read. I know these people in fact I'm married to one. Human nature is so well portraid and the amusing side of life brought out to keep us smiling.
"A wonderful. heartwarming, funny book"
I heard about this on the radio, and when I started listening, I thought I'd made a mistake. Ove is cranky. He is difficult. But listen a little longer, and you can't help but get engrossed in his life, the people he "adopts" (whether they want to be adopted or not), his relationship with his wife (so sad) and so much more.
This is a story about a man living to die, to join his wife, but he just can't seem to get around to dying, thanks to all the weird and wonderful people who come into his life, usually unexpectedly.
I loved this so much that I bought 7 copies for friends and family.
From a narration point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book (important for me as I know only too well how an unappealing narrator can ruin an otherwise good book).
"Brilliant, funny, sad"
at the top.
All the characters are well drawn but with such a lightness of touch. This book can wring so many emotions out of you without ever being cloying..
"I am married to Ove"
I feel like I am married to a man like Ove. Angry choleric on the outside, soft and terribly romantic on the inside.
Lovely and heart warming story about a man who after his wife's death, struggles to find a reason to live other than keeping the order in his housing community and having to help his useless new neighbours.
The character of Ove is being uncovered in small steps, while the story of his past and presence unfolds.
Nice Sunday listen
"For fans of the 100-Year-Old-Man and Harold Fry"
'A Man Called Ove' is another one of those The-Unlikely-Pilgrimage-of-Harold-Fry, The-Hundred-Year-Old-Man-Who-Climbed-Out-of-the-Window-and-Disappeared and The-Universe-Versus-Alex-Woods-books which are really easy to listen to, humorous, sometimes uplifting and make you think about life a little more. The lesson to learn from Ove's life is that humans are not always as they seem to be on the outside. Ove might give the impression to be a grumpy old man, but you can't dislike him. Behind his moody facade there's a man whom it might take a little while to let people into his heart, but who's also going to be a friend for life once he did.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.