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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove (2012)

by Fredrik Backman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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English (248)  German (5)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Piratical (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  All (262)
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
Sentimental garbage. I finished it out of obligation to family members who insisted I give it a chance. Every character is cartoonish. At no point in the novel did I care about the situations or consequences. ( )
  ProfH | Jul 15, 2017 |
I adored this story of a lovable curmudgeon who touches the heart of everyone he meets for better or worse. It deserves the hype. The audiobook is also fantastic for your next road trip. ( )
  StefanieGeeks | Jul 13, 2017 |
Its a good story that will make you laugh and maybe cry. Short chapters make it an easy read. Some nice twists along the way as well. Highly recommend. ( )
  Neale | Jul 11, 2017 |
Best for: I don’t know. Everyone?

In a nutshell: A man’s suicide attempts are repeatedly foiled by his incompetent neighbors.

Line that sticks with me: “Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.”

Why I chose it: I found myself in a a bookstore and saw that this was on sale. I figured it was finally time to check it out.

Review: Some very mild, non-specific spoilers follow.

Two novels in a row, both dealing with the issue of loss in very different ways. The book follows Ove, a 59-year-old man who has just been sent home for early retirement. He is a deliberate, regimented man who believes in things that you can see and touch. He builds homes and works on cars. He takes a daily inspection walk throughout his little housing community to make sure no rules are being broken. He’s basically “get off my lawn,” come to life.

Ove is also a young man, growing up and meeting the love of his life, Sonja. To tell this story, and to give the readers an understanding of how Ove came to be, nearly every other chapter is some sort of chronological flashback to his past. Through this we learn why he doesn’t trust the people from the government, and how his life experiences have led him to where his is today.

Once I realized what this book was about, I was a little worried to be consuming yet more media about a cantankerous old white man. But man, was it worth it. I think that what I loved most about this book is how I don’t really feel like the total personality of Ove changes by the end. Yes, there are definitely some different actions, but it’s not as though he starts as this regimented man and then ends up throwing all the rules out the window. He just manages to find some new motivation in his life that still (mostly) fits with how he wants to live it. By the end of the book I found that I hadn’t laughed nearly as much as the blurbs seemed to suggest I would, but that I did feel a whole range of emotions deeply. ( )
  ASKelmore | Jul 8, 2017 |
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a fictional story taking place in Sweden. Mr. Backman is a columnist, blogger and writer.

I first heard of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman when watching rich people give other rich people awards (aka The Oscars) and this was one of the nominees for best foreign films. My beloved wife and I try to watch the nominated movies every year, and we found out that the foreign films are as good, if not better, than the flicks in the major categories.
We usually get to watch the movies after the awards due to prior obligations we made 12 years and 10 years prior.

The book’s central character, Ove (pronounced oo-ve), is a grumpy, angry, old widower and a memorable character all by himself. Ove is lonely and sees the world in black and white. Ove wants to die and join his wife, but this world is such a mass that he cannot seem to let go, and people who he normally wouldn’t associate with keep pushing themselves into his life.

Glutton for punishment, Ove spends his days giving a hard time to his neighbors about trash bins, pets, kids, parking, shoveling snow and more.
Complaining, but deep down inside I believe he enjoys the berating – it gives him a taste of life.

As with other loveable, yet grumpy characters, Ove grows on you quickly and Mr. Backman manages to create a sympathetic protagonist (or is he the antagonist? I haven’t decided yet). Ove is a man of contradictions, loyal to a fault, hates to help but never turns down a request (eventually), doesn’t read but married a literature teacher, hates pets but adopts a stray cat (or does the cat adopts him?).

It is interesting that many of the books I read from Sweden, unless crime dramas or police procedurals, revolve around contradictions. A character says one thing, does the opposite and continues on their merry way. This type of storytelling is amusing at first, but can easily be overdone and boring.
Then again, crime dramas or police procedurals could also be filled with contradictions.

This is a clever book and the translation is simply brilliant. A feel good story about an unlikeable man, a bit formulaic, but still cute and a good read.

And we still haven’t watched all the nominated movies.

For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com ( )
  ZoharLaor | Jul 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 248 (next | show all)
Den svenske suksessbloggeren Fredrik Backman drar oss gjennom en forutsigbar fortelling som trykker på alle de rette knappene inntil vi er trygt plassert innenfor vår egen komfortsone.
added by annek49 | editNRK, Knut Hoem (May 9, 2013)
Livet är obegripligt, världen är läskig och det går inte att skydda sig mot den. Fredrik Backman berättar underhållande om botemedlet i sin debutroman.
added by annek49 | editDN, Lotta Olsson (Jan 14, 2013)
Genom humorns prisma belyser ”En man som heter Ove” teman som åldrande, vänskap, sorg, livslust och den föränderliga mansrollen. Boken är varken behärskad eller finputsad – delar är återvunna från Café-bloggen och har skarvats in lite slarvigt – men den är en skruvad och gripande romandebut som mycket väl kan vara början på ett stort humoristiskt författarskap.
This word-of-mouth bestseller has sold more than 650,000 copies in Sweden and has been a hit across Europe. It deserves to do at least as well here. I loved A Man Called Ove so much that I started to ration how much I read to prolong my time with this cantankerous, low-key, misunderstood man. If you enjoyed Rachel Joyce’s marvellous bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry, you will love this book.

Each short chapter of A Man Called Ove could stand alone as a beautifully crafted short story. Bring the chapters together and you have the most uplifting, life-affirming and often comic tale of how kindness, love and happiness can be found in the most unlikely places
Backman's tale of 59-yea-old curmudgeon, Ove, not only captured the hearts of Backman's fellow Swedes, but has also swept across Europe as a word-of-mouth best-seller; a domino effect that suggests community spirit and social responsibility isn't quite so lacking as we're often told it is....On occasion the slightly repetitive tone becomes cloying, but Backman can tickle the funny bone and tug on the heart strings when he needs to, and is a clever enough storyteller to not overindulge in either.

For those of you who don't want your fiction to make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, A Man Called Ove isn't for you. Yet it's surprisingly cheering to think how many people have embraced this simple but heartwarming novel.

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Backman, Fredrikprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brænne, TrondNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Deutschmann, HeikkoNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dingman, AlanCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dippolito, PaulDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Due, Nina M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Haugen, KimInnl.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koch, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koskaru, VilluKujundajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mäe, EneTõLkijasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mennerich, LaurenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mennerich, LaurenceTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montes Cano, CarmenTraductorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Newbern, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olsson, NilsCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ravnild, Louise ArdenfeltTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Soidro, SiiriToimetajasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sybesma, EdithTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walker, JoanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Werner, StefanieÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dear Neda. It's always meant to make you laugh. Always.
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Ove is fifty-nine.
Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.
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Book description
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
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