A Man Called Ove
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 Man Called Ove Details

TitleA Man Called Ove
Author
FormatHardcover
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 15th, 2014
PublisherAtria Books
ISBN1476738017
ISBN-139781476738017
Number of pages337 pages
Rating
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Humor, Audiobook

A Man Called Ove Review

  • Emily May
    September 21, 2014
    Update: I had planned to leave this post as it is, but after seeing the continued kind responses, I thought it best to inform you that my grandad passed away just before Christmas. Thank you to everyone who commented about this review and about him, but it seemed wrong to not let you know. It's always hard to lose someone who has been such a huge part of your life from day one, but please know that he died a happy old man, peacefully, surrounded by his family. And isn't that the best any of us c Update: I had planned to leave this post as it is, but after seeing the continued kind responses, I thought it best to inform you that my grandad passed away just before Christmas. Thank you to everyone who commented about this review and about him, but it seemed wrong to not let you know. It's always hard to lose someone who has been such a huge part of your life from day one, but please know that he died a happy old man, peacefully, surrounded by his family. And isn't that the best any of us can ever hope for?~ Emily ♥ .......................................................................I'm going to share something with you.My grandad is the very definition of curmudgeonly. He's an eighty year old man who likes to complain about anything and everything: youth today, UK politics, my dad, the weather, technology... you name it. He calls me and my siblings up most days to tell stories punctuated with rants and numerous "bloody hell"s. I'm not worried about him seeing this post because he doesn't trust computers and hasn't even grasped the concept of the internet. Most new technology is referred to as "those bloody things", except for FaceTime, which he has recently taken a liking to. He makes use of it by popping up on my iPhone multiple times a day to deliver a bout of doom and gloom in which I see nothing on the screen but his chin. All my friends are a little afraid of him and are never quite sure when he's joking. He is nothing short of a grumpy old man. Except, in truth, that's only half of it.The other day I opened the mailbox to find an envelope which contained this picture of me and him from my graduation:And with it came this note:Thing is, behind whatever my grandad may seem on the outside, he is a loving man who lost his wife - my grandmother - several years ago. He bugs us constantly with his moaning about life because he's lonely and because he misses us. He has a heart and he has a sense of humour, even if most people don't really get it. And it was in Ove, the protagonist of this novel, that I recognized pieces of my grandad. “People said he was bitter. Maybe they were right. He’d never reflected much on it. People also called him antisocial. Ove assumed this meant he wasn’t overly keen on people. And in this instance he could totally agree with them. More often than not people were out of their minds.” I loved Ove. Parts of this novel punched me right in my emotions. I think I would have been okay if this novel was merely a sad, moving tale about a man who has to get on with his life after his wife died. I could have shaken off the emotional manipulation - as I did with The Fault in Our Stars - and not shed a tear. But this story is so much more than a tearjerker.Ove shouldn't be a character we love; he's so miserly and grumpy and skeptical of everything... but he's also hilarious. He charms us with his completely uncharming ways. Because, though I don't share his worldview, what he says actually makes sense and sometimes it's really funny. Take this: “Ove glares out of the window. The poser is jogging. Not that Ove is provoked by jogging. Not at all. Ove couldn’t give a damn about people jogging. What he can’t understand is why they have to make such a big thing of it. With those smug smiles on their faces, as if they were out there curing pulmonary emphysema. Either they walk fast or they run slowly, that’s what joggers do. It’s a forty-year-old man’s way of telling the world that he can’t do anything right. Is it really necessary to dress up as a fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast in order to be able to do it? Or the Olympic tobogganing team? Just because one shuffles aimlessly around the block for three quarters of an hour?” Plus, there's a wonderful cat who our lovable protagonist grudgingly befriends, which just improves this book even more. I think perhaps the saddest part of this book is not found in the most obvious place. Ove's loss of his wife touched me, but I was even more affected by the underlying tale of old age and how many old people can be left feeling lonely and out of place towards the end of their lives. How difficult it must be to live alone in a world that becomes more foreign to you every day, with its new gadgets and trends that you don't understand or care to entertain. It was moving and thought-provoking.I'm going to call my grandad now.Blog | Leafmarks | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr
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  • David V.
    May 9, 2014
    Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 5-8-14. Finished 5-11-14. First let me explain what happened to me while reading this book aloud to my wife as she was preparing dinner. I'm 70; she's almost 70. I'd read the first page, laughed out loud and decided she'd like to hear it read. I read, we laughed and nodded knowingly, then I got to the end of chapter 4 and completely lost it---I couldn't continue through those last few sentences. My wife said I should quit since she knows that I cry Received as an ARC from the publisher. Started 5-8-14. Finished 5-11-14. First let me explain what happened to me while reading this book aloud to my wife as she was preparing dinner. I'm 70; she's almost 70. I'd read the first page, laughed out loud and decided she'd like to hear it read. I read, we laughed and nodded knowingly, then I got to the end of chapter 4 and completely lost it---I couldn't continue through those last few sentences. My wife said I should quit since she knows that I cry at supermarket openings! Now how many books have you read that can cause that kind of a physical and emotional response?! On the other hand, this book is hilarious, insightful, touching and just plain awesome. It seems pretty simple at first but there is more depth to this book than any I've read in forever. As I got near the end, I thought that there really should be a sequel, then the plot changed-----definitely no sequel. But I'm thankful I had the opportunity to read this. You will too.
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  • Lynda
    January 4, 2015
    "Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the greatest 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 som "Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the greatest 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."― Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove"For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone."― Fredrik Backman, A Man Called OveI'm sitting here this afternoon, alone. Alone and contemplating. Contemplating life. Contemplating time. Contemplating age. Just contemplating...I do so with tear streaked cheeks. I've just finished crying. I've just parted with a man I've never met, yet a man I feel I know so well. A man I disliked in the beginning, yet a man I loved at the end. A man who spent his life contemplating. A Man Called Ove. Ove (pronounced 'Oo-veh') is a cantankerous, taciturn, inflexible man. He's a veritable stick in the mudslide of human advancement, futilely rebelling against it. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots, with people always disappointing him. Over the years he has been conned, ripped off and harrassed, mainly by bureaucrats ("the men in the white shirts"), whom he despises. He is a man who lives life fairly and squarely but finds himself beset by injustice and bad luck. Ove has certainly had his fair share of sadness. At 59, he's lost his job as well as the love of his life, his wife Sonja. He misses Sonja so much that sometimes he can't bear existing in his own body. "Loving someone is like moving into a house. At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren't actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there, and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfections, but rather for its imperpections. You get to know all the nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when it's cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without them creaking. These are the little secrets that make it your home." “People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.” ― Fredrik Backman, A Man Called OveLife has got to the point where Ove's had enough. He is fed up. So fed up that he simply wants to end it all. He wants out of this world.A Man Called Ove essentially calls out the dangers of living in a society that focuses more on thought than action, and highlights the risk of imprisoning oneself in grief. There is a sombreness to this novel (afterall, it's from Sweden! :-) ), but there is also optimism and lots of laugh out loud humor. “Ove glares out of the window. The poser is jogging. Not that Ove is provoked by jogging. Not at all. Ove couldn’t give a damn about people jogging. What he can’t understand is why they have to make such a big thing of it. With those smug smiles on their faces, as if they were out there curing pulmonary emphysema. Either they walk fast or they run slowly, that’s what joggers do. It’s a forty-year-old man’s way of telling the world that he can’t do anything right. Is it really necessary to dress up as a fourteen-year-old Romanian gymnast in order to be able to do it? Or the Olympic tobogganing team? Just because one shuffles aimlessly around the block for three quarters of an hour?” I simply adored this book. Backman's writing is clean and simple, at times deceptively so, with its gentle, episodic and occasionally repetitive structure. The story is laced with loneliness, with life's numerous disappointments and the great grey weight of the real; the last chapters deliver some unexpectedly savage emotional blows. But this is tempered with a sense of quiet celebration.A note of hope threads through the writing, building slowly, and the small details as much as the grand narrative delight and move: the moments of connection, the reawakening of a man frozen by grief, the ability of people to touch one another's lives.This is a MUST READ. It will resonate with everyone.
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  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)
    July 30, 2015
    This was such a nice story! It's about the transformations we go through in life and how different events within our life affect, shape us, and make us who we are today.
  • Elyse
    July 3, 2014
    This is a tale that makes you appreciate life!I vote *OVE* as 'character-of-the-year'! The author has created the most memorable character to be found in a novel --in years. *OVE*, is an unassuming man. He likes routines, and rules. He's an honest man. Doesn't smile and give compliments -- but he's a man of integrity. To watch OVE grow - heal the loss of his wife -and allow his neighbors to love him (and love them back) -- is is a treasure. This book has great humor & great heart!Its a perso This is a tale that makes you appreciate life!I vote *OVE* as 'character-of-the-year'! The author has created the most memorable character to be found in a novel --in years. *OVE*, is an unassuming man. He likes routines, and rules. He's an honest man. Doesn't smile and give compliments -- but he's a man of integrity. To watch OVE grow - heal the loss of his wife -and allow his neighbors to love him (and love them back) -- is is a treasure. This book has great humor & great heart!Its a personal gift for 'all' readers! DON'T MISS THIS GEM!
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  • Debbie
    June 10, 2014
    Argh! It’s hard not to start this review with a bunch of expletives, because this book pissed me off royally! Shit! See, I can’t even hold it in. The cat and the fat were the straws that broke the camel’s back.Let’s start with Ove not liking the cat. Not liking the cat is one thing. For some reason bitching about a cat is supposed to be funny, but to me it’s annoying. Ove kicking the cat a couple of times cranked my wincing up a notch. But there was a way worse cat crime: Ove was going to leave Argh! It’s hard not to start this review with a bunch of expletives, because this book pissed me off royally! Shit! See, I can’t even hold it in. The cat and the fat were the straws that broke the camel’s back.Let’s start with Ove not liking the cat. Not liking the cat is one thing. For some reason bitching about a cat is supposed to be funny, but to me it’s annoying. Ove kicking the cat a couple of times cranked my wincing up a notch. But there was a way worse cat crime: Ove was going to leave the cat to die in a snow bank! The neighbor saw the cat and saved it, while Ove looked on with annoyance. So Ove isn’t just grumpy, he’s heartless--seriously mean. And then miraculously, yet still predictably, Ove comes to like the cat and suddenly they’re best friends. At least the story’s predictability saved me from fretting incessantly about the cat.Cat problem number 2: The author, Backman, is completely absolutely totally clueless when it comes to cats. Cats are known for not being adaptable. Yet here is a stray cat; i.e., probably unsocialized and skittish and scared of people, who immediately and happily jumps into Ove’s car and accompanies him on all his errands. I mean the cat actually goes into stores with him! What??? I’ve met maybe one cat that doesn’t hate riding in a car. You usually can’t even coax a cat into the car, but if you do succeed, the second the car starts moving the cat freaks out. And it’s highly unlikely that the cat would follow its new person into a store, full of strange people, sounds, smells, and objects; it’s just ludicrous. When the cat walked into McDonald’s with Ove, that was the last straw. And never mind that restaurants don’t even allow pets (including Sweden). The writer should have made the animal a dog instead of a cat, or should have talked to a cat person before writing the book.The next huge bitch I have is the way the author talks about the big guy, Jimmy. Ove makes a disparaging comment about the guy letting himself get fat. So at first, I thought, okay, so Ove doesn’t like fat people; he doesn’t like anyone, so that’s not surprising. But I quickly see it’s the author who has a problem. When the author first introduces Jimmy, he’s referred to a “quarter-tonner” who, the author says, probably tests bacon for a living! The author mentions something about Jimmy’s weight every single time Jimmy enters a scene. For instance, the author says something like “the overweight man gets into the car.” That’s like saying every time a non-overweight person gets into a car, “the height-weight proportionate man gets into the car.” Not only is it obnoxious that the author points out Jimmy’s weight every chance he gets, but isn’t it bad writing to repeat, time after time, the same feature of a particular character? He’s overweight, we get it. The author’s prejudices and insensitivities are shining through, and they aren’t pretty: Jimmy either has food hanging out of his mouth, or has food spilled on his clothes, or he’s looking for food. I hate to tell the author, but most overweight people are not slovenly and they often don’t even eat in public. His prejudice against overweight people was prominent and infuriating.But I’m not done. Let’s talk about Ove’s transformation. First, why in the hell would an upbeat woman fall in love with the jerk? Talk about an unlikable character! And why would any neighbor put up with his shit? Not believable, sorry. Second, how would his personality change over just a couple of months? People don’t transform that fast, if at all. But most important, I want to know why someone who is grumpy and mean becomes a super star when he simply turns into a civil human being. Why is he being rewarded, praised, adored, and esteemed because he finally becomes civil? Why does he get extra credit for acting civil, like everyone else is doing all along?Okay, there are a couple of fine things about the book. Ove is so well drawn, I believed every nasty word he uttered. Also, the language is good, and the story moves along seamlessly.But there are many structural and logistical problems. One time the same paragraph appears three times within 20 pages. Another time, a character disappears from a scene. This all points to a careless editor and writer. Debut book or no debut book, it shouldn’t be this sloppy.I wish I had better news. Those who aren’t bothered by cat and fat insensitivities might find Ove to be interesting and funny, and the book entertaining. I didn’t. The majority of reviews are positive. It just hit me all wrong.
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  • Mio
    July 30, 2013
    I bought this book expecting some easy entertainment, you know, a few giggles here and there. I did not expect to spend almost half an hour crying my eyes out after finishing it - and yet, that's exactly what I did. Ove is a grumpy old man. He wants things to be "right" and doesn't think twice about the fact that he isn't always perceived as fair - and that always keeping to the truth can actually make people stay away from you. This book is a journey. For Ove, for Ove's surroundings and for the I bought this book expecting some easy entertainment, you know, a few giggles here and there. I did not expect to spend almost half an hour crying my eyes out after finishing it - and yet, that's exactly what I did. Ove is a grumpy old man. He wants things to be "right" and doesn't think twice about the fact that he isn't always perceived as fair - and that always keeping to the truth can actually make people stay away from you. This book is a journey. For Ove, for Ove's surroundings and for the reader. It is a magnificent tale about true love, Saab and the fact that what you see isn't always what you get.
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  • Candace
    November 6, 2016
    This definitely isn't my usual type of book, but I'm glad I read it. Every once in a while, you have to change things up a little. 'A Man Called Ove' was a great choice for me.Ove is a wonderful character. He is opinionated, cantankerous and utterly set in his ways. He is a man that has been left behind in many ways, unwilling to adapt and unable to understand the thought process that drives "modern man" in this technological era.When his new neighbor's failed attempts to back a trailer up draws This definitely isn't my usual type of book, but I'm glad I read it. Every once in a while, you have to change things up a little. 'A Man Called Ove' was a great choice for me.Ove is a wonderful character. He is opinionated, cantankerous and utterly set in his ways. He is a man that has been left behind in many ways, unwilling to adapt and unable to understand the thought process that drives "modern man" in this technological era.When his new neighbor's failed attempts to back a trailer up draws his attention, it is only the first of many humorous interactions to come. Despite his unpleasant disposition and perpetual crankiness, Ove seems to constantly be coming to the rescue of his newest neighbors. He comes off as "hard" at first, but it quickly becomes clear that he is a softie.A series of comical and heart-warming events play out, which kept me laughing and smiling. Little by little, we are provided glimpses of Ove's past, experiencing the love he has for his deceased wife and the events that shaped him into the man he became. Slowly but surely, I fell in love with this gruff old man.Determined to end his life and join his wife, fate combined with his his infallible values and sense of civic duty to repeatedly postpone his suicide. There's always something that he has to take care of before he can draw his last breath. Time after time, his plans are thwarted.Overall, I thought this was a fantastic story. Everybody needs an Ove in their life!
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  • Mandy Crider
    July 2, 2015
    I MUST ALERT YOU THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID AND CAN'T SEE THAT I CLICKED THE SPOILER BUTTON. DON'T READ REVIEW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE SPOILERS.I am an utterly blubbering fool right now. I loved this book and I adored Ove and all the other characters. The end took me by surprise and I really wasn't expecting Ove to die at the end and it was so sad. This was such an amazing book! I loved this book so much. I wish I could give it 10 stars and I hope that one day Hollywood co I MUST ALERT YOU THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID AND CAN'T SEE THAT I CLICKED THE SPOILER BUTTON. DON'T READ REVIEW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO SEE SPOILERS.I am an utterly blubbering fool right now. I loved this book and I adored Ove and all the other characters. The end took me by surprise and I really wasn't expecting Ove to die at the end and it was so sad. This was such an amazing book! I loved this book so much. I wish I could give it 10 stars and I hope that one day Hollywood could recreate this into a movie that emulates how special Ove really was. You won't be sorry you read this, you'll laugh and cry and it is so worth it!
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  • Carol
    August 11, 2014
    OMGOSH, what a wonderful novel! I now have my first super-favorite of 2015!This is a story of the deep and everlasting love of a contrary 59 year old man who struggles each and every day to cope with the pain and loss of the only person who ever understood him, and the never-ending guilt of not preventing a horrible tragedy.It is also a comical and entertaining account of A Man Called Ove and his peculiar ways....an honest man with strict principles who abhors "the men in white shirts" that have OMGOSH, what a wonderful novel! I now have my first super-favorite of 2015!This is a story of the deep and everlasting love of a contrary 59 year old man who struggles each and every day to cope with the pain and loss of the only person who ever understood him, and the never-ending guilt of not preventing a horrible tragedy.It is also a comical and entertaining account of A Man Called Ove and his peculiar ways....an honest man with strict principles who abhors "the men in white shirts" that have done him wrong, a man who fights for what's right, a man who will no longer be cheated out of a kroner, a man who eventually becomes(view spoiler)[ a hero and loved by all. (hide spoiler)]Ove's crazy antics with his neighbors and numerous outlandish conversations....(my favorites were with the vagrant cat)....are laugh-out-loud hilarious, and OMG his vocabulary....."selective obesity" ???....will not forget that one!This feel good story will break your heart, (so keep the tissues handy) make you smile, and wish you had a friend like Ove. Do Not Pass This One By!
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  • Greg
    December 3, 2013
    This might be a funny/sweet novel about a curmudgeonly old man, who knows that any thinking person would do things properly but unfortunately the world is full of idiots who do everything incorrectly and need someone like Ove to keep things in line. I'm not really sure. Instead, it was a novel filled with with sucker punches right to my gut. I might be giving four stars to the Swedish equivalent of Mitch Albom, but fuck it.
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  • Debbie
    August 11, 2014
    When I began reading A Man Called Ove, I thought what a clever tale of an angry old man. The kind that believes rules and regulations are of utmost importance, that see the world filled with stupid people, and is always right. The way the author describes him and his actions are hilarious, as I have known a few Oves myself. They have their principles! The only person Ove had and loved dearly, was his wife, Sonja. She has just passed away, and all Ove wants to do is kill himself, but those pesky When I began reading A Man Called Ove, I thought what a clever tale of an angry old man. The kind that believes rules and regulations are of utmost importance, that see the world filled with stupid people, and is always right. The way the author describes him and his actions are hilarious, as I have known a few Oves myself. They have their principles! The only person Ove had and loved dearly, was his wife, Sonja. She has just passed away, and all Ove wants to do is kill himself, but those pesky neighbors keep getting in his way!I was enjoying all the fun until about the 40% mark, then I started getting angry myself. It is always others who make Ove begrudgingly do the right thing. It was always his wife who made all the excuses for him as a basically non-functioning adult.There were two items in particular that I really didn't like. The first was his cat, a stray, whom if not for his neighbors he would have let die. The second is a neighbor called Jimmy. Jimmy is overweight, and the constant references to food hanging out of his mouth, and stains on his shirt were just plain rude.I pressed on even though it was getting tough to read. There was one paragraph near the ending about getting older that touched my heart, but other than that, it was just more of the same. The author, Fredrik Backman, is a blogger, and this is his first novel. He is a good writer, and I can see how blogs of Ove would be fun, but as a whole book it just didn't work for me...but, I am in the minority!
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  • Algernon
    January 21, 2015
    A man named Ove knocked on my door and asked if I have space on my shelves for a stray book about an angry, bitter, contrarian, (view spoiler)[ suicidal (hide spoiler)] old man. I hesitated for a second, thinking I don't need to get more depressed than I already am, but then I took another look at his wooden clogs, his out-of-fashion clothes and frowning brow, and decided: "What the heck! I'll give it a try! I'll read a couple of chapters and see how I feel about it." Ove is fifty-nine.He drives A man named Ove knocked on my door and asked if I have space on my shelves for a stray book about an angry, bitter, contrarian, (view spoiler)[ suicidal (hide spoiler)] old man. I hesitated for a second, thinking I don't need to get more depressed than I already am, but then I took another look at his wooden clogs, his out-of-fashion clothes and frowning brow, and decided: "What the heck! I'll give it a try! I'll read a couple of chapters and see how I feel about it." Ove is fifty-nine.He drives a Saab. He's the kind of man who points at people he doesn't like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman's flashlight. Ove is the genuine "Get off my damn lawn!" article, lashing out at all the young yuppies and self-employed slackers that are moving into his neighborhood, ignoring his clearly marked interdiction signs and regulations. He stomps his feet and he fumes and he rages at a whole world gone to pot.[ Misanthropy is the general hatred, distrust or contempt of the human species or human nature. A misanthrope or misanthropist is someone who holds such views or feelings. ] [from wikipedia]A man called Ove might have reasons to behave the way he does. The world has not treated him kindly in his almost six decades of living. He'd been a grumpy old man since he started elementary school, they insisted. , but Ove has had to deal with hardship, injustice and mistrust for just as long. Society, through its institutions, has done nothing to improve his philosophy of life. On the contrary, it has repeatedly rallied against him in every way possible. (view spoiler)[ Orphaned at an early age, Ove abandons school to start working in a rail depot. Later he rebuilds a house with his own hands, only to have it burned to ground in a suspect arson attack while the firemen and neighbours enjoy the show. He falls in love, and his wife gets crippled for life by a drunken driver, miscarrying their child. She dies years later of an incurrable disease, and a few months after he buries her Ove is let go from his job. So I say: Ove has no reason at all to smile and be accomodating (hide spoiler)]The novel alternates between the present day clashes a man called Ove has with his pesky neighbors and flashbacks of his past experiences, first as a lonely young man with a talent for manual labor (A job well done is a reward in its own right, as his father used to say.), and later as the surprised husband of a lively young woman. People said he was bitter. Maybe they were right . He'd never reflected much on it. People called him antisocial. Ove assumed this meant he wasn't overly keen on people. And in this instance he could totally agree with them. More often than not people were out of their minds. [...]People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had. Her name is Sonja and she is everything that Ove is not : outgoing, laughing at the smallest provocation, dedicated to her work as a teacher helping others to enjoy literature. Why would she shackle herself to a frowning bear like Ove? He never understood why she chose him. She loved abstract things like music and books and strange words. Ove was a man entirely filled with tangible things. He liked screwdrivers and oil filters. He went through life with his hands firmly shoved into his pockets. She danced. (view spoiler)[ But to Sonja, Ove was never dour and awkward and sharp-edged. To her, he was the slightly disheveled pink flowers at their first dinner. He was his father's slightly too tight-fitting brown suit across his broad, sad shoulders. He believed so strongly in things: justice and fair play and hard work and a world where right just had to be right. Not so one could get a medal or a diploma or a slap on the back for it, but just because that was how it was supposed to be. Not many men of his kind were made any more, Sonja had understood. So she was holding on to this one. (hide spoiler)]The story of their life together unfolds in reluctant confessions from Ove, details that emerge slowly and painfully from his tight fisted grip. He's a doer, not a talker, but most of all he is holding on to these memories as the most precious possession he ever had, his magnetic north and his only reason for staying alive. Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn't. In one of these memories of his past, Ove tells us how he built a house with his own hands, learning the trade by apprenticing himself to a construction company. In my favorite metaphor from the book (not an original one, but who cares when Backman is so eloquent) , Sonja explains their love in building terms anybody could relate to: Loving someone is like moving into a house. At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren't actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there, and you start to love the house not so much because of all its perfection, bur rather for its imperfections. You get to know all the nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when it's cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without them creaking. These are the little secrets that make it your house. Compared to this polychromatic past with Sonja, the present day apears to Ove only in shades of darker and darker grey. Without his wife's sunny counterweight, his disposition grows more bitter and contrarian by the hour. Could those pesky neighbors tame the ogre and convince him that life is worth living?I am not going to give an answer here for fear of spoilers, but I can't help noticing that at some point of the novel I felt like I have wondered off into the set for one of those classic Frank Capra movies where Jimmy Stewart is convinced that his life is a mess and then the whole town rallies to demonstrate the opposite. Some exigent readers might be turned off by the sentimentality and the artificiality of these developments (I myself thought that he was laying the sugar on pretty thick in places), pointing out that in real life people are selfish and cruel and indifferent to the woes of their next door neighbors, but I will counter their argument with a quote from another of my favorite authors: “People ask me to predict the future, when all I want to do is prevent it. Better yet, build it. Predicting the future is much too easy, anyway. You look at the people around you, the street you stand on, the visible air you breathe, and predict more of the same. To hell with more. I want better.” According to Ray Bradbury (and John Lennon) the role of art is not simply to reflect reality, but to point the way to a better state of existence. In order to bring any change about we must first imagine what kind of world we would like to live in, and then we have to realise that it is up to each of us to make it happen through the small choices we make day by day. Fredrik Backman may have written only a fairytale, a feelgood tragicomedy, but I know that for the time spent in the company of this man Ove I left my critical faculties by the door and imagined myself moving to his neighborhood in order to find some peace of mind and some friends I could rely on. People can say whatever they like about you, Ove. But you're the strangest superhero I ever heard about. - - - -The story is finished. I turn the last page, gaze once more at the cover and then at my overburdened shelves. What should I do with you, Ove? Send you back to the street like the stray cat that sits at your heels? Or maybe slip you in next to that big tome on Guernsey, so you can have some conversations about the way these modern kids know nothing about life with a man called Ebenezer? Yeah! I think the last one will work best.
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  • Maureen
    July 14, 2016
    I'm probably going to be crying about this book forever.There are so many things to love in this book. It's a story about an old crotchety man unwillingly being thrust into friendships that change his life, as well as a bit about his past too. There's really nothing I didn't love about this book. It had me laughing one minute and tearing up the next, and by the end I was bawling.I also listened to the audiobook which was SO GOOOOD.
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  • Angela M
    May 8, 2014
    At first you think Ove is just an aging, cranky, overly fastidious man who complains about everything and everyone, but by the end of the book you will wish that you could be more like Ove . Ove is 59, and his wife of 40 years has recently died. He is now being forced to retire, and he has given up on life.As the story of his past unfolds through flashbacks, you realize how much sadness he has had in his life and you begin to see glimpses of his kindness. We see the loving relationship Ove had w At first you think Ove is just an aging, cranky, overly fastidious man who complains about everything and everyone, but by the end of the book you will wish that you could be more like Ove . Ove is 59, and his wife of 40 years has recently died. He is now being forced to retire, and he has given up on life.As the story of his past unfolds through flashbacks, you realize how much sadness he has had in his life and you begin to see glimpses of his kindness. We see the loving relationship Ove had with his father , especially after his mother dies. The way his father imparts right and wrong and rules to Iive by is especially touching . He is raised to be and does becomes a decent, good man. He’s an honest, unassuming man, who falls in love with a beautiful, smart woman, who falls in love with him. Now he is a very sad, lonely man and what he intends to do will break your heart.Enter into the story the quirky neighbors, the stray injured cat, the best friend that Ove no longer speaks to, and you can't help but laugh even though there is Ove's sadness. His plans are interrupted every day by one quirky neighbor or another but especially by the family next door . Ove continues to show kindness to the people around him in spite of what appears to be a mean temperament and these people come to love him and you suspect he cares about them, too.It's predictable and sometimes a bit melodramatic but it will make you laugh and cry and you'll be glad that you met Ove.Thanks to NetGalley and Atria Books
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  • Luffy
    February 10, 2017
    What a great book! So down to earth, so wacky, so funny, and so maudlin. The end was unexpected and it's worth reading the entire book by itself. The book is less than 350 pages long and it reads like a page turner.Ove is a militaristic sort of guy. He is so since quite a long time, but is it only a trait on the surface? Underneath that hard exterior is a sad and lonely guy. The author, Fredrik Backman's treatment of Ove's arc is brilliant. Ove, like most memorable characters, has an arc, where What a great book! So down to earth, so wacky, so funny, and so maudlin. The end was unexpected and it's worth reading the entire book by itself. The book is less than 350 pages long and it reads like a page turner.Ove is a militaristic sort of guy. He is so since quite a long time, but is it only a trait on the surface? Underneath that hard exterior is a sad and lonely guy. The author, Fredrik Backman's treatment of Ove's arc is brilliant. Ove, like most memorable characters, has an arc, where he changes (for the better?)I was transported into the book while reading it. I also am fearful since I almost missed reading A Man Called Ove. This story is like a coming of age tale, except that the old guy is 59 years old. Very good authors are springing like daffodils from nowhere these days. Am I living in a golden age for books? I don't know... I don't know.
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  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    September 29, 2016
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ALL THE STARS!!!!!! It wasn’t supposed to be like this. You work and pay off the mortgage and pay taxes and do what you should. You marry. For better or for worse until death do us part, wasn’t that what they agreed? Ove remembers quite clearly that it was. And she wasn’t supposed to be the first one to die. Wasn’t it bloody well understood that it was his death they were talking about? Well, wasn’t it? And so begins Ove’s story. Left Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/ALL THE STARS!!!!!! It wasn’t supposed to be like this. You work and pay off the mortgage and pay taxes and do what you should. You marry. For better or for worse until death do us part, wasn’t that what they agreed? Ove remembers quite clearly that it was. And she wasn’t supposed to be the first one to die. Wasn’t it bloody well understood that it was his death they were talking about? Well, wasn’t it? And so begins Ove’s story. Left alone after more than 40 years of marriage, Ove has one final task to fulfill – commit suicide. Being that Ove has always been a man of routine and order he has everything in place. From making sure the proper drill bit has been used and a sufficient hook installed to hold his body weight to putting on his best suit to having his funeral instructions carefully tucked in said suit’s pocket to covering the floors in order to assure the realtor won’t have to deal with cleaning up dirty footprints from the first responders, Ove is ready to say goodbye to this world. Until some bloody idiot who can’t even back up a trailer not only flattens his mailbox but then proceeds to scrape the entire side of his house thus interrupting his plans. The same goes for when he tries the old tube in the tailpipe method and even when he decides to dispose of his earthly body in a not-so-tidy way. Ove just can’t be let alone to die in peace, it seems. But over time even though . . . . He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had. And . . . . If anyone had asked, he would have told them that he never lived before he met her. And not after either. Due to the pestering of the new vivacious family next door and one Annoyance Cat, things begin to shift . . . . She points at a figure in the middle of the drawing. Everything else on the paper is drawn in black, but the figure in the middle is a veritable explosion of color. A riot of yellow and red and blue and green and orange and purple. “You’re the funniest thing she knows. That’s why she always draws you in color.” Proving that . . . . Love is a strange thing. It takes you by surprise. So there you have it. There’s a good chance if you pick this book up you won’t like it all that much. That’s what happened to my mother-in-law (who gets all of the credit for me reading this one since it was her book club selection that I attempted - and failed, natch – to participate in hundreds of miles away). My explanation of her not enjoying this as much as me? She is the Sonja - not only for her husband but for our entire family. Maybe – just maybe – you need to be a bit of an Ove to fully appreciate him. And if you are, get ready for a real one-two punch right in the feels . . . . I finished reading this at lunch yesterday and terrified the entire office when they walked by my desk . . . . Yep. I cried. That doesn’t happen often. And when people asked WTF was wrong with me I couldn’t even articulate . . . . So like I said, I can’t tell you for certain you’ll love Ove as much as I did. You may hate it and that’s totally fine. But for me? This is going down as one of my favorite books of all time and I already ordered a hardcover in order to make sure it has a permanent spot on my bookshelves. Maybe you just have to be the recipient of the attention of an “Annoyance Cat” of you own to fully appreciate the story . . . . . (^^^^^That’s “Sewer Cat” – named such because he likes to hang out in the storm sewer like the nasty freak he is. He’s about eleven thousand years old, mean as a snake, second runner-up (behind Shelby’s White Trash) in the worst cat in the universe contest who sprays his disgusting pee/semen/whateveritis on my bushes to mark the front of my house as his territory and pulls the decorative landscaping away from my porch so he can sleep under it when he feels the need. He’s the epitome of a nuisance animal . . . but when he comes and knocks on the door as seen in the photo above I haul my fat butt outside pronto and give him the cat food/tuna/lunchmeat he demands. I also apologize profusely to him for my cat being a racist and not accepting the fact that black is not the only acceptable color for kittehs.)
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  • Matthew
    September 11, 2016
    This is an excellent heartwarming and humorous book. Basically, a series of short stories about a man called Ove that all combine together into an awesome all-encompassing storyline.Ove is a grumpy old man who has a cynical approach to everything. But, how he got this way, combined with the relationships he "accidentally" develops lead to a lot of unexpected twists and turns.One of the things I loved about this book is that seemingly serious situations end up hilarious, while scenes that seem to This is an excellent heartwarming and humorous book. Basically, a series of short stories about a man called Ove that all combine together into an awesome all-encompassing storyline.Ove is a grumpy old man who has a cynical approach to everything. But, how he got this way, combined with the relationships he "accidentally" develops lead to a lot of unexpected twists and turns.One of the things I loved about this book is that seemingly serious situations end up hilarious, while scenes that seem to be completely for comic relief can really pull on your heart strings. I went from laughter to tears on the turn of a dime while I listened to this book.Also, If you like interesting characters, this is the book for you. Every character is fascinating in their own right. I will miss them all! Can't say for sure, but I think most people will enjoy those book.
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  • Diane
    January 27, 2015
    This is one of those cutesy, grumpy-old-man-finds-love stories. I started off really enjoying the book, which has some amusing scenes, but I soon became disenchanted. The plot follows a predictable path, and I guessed all the beats before they happened. (view spoiler)[(Ove is a widower. He's depressed and was just forced to retire from his job. He tries several times to kill himself but he's always interrupted by some pesky new neighbors. A stray cat enters his life and, after much complaining, This is one of those cutesy, grumpy-old-man-finds-love stories. I started off really enjoying the book, which has some amusing scenes, but I soon became disenchanted. The plot follows a predictable path, and I guessed all the beats before they happened. (view spoiler)[(Ove is a widower. He's depressed and was just forced to retire from his job. He tries several times to kill himself but he's always interrupted by some pesky new neighbors. A stray cat enters his life and, after much complaining, Ove ends up adopting it. Similar to the classic movie "It's a Wonderful Life," Ove ends up finding satisfaction and meaning in being useful to his friends and neighbors, and he decides to live.) (hide spoiler)] I think this is one of those novels for which you have to be in the right mood, and maybe I was a bit too grumpy while reading it.That said, I did appreciate Ove's indignation at men in white shirts who seem to be controlling and ruining everything, and how Ove took it upon himself to try and hold his neighborhood together. A civilized society has got to have standards, people! (I was amused that some of Ove's rants reminded me of comments from elderly relatives.)The novel mixes the humorous and the sentimental, and if I hadn't been so critical I would have enjoyed it more. If you like bittersweet stories about grouchy old men finding purpose, you may like this. Favorite Quotes"Ove is the sort of man who checks the status of all things by giving them a good kick.""Every morning for the almost four decades they had lived in this house, Ove had put on the coffee percolator, using exactly the same amount of coffee as on any other morning, and then drank a cup with his wife. One measure for each cup, and one extra for the pot — no more, no less. People didn't know how to do that anymore, brew some proper coffee. In the same ways as nowadays nobody could write with a pen. Because now it was all computers and espresso machines. And where was the world going if people couldn't even write or brew a pot of coffee?"
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  • Mo
    August 13, 2015
    I loved this one. Had me hooked from the first page. He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had. It wasn't really about cars, properly speaking. But Ove drove a Saab, after all. And Rune drove a Volvo. "You don't fool me, darling," she said with a playful little smile and crept into his big arms. "You're dancing on the inside, Ove, when no one's watching. And I'll always love you for that. Whether you like it or not." And then one morning, he saw her. Just read I loved this one. Had me hooked from the first page. He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had. It wasn't really about cars, properly speaking. But Ove drove a Saab, after all. And Rune drove a Volvo. "You don't fool me, darling," she said with a playful little smile and crept into his big arms. "You're dancing on the inside, Ove, when no one's watching. And I'll always love you for that. Whether you like it or not." And then one morning, he saw her. Just read it.
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  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    October 25, 2016
    Ein Mann namens Ove = A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backmanعنوان: مردی به نام اوه؛ نویسنده: فردریک بکمن؛ مترجم: حسین تهرانی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1395؛ در 361 ص؛ شابک: 9786002296979؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئدی - قرن 21 معنوان: مردی به نام اُوه؛ نویسنده: فردریک بکمن؛ مترجم: فرناز تیمورازف؛ تهران، نشر نون، 1395؛ در 392 ص؛ شابک: 9786007141779؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئدی - قرن 21 معنوان: مردی به نام اووه؛ نویسنده: فردریک بکمن؛ مترجم: محمد عباس آبادی؛ تهران، کتابسرای تندیس، 1395؛ در 374 ص؛ شابک: Ein Mann namens Ove = A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backmanعنوان: مردی به نام اوه؛ نویسنده: فردریک بکمن؛ مترجم: حسین تهرانی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1395؛ در 361 ص؛ شابک: 9786002296979؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئدی - قرن 21 معنوان: مردی به نام اُوه؛ نویسنده: فردریک بکمن؛ مترجم: فرناز تیمورازف؛ تهران، نشر نون، 1395؛ در 392 ص؛ شابک: 9786007141779؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئدی - قرن 21 معنوان: مردی به نام اووه؛ نویسنده: فردریک بکمن؛ مترجم: محمد عباس آبادی؛ تهران، کتابسرای تندیس، 1395؛ در 374 ص؛ شابک: 9786001822124؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئدی - قرن 21 مبکمن در رمان: «مردی به نام اوه»؛ بینشی انتقادی به اجتماع دارد و احساساتی همچو: عشق و نفرت را، به زیبایی به تصویر می‌کشد، جامعه را در لفاف طنز زیر سؤال می‌برد، و انزوا و ریشه‌ های مشکلات بشر مدرن را، می‌کاود. نثر کتاب، ساده و روان است و خواندنش لذت‌بخش، مفاهیم ژرفی در بر دارد که از دیدگان تیزبین و ذهن‌های منتقد، هرگزی پنهان نمی‌ماند. روزنامه ی «اشپیگل» درباره ی این رمان نوشته است: «کسی که از این رمان خوشش نیاید ، بهتر است هیچ کتابی نخواند»؛ ا. شربیانی
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  • Julie
    March 15, 2017
    A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a 2014 Atria publication. After I read ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ and really enjoyed it, my Goodreads friends strongly recommended this book, and were positive I would love it. I vowed to fit the book in as quickly as possible, and was thankful my library had a copy and the wait list wasn’t monstrous. I have no idea where to begin! This an amazing story, with the most interesting characters, humorous and emotional situations. The writing is unusual, with presen A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is a 2014 Atria publication. After I read ‘Britt-Marie Was Here’ and really enjoyed it, my Goodreads friends strongly recommended this book, and were positive I would love it. I vowed to fit the book in as quickly as possible, and was thankful my library had a copy and the wait list wasn’t monstrous. I have no idea where to begin! This an amazing story, with the most interesting characters, humorous and emotional situations. The writing is unusual, with present tense mingled with past tense. Ove appears, in the beginning, as though he is a cranky old man, maybe a little anal, but there is also a loneliness surrounding him, and a sense of despair. As the story progresses, we learn about Ove’s background, his marriage, and how he got to this point where he attempts to end his life, but is always inadvertently prevented from succeeding. Ove may have been reserved, but his life has meant more, and his influence has reached further, than he ever thought. Every person has a history. We see people on the surface, without knowing anything about them, and make judgements. I did that with Ove in the beginning, but by the end of the book, my opinion of him and respect for him had grown immeasurably. I loved the various secondary characters, including the cat and of course the Saab!! But, the relationship between Sonja and Ove is the most poignant and effective part of the novel. “Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.”Although Ove is dragged out of his shell kicking and screaming, he finally begins to live again, in the most eccentric, but enchanting way! This book lived up to any and all of my expectations and then some!! 4.5 stars
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  • Perry
    August 27, 2016
    Had I not been going through a rough spell in my life, I'm almost positive I'd give this a solid 5. On the fence between 4 & 5, say 4.35, I'm going with my hunch that a 4 is unfair. I hate that I, human as I am, cannot stop negatives in my life from flowing over into my view of fiction I'm reading.At the same time though, I'm grateful for our blessing, our magic, as humans, that great fiction naturally flows into our lives. Here, I could feel the flow and was definitely affected by this stor Had I not been going through a rough spell in my life, I'm almost positive I'd give this a solid 5. On the fence between 4 & 5, say 4.35, I'm going with my hunch that a 4 is unfair. I hate that I, human as I am, cannot stop negatives in my life from flowing over into my view of fiction I'm reading.At the same time though, I'm grateful for our blessing, our magic, as humans, that great fiction naturally flows into our lives. Here, I could feel the flow and was definitely affected by this story that I think provides a great illustration of a variation on Dr. Viktor Frankl's psycho-philosophical quote, "Those who have a 'why' to live, can bear with almost any 'how,'" from Man's Search for Meaning. I won't get into the specifics of the story, but Ove had no "why" when his wife left him behind on this Earth to fend for himself. Backman's writing has a wry humor to it relating to older men of a certain "no-nonsense" ilk. Backman also creates a story showing the truth of having to go on living when our life's partner has been taken from us. In lesser writers' hands, the book might have fallen prey to the type of overly sentimental (read also, highly unrealistic) schmaltz that I've begun to detest in some books.* What I'm trying to say here is: deliver me a compelling and realistic story, draw me great characters and paint me the human condition, and I will likely be impacted in some profound and tender human way: I might shed a few tears as I did here, I may feel conflicted for star-crossed lovers, or feel any of the whole range of emotions I have developed over a whole lifetime of living a real life, full of happiness, sadness, love, lust, grief, regrets, anger, rage, envy, jealousy, resentments and on and on and on. I might also get subtle messages that only I might see, me and a few others in this world like me.By comparison, you should know that, as a reader, I'm pretty sharp as are most I know. We read fiction to inhabit a world of others, to feel and laugh and love. To do this, we must use our gift, in an act of faith in your abilities, of suspending disbelief, allowing us to read a "fiction" as if, in reality, it is happening or has happened. If you feel the urge to show us flowering prose-buds, your ability to make people cry or feel a certain way, your intellectual capacity to "send a message," please, don't. Indeed, please step away from your story. If you're seen in your story, you have ruined it--our disbelief-suspension is a fragile gift in that if we get a notion, and humans are all expert bullshit-detectors, that you are "telling" us things to make us feel a certain way or telling us in the slightest how we SHOULD BE feeling, instead of showing us humans in the midst of the human condition, then we see you as a liar and some of us will detest you for your condescension, and the machinations of your deception. I will definitely read more from Fredrik Backman, a highly-talented writer of the former persuasion._______________*The most recent example came in a novel I read a few weeks back. It's set in southern Ohio [thank you again, southerly buckeyes, for explaining how this part of the state is solidly hillbilly country]. It was called something like - This Summer, This Story Shall Melteth Everything.
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  • ♥Sharon♥
    August 17, 2015
    He was a man of black and White.And she was color.All the color he had. In case I don't get back with a "full review" you have to know that I absolutely loved this book. I loved this man called Ove. I could have spent many more hours reading about him. This book was not something I would have chosen for myself. I didn't have it on my TBR. It was a wonderful story. I quickly found myself endlessly highlighting all the moments that made me laugh, that made me sigh and those that made me cry. I en He was a man of black and White.And she was color.All the color he had. In case I don't get back with a "full review" you have to know that I absolutely loved this book. I loved this man called Ove. I could have spent many more hours reading about him. This book was not something I would have chosen for myself. I didn't have it on my TBR. It was a wonderful story. I quickly found myself endlessly highlighting all the moments that made me laugh, that made me sigh and those that made me cry. I enjoyed the way the story unfolded. The life that Ove was living and the life that Ove once had. Ove is a cranky man. I adored him and all his grumpiness. He was a man who needed a ray of sunshine to brightened his way. Various people became these rays of sunshine. They shrugged off his crotchety ways and brought back that little bit of happiness he needed in his life.A Man Called Ove will definitely go on my favorites shelf. I would highly recommend this book to everyone. A definite must read!! ❤And THANK YOU so much Mo for the recommendation!!
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  • Carol
    October 23, 2014
    1000 heartbeats of love…The Hook When a book receives the press and solid reviews like A Man Called Ove has, I worry. I wonder if it can possibly live up to the words of praise? I’m a latecomer. Now that I finally took the chance all I can say is “You were all right”. A Man Called Ove deserves every good review and every single acclamation it has been given. Ove reminded so much of someone near and dear to my heart that they could be twins. The shared traits only increased my appreciation. My on 1000 heartbeats of love…The Hook When a book receives the press and solid reviews like A Man Called Ove has, I worry. I wonder if it can possibly live up to the words of praise? I’m a latecomer. Now that I finally took the chance all I can say is “You were all right”. A Man Called Ove deserves every good review and every single acclamation it has been given. Ove reminded so much of someone near and dear to my heart that they could be twins. The shared traits only increased my appreciation. My only little quibble is that Ove is described as a curmudgeonly old man. Ove is 59 in the book’s opening pages. Is 59 the new old?The Line(s) “But we are always optimists when it comes to time. We think there will be time to do things with other people and time to say things to them, time to appeal.”The Sinker –A Man Called OveA Man Who Was OveA SaabA woman named SonjaSuits, White Shirts, Idiots & ImbecilesThe catA woman named ParvanaEnoughMore than EnoughPurposeIf you’ve read A Man Called Ove you’ll know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, read a few 5 starred reviews and get to it as quickly as you can. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I embraced A Man Called Ove. It made laugh and it made me cry. It brought me joy and it reminded me of the healing power of love. A Man Called Ove goes on my lifetime favorites list.
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  • Snotchocheez
    November 15, 2015
    2.5 starsI've read all my GR friends' wildly divergent reviews of Fredrik Backman's debut novel A Man Called Ove and can find something to agree with in each of them. Nods to those who enjoyed the comedy of errors. Nods to the ailurophiles who despised Ove's treatment of the cat. Nods to those who couldn't get enough of Ove's archetypal curmudgeonly character. Nods to those who found Ove's transformation from hating the world to being a reluctant hero an unlikely and transparently feel-good-y a 2.5 starsI've read all my GR friends' wildly divergent reviews of Fredrik Backman's debut novel A Man Called Ove and can find something to agree with in each of them. Nods to those who enjoyed the comedy of errors. Nods to the ailurophiles who despised Ove's treatment of the cat. Nods to those who couldn't get enough of Ove's archetypal curmudgeonly character. Nods to those who found Ove's transformation from hating the world to being a reluctant hero an unlikely and transparently feel-good-y affair.My assessment: cute but repetitive, not nearly as funny as it needs to be, rendered trite by its obvious similarity to other, better comedic works, slathered with life-lesson goop, and adorned with a way-too-predictable wreath of lingonberries and happy happy joy joy.Or maybe I'm just as curmudgeonly as Ove, so never mind me.
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  • Lynne King
    March 22, 2015
    Ove stayed there with her hand in his for several hours. Until the hospital staff entered the room with warm voices and careful movements, explaining that they had to take her body away. Ove rose from his chair, nodded and went to the undertakers to take care of the documentation. On the Sunday she was buried. On the Monday, he went to work. But if anyone had asked, he would have told them that he never lived before he met her. And not after, either. As I slowly and effortlessly slid between th Ove stayed there with her hand in his for several hours. Until the hospital staff entered the room with warm voices and careful movements, explaining that they had to take her body away. Ove rose from his chair, nodded and went to the undertakers to take care of the documentation. On the Sunday she was buried. On the Monday, he went to work. But if anyone had asked, he would have told them that he never lived before he met her. And not after, either. As I slowly and effortlessly slid between the sheets, I became engulfed and absorbed in the world of a miserable, curmudgeonly fifty-nine year old Swedish man called Ove and what an unexpected individual did he turn out to be.The plot is simple: man loves woman, marries her, is more than happy with this life and then she dies and life ceases to exist for Ove but then there is always something serendipitous that is going to happen and from quite an unexpected source. For then all the neighbours come into the mix…Flashbacks of Ove’s life with his wife Sonja gently flow throughout this work. She was colour, particularly red. Ove was black and white. She was day whereas he was night. She was always late. He was the opposite and a truly organized and functional man. And yet, their marriage worked as the equilibrium was maintained between them.Her death made him determined that he had to join her and various mishaps with suicide added the tragicomedy element to this wonderful book. The spanner in the works proves to be Pananeh. A pregnant, foreign woman and a new neighbour. She’s more or less like a guardian angel and always manages to appear whenever something awful is going to happen to Ove or does in fact happen. Life is indeed a curious thing.I’m so taken with this book that it is impossible to write a review on it. I’ve made notes galore. All I can say is that I’m so pleased that I came across this work and read it.It’s absolutely super and that’s all there is to it.
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  • Annet
    October 24, 2015
    Absolutely loved this one. A Man called Ove was a laugh and a cry for me. Ove is a grumpy old man. A man of principle. And not very nice. He was never a talker and not very social either. It's the way he is, and there is a reason too. His wife Sonja died recently and he just can't take life anymore. In flashbacks we learn how he meets Sonja, how they build a life together in which he absolutely adores her. He misses her dearly and when we meet Ove he actually makes several attempts to end his li Absolutely loved this one. A Man called Ove was a laugh and a cry for me. Ove is a grumpy old man. A man of principle. And not very nice. He was never a talker and not very social either. It's the way he is, and there is a reason too. His wife Sonja died recently and he just can't take life anymore. In flashbacks we learn how he meets Sonja, how they build a life together in which he absolutely adores her. He misses her dearly and when we meet Ove he actually makes several attempts to end his life as he sees no use living on without her. However, the neighborhood prevents him to do so.... He meets a new, Iranian, family who comes to live in his neighbourhood. A pregnant woman, a clumsy husband, and two little daughters. The first encounters with the various family members are hilarious. And Ove meets a cat, who comes to live with him. And other colourful neighbors follow.... he does not want to connect with them at all, but it can't be helped. And then... the story really starts. And Ove, without wanting it, bonds... with the cat and with the family. And the other neighbors. The last pages really made me cry, really. Hit me right in the heart. (to be honest, at several points in the story, when he recounts his life with Sonja). And when a writer makes me laugh out loud and cry... it's a five star for me. Great story & recommended. I don't think I would have found this book without Goodreads by the way. Various reviews brought me to Ove's doorstep! People had always said that Ove was 'bitter'. But he wasn't bloody bitter. He just didn't go round grinning the whole time. Did that mean one had to be treated like a criminal? Ove hardly thought so. Something inside a man goes to pieces when he has to bury the only person who ever understood him. There is no time to heal that sort of wound.
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  • Melanie
    January 14, 2017
    I just loved this book! I'm sure most have already read it but if not, do! Great story! Thanks to my sister and a good friend for talking me into reading it. I wasnt planning to and I would really have been missing out.
  • Diane Barnes
    July 2, 2014
    Books like this are the reason I read.I just finished the last page and can't even think of enough wonderful things to say. But any book that can make me believe that most people are basically good and decent and do the best they can with what they have, well, what can I say? I know some Ove's, and just like him, their hearts are too big.Ove's wife has just died, and he doesn't know how to go on without her. Here's how much he loved her: on their first date he ate before he took her out to dinne Books like this are the reason I read.I just finished the last page and can't even think of enough wonderful things to say. But any book that can make me believe that most people are basically good and decent and do the best they can with what they have, well, what can I say? I know some Ove's, and just like him, their hearts are too big.Ove's wife has just died, and he doesn't know how to go on without her. Here's how much he loved her: on their first date he ate before he took her out to dinner, so that he could get something inexpensive and let her order what she wanted in case he didn't have enough money. This was after 3 months of riding a train every day for an hour in the wrong direction just so he could sit beside her and talk. And when she died, he lost the only person who really understood him. He wanted to die as well, and came up with lots of ways to kill himself, but every time he tried, someone needed him more than he needed to die.This book is about love in all it's forms. Husbands and wives, fathers, neighbors, strangers, even mangy cats. We all need each other, we all need help, we all need to be needed and valued. Add to that some tolerance and acceptance of differences and willingness to change and you have the beginnings of a better world.Throw in a lot of humor and common sense, and you get a novel that I have to recommend to everyone. Men like Ove are a vanishing breed.
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