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A Man Called Ove

Narrated by: Joan Walker
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (889 ratings)

Non-member price: $31.21

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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 Ratings

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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

9 people found this helpful

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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.

6 people found this helpful

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Stunning

Totally heartfelt story. I laughed and cried in great measure. Couldn’t recommend more highly ! Love love loved it!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

5 people found this helpful

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Great book!

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



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delightful

delightful both funny and enlightening and emotions. . i felt part of the story. great read

4 people found this helpful

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Poignant or depressing?

I don't usually read this sort of book. However, my daughter suggested try it. Being retired, spending a lot of time fixing cars, making furniture etc, I suppose I have something in common with the lead character. I initially found the book very dark and depressing but gradually got into it. Those familiar with the British series "One foot in the grave" will see similarities, but this has a Scandinavian slant. Very well written and characters are well crafted (I recognise a few of my present and past colleagues!) but not for you if you want to be cheered up.

4 people found this helpful

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lovely story

I bought this to listen to whilst breastfeeding my newborn. I wanted something to listen to that wasn't too heavy and depressing but not silly either. This book was perfect. It is such a lovely story...it had me laughing and crying.

3 people found this helpful

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Definitely one I'd recommend to friends

I have listened to this twice and would happily listen to it again. I loved the way the story slowly unravels and you fall in love.

3 people found this helpful

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  • val
  • 06-02-2018

The hidden truth

This is a beautiful, funny, sad, lovely read of the life of a man that with so much to give but that he wanted to hide. Just shows how we don’t always know everything about people.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautifully moving 😊

Thoroughly enjoyed the tale of Ove.
Funny, heartfelt and moving - from the very first paragraph.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Don L.
  • 19-09-2014

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Judith R King
  • 14-08-2014

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?"

2 people found this helpful

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  • Katrina van Wees
  • 19-04-2020

Excellent listening, heartwarming story!

From start to end a heartwarming story that kept me completely engaged. Joan Walker does an excellent job narrating, her inflection spot on!

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  • Manda
  • 12-04-2020

Achingly Beautiful

I fell in love with Ove as much as Pervana did. Made me cry and laugh at the same time.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-01-2020

What a man!

There's a little bit of Ove in all of us.
He's Relatable. Fantastic Swedish humour.
Heartwarming

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  • Cam
  • 08-01-2020

Beautiful

Beautiful story
Beautifully written
Beautifully narrated
A story I can relate to in more ways than one

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  • Rahul K.
  • 25-11-2019

Wonderful!!

I had read the book and honestly don't know why did i download an audiobook when i knew the story, guess i could not get over "Over"

All i can say, my late night tiring drives back home from work were filled with the voice of Joan narrating this beautiful story. So much so, that i noticed when i intentionally slowed down so as to listen to more and may be finish the chapter!

Thank you.

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  • s janse van rensburg
  • 22-11-2019

An amazing surprise.

I groaned when I started it. But hung onto every word by the end. Loved it

A beautiful story and completely unexpected to enjoy it as much as I did.

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  • Cliente de Amazon
  • 25-10-2019

Provoca reflexión, risas, llanto. Muy recomendable!

Es una historia súper linda, bien contada y excelentemente narrada para el audiolibro. Un libro para ponerse de buenas cuando buscas algo ligero, que te deje con un muy buen sabor de boca.

Excelente narradora, se nota que disfruta de la historia y los personajes, hace diferentes voces, cambia de entonación, enuncia muy bien.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-10-2019

Heart warming book with brilliant humor

At first, narrator being a woman seemed to drop my concentration whenever she spoke Ove's words.
However, either I got used to it or she fell deeply into her roles and being finished, it was awesome.

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  • Kaggy
  • 22-09-2014

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.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Lynn T.
  • 19-09-2014

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!!

22 people found this helpful

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  • Kari
  • 11-11-2014

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.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Suzanne
  • 04-12-2014

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).

11 people found this helpful

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  • john morton
  • 14-07-2014

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • helen
  • 02-10-2014

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..

6 people found this helpful

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  • glenda
  • 29-09-2014

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.

8 people found this helpful

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  • S. W. Holdings
  • 21-09-2014

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

11 people found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 27-07-2014

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • whodathunkit?
  • 20-11-2019

A Friend Called Ove

This book was recommended to me and I can only say thank you. I've had a roller coaster ride of emotions while listening to this. I have laughed out loud at Ove and myself, for those parts of Ove that I recognise in me and probably in all of us. I have also felt Ove's sadness. It shows us that we can never know what a person is struggling with. Loss leaves an empty space; you can fill it with bitterness or maybe, if you let them or if that friend is persistent enough, you can fill it with joy and contentment. With the end of this story I am saying goodbye to characters I'd love to have as friends. Listen to the book. How can you reason with a person who won't listen to this book? You'll get it.

1 person found this helpful