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A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (2012)


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English (85)  German (4)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (97)
Showing 1-5 of 85 (next | show all)
This is a heartwarming story of a man called Ove. He is your average quintessential grumpy pensioner who has been somewhat left behind by the modern world. Ove's hilarious observations about the people around him are really quite apt. Everyone has known somebody like Ove in their lifetime.

As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to Ove's life, and all the hardships and happiness he has been through. There is a lot of dark comedy, how Ove is constantly interrupted from committing suicide by annoying neighbours, and how even a modern rope can't even perform its function correctly as it snaps in half because of its poor quality.

I found it so sad how Ove felt after his wife died and it was lovely to see Ove be embraced by a community without him knowing or even wanting it. Grumpy git right to the end. I grew so attached to Ove that his story had me at some points shedding a tear. Much like his neighbours, I grew to love that man. ( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |
This is a book to read alone so as not to be embarrassed by tears. And if you do not cry at some parts of this work, you should send your empathy module to the lab for a check-up. Be sure to read the chapter titles as they appear. They are not merely chapter separators; they are an element of the artistry in the writing.

Ove wants to die because he has nothing to live for. After suffering great loss, he just wants to join Sonja on the other side. But then several things to live for that begin to show up. Ove does not consider them things to live for; he considers them as delaying obstacles in the path leading to his one desire, death. Will Ove change, realize that there are things worth living for, and ride happily off into the sunset while enjoying a happy life? Or will he realize his goal and, if so, what will be the effect on those around him?

As Backman tells his story of Ove’s personal conflicts, there are at least two other important themes explored. There is the story of an extremely (overly?) socialized state and the absolute power that devolves to petty, junior officials in a bureaucracy. The extreme behavior of the State was new information for me as I live in neither Sweden nor any European Union country. State officials have decided to remove Rune (close friend and sometimes enemy of Ove) from his home after judging that his wife can no longer take care of him. Anne (Rune's wife), and Ove, disagree with the State. The fight is on.

A second important theme is the observations made on the nature of death. If this were presented philosophically, it would have been boring and pedantic, but it is not presented in such a way. Two quotes I found as examples: “For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.” (pg. 326-326) And “One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for.” (pg. 325)

Some books are memorable for their first lines, others for a recurring line or theme. This book has a line that occurs in slightly different forms throughout the book. The majority of time it refers to Sonja. Each time it appears at one of those tear evoking moments. There should be warning signs. “Enfolded her finger in the palm of his hand.” (pg. 201, but recurring throughout).

There are books that I keep on a shelf labelled “Great”. This is one of them.

( )
  ajarn7086 | Jan 23, 2016 |
I just finished one of the best books of the year in my mind. I laughed, chuckled, roared and admittedly shed a few tears.

Ove endured an unbelievably tough childhood filled with loneliness and lack of nurturing. Forced to survive on his own he structured his life around rules and principles. Over time he formed a crust over his personality that seemed to harden him into an ill-tempered old neighborhood crank.

Thankfully for Ove there were people who saw the cracks in the crusty soul and loved him deeply. The love story of Sophia and Ove will leave you in tears. Ove could not have foreseen his future the day the neighbors moved in and ran over his mailbox.

Poor Ove, despite his attempts to alienate children, cats and kooks, his snappy one-liners and his over-sized kind heart couldn't fool anyone who took the time to look closely at the man. As Ove would say himself, "It isn't what a man says that matters, it is what he does."

Ove was obsessed with his car, a Saab, and the company was so enthralled with the story of Ove's life they uncharacteristically did a book review on their company's website. First published in Sweden, it has been translated into English. A must read! ( )
  Itzey | Jan 23, 2016 |
This was an extraordinarily appealing read about an older man who discovers he's become surplus to requirements at work.
Ove is very inflexible about modern life and scathing in his views about people and with the first chapter you think you're reading a certain kind of book about a certain kind of man. However with each short chapter added onto another, a very different picture of Ove is revealed.
This book is very life-affirming, as Ove comes to be more and more involved in his community, much against his will.
This book is by turns, funny, touching and very sweet. Highly recommended. ( )
  quiBee | Jan 21, 2016 |
A Man Called Ove is one of the few books that has made me laugh out loud and cry simultaneously in a long time. I just finished the audio this morning, and part of me wants to start again at the beginning. I miss Ove, the curmudgeonly main character. I see glimpses of my own opinionated, obstinate yet incredibly loving grandfather in him. ( )
  joyhclark | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 85 (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 (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Backman, Fredrikprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Due, Nina M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mennerich, LaurenceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ravnild, Louise ArdenfeltTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sybesma, EdithTranslatorsecondary 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.
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from amazon com In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

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.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.

At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local street.

But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible.
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