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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 (236)  German (5)  Spanish (2)  Danish (2)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  Piratical (1)  Norwegian (1)  Swedish (1)  All (250)
Showing 1-5 of 236 (next | show all)
I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I loved this book. I wish I had a physical copy of it, because I know I’ll read it again. For me, it’s that sort of book that has so many memorable quotes and passages, that I will definitely come back to read some of them from time to time.

I can admit that it has some faults, though. The writing style can get a bit repetitive and annoying, a lot of the plot was pretty predictable, there were a couple of sexist remarks, and some of the characters fit into some clichés that I don’t particularly care for. But I thought that all the good things this book had were so amazing, and left such an impression on me, that I can get past all those faults and love the story even though it wasn’t perfect, if only because of all the emotions and feelings it gave me.

This is for me the definition of a bittersweet book. It has some parts that were frankly hilarious, and some others that broke my heart and made me incredibly sad. I think this is possible mainly because of the way the characters are constructed and described. Even though they could be pretty stereotypical (as much as I loved Sonja, she was kind of a manic-pixie-dream girl, let’s be honest), I ended up really caring for every single one of them. The fact that you got to see them through Ove’s eyes made for some amazing descriptions, from Sonja representing all the colors in his life to the stray cat being literally “The Cat Annoyance.”

All of this is what makes me feel like this is a story about relationships. About how people go through life building relationships with other people without noticing, and how they can -and always will- change and evolve. I finished reading this book with the feeling that Ove understood that the image he had of himself was not necessarily shared by everyone, and that he could mean different things to different people, which at first is kind of hard for him to accept. He likes things to be simple and straight-forward, which they almost never are, and that realization both angers and confuses him.

I think his relationship with Sonja reflects this quite well. Ove continually referred to her as the color in his life, because he saw himself to be a dull and taciturn man. Then you get someone like Parvaneh’s youngest daughter, who makes a drawing of a group of people where Ove is the only one drawn in different colors. I loved that way of showing how Ove was actually full of colors in his own right, but that they were just different from the ones Sonja had. This little girl was so amused by this old man that swore and argued with people and cats, and who was so grumpy all the time but still couldn’t help but care for some people. I think things like this one are what helps Ove understand that you can mean different things for different people, and that you can’t control the impact you have on the lives of others, or the mark they can leave in yours.

There are a lot of other examples I could use, but I don’t want to spoil any other parts of the book. I will say that I just loved how all the flashbacks showed the multitude of situations and people that took to make Ove the man he is today, and how that reflects on his actions, which in turn shape the lives of others around him. He sees the world and reads people in a way that is very unique, and the moments used to show how his mind worked were honestly my favorite parts of the book.

So, I can just finish this by saying I would recommend this to anyone that is looking for a heartfelt story with great characters, because they certainly are the strongest aspect of this book. But I have to say, though: keep some tissues nearby, and prepare yourself for experiencing both happiness and sadness in pretty much equal amounts.
( )
  Booksen | Jun 23, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this audiobook. This isn't the kind of book that I would have normally picked up but I saw so many wonderful reviews for it that I decided to give it a closer look. When I caught it on sale on Audible, I decided to go for it. I am so glad that I took a chance on this one because I completely fell in love with Ove over the course of this story.

Ove is exactly what you think of when you try to picture a grumpy old man. He knows how things should be done and expects others to have enough sense to do them the right away. He believes that rules are there to be followed regardless of who you are. He is the man who makes rounds in his neighborhood to make sure that the rules are being enforced.

There is a little more to Ove that is revealed bit by bit during the story. He isn't quite as unfeeling as he would let you believe especially once his new (and very patient) neighbors enter his life. Suddenly, it seems that everyone needs his help with things and if he wants to make sure that they are done right he has to help. I really enjoyed seeing Ove making connections with others and learning about his history. The more that you learn about Ove the more you love him.

George Newbern really brought Ove to life. I really felt like I was with Ove as he was telling me his life story. I haven't listened to his narration before this book but I would definitely look for him in the future. He had such a nice voice to listen to and really was able to bring a few emotions to a character that likes to keep them hidden. I was able to listen to this book for hours at a time largely because of the narration.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I think that just about everyone can think of someone in their life with a few of Ove's characteristics. Everything about this story felt very authentic. There were moments that I laughed and other moments that touched my heart. This was the first book by Fredrik Backman that I have read and will not hesitate to read his work again in the future. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Jun 22, 2017 |
Absolutely loved this novel, both funny and touching. I'm now looking forward to picking up the author's newest book that was recently released. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
I went into this not knowing what to expect, only knowing that some people whose taste I trust had really enjoyed this book. What a delight! Ove is frustrating, charming, and ultimately so compelling. I don't regret a moment that I spent with this book and wish I could read more. ( )
  duchessjlh | Jun 21, 2017 |
I have to admit I didn't actually like this book at the beginning. I thought I was going to be bored by this grumpy old man. Well shortly after getting into it I realized I was completely wrong. By the end of the book, I loved Ove and all the quirky people that surrounded him and gave his life so much meaning. I loved the way the author told the story a little at a time and followed up with the background from his earlier life that made you then understand why he acts/reacts/responds the way he does.

So many emotions while reading this book. Absolutely recommended. ( )
  tinkerbellkk | Jun 20, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 236 (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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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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