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A Man Called Ove

Narrated by: Joan Walker
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (741 ratings)

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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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great book!

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



3 of 3 people found this review 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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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delightful

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

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Beautifully moving 😊

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

1 of 1 people found this review 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 of 2 people found this review 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 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-07-2019

By far the best audiobook!!!

This storie is literally the best book i have ever read/listened too. I made my whole family read it!!!

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  • Jo Fergus
  • 28-03-2019

Heart felt story

I listened to the audio version of this story and it was so well done. Great job by the narrator.

Ove is that grumpy old neighbour that no one really likes in the street. He says what he thinks, obeys every rule in the residents book and tries to make sure everyone else upholds it.

He is nosy and can be over bearing. He is very routined and has little tolerance for the neighbourhood household pets or children.

He cannot comprehend how any young man cannot do simple things like use a screw driver or change the tyre on a car. Incompetence infuriates him.

He is also very lonely :( He is a widow and misses his wife so much. He is basically waiting for the day when he will join her again and the day cannot come soon enough.

Then a family moves into the street everything changes for him. The life skills he has are now needed by those around him. Even though he still grumbles about it. He finds himself doing things he never expected to and even though he won't admit it, almost enjoying himself again.

This was a wonderful heart warming story that I'm sure a lot of people can relate to. Ove will probably remind you of someone you know and it's also a reminder to make friends with your neighbours, you never know how lonely they may be :-)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-03-2019

Fantastic

I really fell in love with this story and the characters. It's one of my favorites now, and I'm jealous of everyone that can start this story from beginning not knowing what adventures lies ahead.

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  • ravi
  • 05-03-2019

loved ove, loved the story, loved the narration

loved ove, loved the story, loved the narration... my first fiction novel... loved it... must read

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-01-2019

Amazing

I loved the book. The story is so mesmerizing that I couldn’t force myself to stop reading.

I fell in love with each and every character from the book ❤️

Absolutely amazing read!

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  • Vassilevskai
  • 27-11-2018

Brilliant read, took me by suprise!

I wanted to read this book for quite some time and when I finally got a chance I am estatic. Brilliant story and brilliant performance. Small thing makes this book great and you can instantly fell in love in all characters. This book really stands out among most novel I came to recently.

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  • Carissa
  • 26-11-2018

Couldn’t stop listening

One of the best books and performance, I’m now trying to get access to the movie. I loved it, nearly listened to it from whoa to go in one sitting. Told my mum to get it out of the library because I know she would love it too.

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  • ZA_Lizzy
  • 09-11-2018

Funny and heartwarming!

Had a long drive from Missouri to Ohio and Ove kept me entertained for the whole 9 hours! What a beautiful story. Loved his dry sense of humor.

Had tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat a couple of times.

Thank you for an amazing story Frederick. Two thumbs up!!

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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.

20 of 21 people found this review 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!!

18 of 20 people found this review 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.

8 of 9 people found this review 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.

7 of 8 people found this review 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.

6 of 7 people found this review 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).

9 of 11 people found this review 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..

5 of 6 people found this review 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 of 14 people found this review 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 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Marie Layton
  • 09-06-2018

Touching story but irritating narrator

The story is very touching and life affirming but the narrator became very irritating; especially when attempting children’s voices.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful