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A Man Called Ove Audiobook

A Man Called Ove

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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (142 )
5 star
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4.5 (131 )
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4.5 (129 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Anne 11/01/2015
    Anne 11/01/2015
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    "Best book i've read in a long time!"

    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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne 04/07/2016
    Anne 04/07/2016 Member Since 2014
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    "A very human insight"

    A very human story of a man slightly depressed after his wife's death and how he is saved by unexpected friends and a cat. Very enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 24/05/2016
    Barbara 24/05/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "Great book!"

    I don't often finish a book and want to start again, but I do now!!



    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    patricia 18/04/2016
    patricia 18/04/2016 Member Since 2015
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    "A man called Ove Splendid"

    So sorry to have finished this intriguing book. Would highly recommend. Innovative and funny whilst always engaging.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amelia68 Australia 23/04/2017
    Amelia68 Australia 23/04/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "Utterly delightful"

    What an utterly delightful read! I am very grateful for having stumbled across Shelleyrae’s review of this book on her blog “Book’d Out”, which initially made me put it on my to-read-list. My only regret is not having picked it up a lot sooner! A Man Called Ove is easiest one of the best books I have read all year, and one that will definitely make it on my all-time-favourites list. Told with both humour and wisdom, it follows the story of a 59-year-old Swedish man called Ove, who has recently lost his wife and his job and decided that life is no longer worth living. Always considered a somewhat taciturn and grumpy old man by his neighbours, Ove is sure he won’t be missed by anyone, and makes his plans for a clean exit from this life. But one by one all his plans are foiled by the arrival of new neighbours next door - a pregnant “foreign woman”, her tall lanky husband and their two little girls, who will not accept that Ove wants to be left alone.

    Written with laugh-out-loud humour as well as tender insights into his characters’ lives, Backman instantly drew me into the storyline and made my daily commute richer as I laughed, cried and pondered the meaning of life, love and death with Ove. Very highly recommended. I absolutely adored it!


    PS: whilst Joan Walker does a good job in narrating, I would have preferred a male narrator, seeing that Ove is our central character and the story is told from his perspective. However, this did not spoil the book for me, I just found it a bit odd initially.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn 13/04/2017
    Kathryn 13/04/2017 Member Since 2016
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    "a terrific read"

    loved this! hard to get into it but a gem in the end. really enjoyed this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia McCra Vic 27/03/2017
    Julia McCra Vic 27/03/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "A Man called Ove"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nerys 23/01/2017
    Nerys 23/01/2017 Member Since 2014
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    "A beautiful book. "

    So rare these days to find a book that I wish would never end. Wonderful. Performance by narrator fantastic too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacquie Jackman Australia 29/12/2016
    Jacquie Jackman Australia 29/12/2016 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Reads like a fable, the characters grow on you"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Librarian 06/12/2016
    Librarian 06/12/2016 Member Since 2015
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    206
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    "Unforgettable"

    A beautifully crafted and moving story of a man who wants to die but keeps finding reasons to live. A joy to read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Don L.
    Oregon
    19/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
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    "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.

    Don L.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Judith R King
    La Crescent, MN, US
    14/08/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Perfect book"
    Would you listen to A Man Called Ove again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Joan Walker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will now look for other books she narrates. She has become one of my favorite narrators.


    If you could take any character from A Man Called Ove out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Pavana would be an interesting character to have dinner with.


    Any additional comments?

    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?"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Joseph
    13/03/17
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    "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.

    Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • digeon
    15/02/17
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    "excellent "

    excellent excellent wonderful great moving sensible a read a must never put down very good

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Marge
    31/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Amazing"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mattias
    America
    28/10/16
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    "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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • adnil
    17/10/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • lucy
    17/07/16
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    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jeanette
    Sydney, Australia
    29/04/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Bernard
    23/04/16
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    "Fantastic book"

    This is a fantastic book. I laugh I cried and I wish it never finish .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kaggy
    United Kingdom
    22/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Lynn T.
    19/09/14
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    "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!!

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • john morton
    14/07/14
    Overall
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    Story
    "Want to recommend to everyone!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Man Called Ove the most enjoyable?

    Joan Walker's performance compliments the style of the book perfectly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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


    Have you listened to any of Joan Walker’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    This book will delight and surprise you. Guaranteed.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Kari
    11/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Tara
    7/06/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • glenda
    29/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    What other book might you compare A Man Called Ove to, and why?

    Haven't read anything to compare. All of human life is here, brilliantly described and read.


    Have you listened to any of Joan Walker’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No but I will be looking for more now.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Suzanne
    Innsbruck, Austria
    4/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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).

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • helen
    2/10/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, funny, sad"
    Where does A Man Called Ove rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    at the top.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ove.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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..


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • S. W. Holdings
    St Martin
    21/09/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    London, United Kingdom
    27/07/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "For fans of the 100-Year-Old-Man and Harold Fry"
    Any additional comments?

    '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.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful

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