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
At times I laughed out loud and at others had tears streaming down my cheeks, what a beautiful tale about human relationships and the power of kindness.
If you loved The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, then you will completely adore this book. You can't help but fall in love with every character. I simply don't have words to explain how good it is. I have that bereft feeling you get when you finish a truly amazing story and may have to just start it again from the beginning!
Touching story with characters that will stay with me for a long while. Wry humour and emotional moments entwine. Deft touches by the author reveal the old man's history & explain his present. You can't help but feel affection for Ove as do his neighbours and yes, it did make me cry.
Ove is a grumpy old man. Ove is 59, his wife died 6 months or so ago and he has just been made redundant from his job. Ove wants to die to be with his wife, he has nothing left. Ove lives in a housing complex which has rules which must be followed and they WILL be followed. A family of four with another one on the way move into the vacant house next to his.
Initially Ove comes across as a sad lonely grumpy man who just wants to die. As the story developes and he gets to know Parvana and her family next door who unwittingly thwart a few of his suicide attempts we get to know Ove and the sort of relationship he had with his late wife.
The story goes from past to present to past etc and we get to know Ove and what makes him tick and also his present relationships and gradually he starts to get less grumpy and realises that maybe there is something to live for.
Its a lovely story with what I thought a predictable ending with a bit of a laugh.
The story may be interesting. It had interesting ideas but the swearing is totally unacceptable and uneccesary.
Joan the reader exagerates emphasis in irritating ways.
"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?"
"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 .
"Good way to use a credit"
Ove will make you laugh and cry as he plans to "finish" things. He's grumpy and single-minded about everything but cannot avoid becoming involved with those around him - a stray cat, a pregnant neighbour and old friends. What a delightful man!
I loved this story.
Beautiful story. The character of Ove was so recognizable and her transition so believable.
Enjoyed the narrator.
"Simple and entertaining"
I wasn't too sure about the story line but I took a gamble anyway and purchased it. I am glad I did. The story was sweet and funny and heartbreaking. It was also unique. I loved it and recommend it highly.
A wonderful story. I found the narrator irritating though. I did not feel her interpretation fitted the emotions of the writer.
"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.
It is a really clever story, not complicated but it all fits together so neatly. The characters come alive as the book goes on and I felt really engaged with them.
It reminds me a lot of " the hundred year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared ". The way the story slides between the past and present all centred around a simple male character. To start both characters seemed very "ordinary" but it turns out both were completely extraordinary.
She kept it very simple. Although there were a few character voices in there she didn't overcomplicate things by trying to do lots of impressions. It didn't feel rushed at all.
Both!! I completely fell for Ove - and all of the other characters in the book. The way the relationships developed was beautiful. I was so sad when the book ended, I felt like I was really going to miss them all!
Stick with the first few chapters. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it at all but I now think it is one of the best books I have ever read.
"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.
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.
"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.
"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.
"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
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