Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He isn't as young as he used to be. He drives a Saab. He points at people he doesn't like the look of. He is described by those around his as 'the neighbour from hell'.Every morning he makes his inspection rounds of the local streets. He moves bicycles and checks the contents of recycling bins, even though it's been years since he was fired as Chairman of the Residents' Association in a vicious 'coup d'état'.
But behind the surly pedant there is a story, and a sadness. And when on a November morning his new (foreign) neighbours in the terraced house opposite accidentally flatten Ove's letterbox, it sets off a comical and heart-warming tale of unexpected friendship which will change one man - and one community - from their very foundations. Quirky and bittersweet, heartbreaking yet outrageously funny, A Man Called Ove is a life-affirming fable for our times.
©2014 Fredrik Backman (P)2014 Hodder & Stoughton
This is one of those rare books you wish would never come to an end. I loved it and will recommend it unhesitatingly. Joan Walker did a fabulous job. I look forward to more from Fredrik Backman.
Yes. It was one of those books that I never wanted to finish. And when finished, I missed Ove and knew it would be hard to find a book I enjoyed as much.
Ove is a composite of people we all have known. He is an ethical curmudgeon but we are ever hopeful for some sign of compassion from him.
No, but I will now look for other books she narrates. She has become one of my favorite narrators.
Pavana would be an interesting character to have dinner with.
I listened to this book as I walked in the morning. There were times I laughed aloud and a couple times when I was teary-eyed. When I got home, after my walks, my husband would ask, "So, what's new with Ove today?"
"All you need is Ove"
Ove is one of those characters you wish existed in real life. This is one of those books that you want to never end. Highly recommended if you want to read something funny, sad but most of all uplifting.
It is a really clever story, not complicated but it all fits together so neatly. The characters come alive as the book goes on and I felt really engaged with them.
It reminds me a lot of " the hundred year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared ". The way the story slides between the past and present all centred around a simple male character. To start both characters seemed very "ordinary" but it turns out both were completely extraordinary.
She kept it very simple. Although there were a few character voices in there she didn't overcomplicate things by trying to do lots of impressions. It didn't feel rushed at all.
Both!! I completely fell for Ove - and all of the other characters in the book. The way the relationships developed was beautiful. I was so sad when the book ended, I felt like I was really going to miss them all!
Stick with the first few chapters. I didn't think I was going to enjoy it at all but I now think it is one of the best books I have ever read.
"Want to recommend to everyone!"
Joan Walker's performance compliments the style of the book perfectly.
Loved the way the author slowly builds the character of Ove up. Opening up his story gradually so he becomes less of the "grumpy old man" and into the neighbor you'd love to have
This is first of Joan Walker's performances I've heard but think she done an amazing job narrating this book and her style reminds me very much of Victoria Wood.
This book will delight and surprise you. Guaranteed.
"Ove's grumpiness becomes loveable"
Ove ( aka señor Saab) makes me laugh from the start. At first he's just funny. I know grumpy old men like him - mentioning no names.
But then gradually I become privy to Ove's personal history and his character and his values. And so I start to understand him, and even agree with and - dare I say - respect his crankiness!
And even as someone who is not remotely interested in cars, I was fascinated to learn that there are differences (but acceptable differences) between a man who drives a Saab and a man who drives a Volvo. But BMW? How very dare you? And let's not even mention Renault.
I laughed out loud. I felt for him. I cried.
Ove doesn't compromise his principles - no matter what happens, he follows the rules. On Ove's watch, no car is allowed to enter the residential area - even if it is an ambulance. And even if it is coming for him.
The story of Ove has been compared to Allan's in The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. But Ove and Allan are completely different. The characters are both Swedish. Yes. And the structures of their stories rely heavily on flashbacks to help us understand them - because they are both older main characters, I suppose. But Allan is the opposite of Ove. He seems to saunter through life without a care in the world. Ove is annoyed about everything! His story remains down to earth and tugs at the heartstrings.
"Brilliant, funny, sad"
at the top.
All the characters are well drawn but with such a lightness of touch. This book can wring so many emotions out of you without ever being cloying..
Haven't read anything to compare. All of human life is here, brilliantly described and read.
No but I will be looking for more now.
I have enjoyed this book as much as any other I have read. I know these people in fact I'm married to one. Human nature is so well portraid and the amusing side of life brought out to keep us smiling.
"Enhance your literary life, read or listen now!"
The authors writing style and the brilliant reading and characterisation by Joan Walker. She brings this book alive and made the the leading charachter leap from the page.
There were several, this book is both darkly humoured and deeply touching, I actually shed a few tears towards the end, yet at other times laughed aloud at the black humour and bluntness of the character of Ove. It was never smaltzy or over slushy, it was brilliantly pitched making Ove's charater unravel chapter by chapter and making him become more and more likable as the book progressed. (I actually liked him from the outset unlike other reviewers.) I somehow had faith in the author and the narrator that they were leading me into a more complicated man/life than was initially portrayed, and the book never failed to deliver.
Simply put, she was brilliant. She clearly "got" Ove from the outset and made him believable. I have since searched for all the other books she has read, sadly they are mainly Shakespeare plays (not my bag) but please please publishers, give her more dramatic fiction, I'll listen because she does such an excellent job.
Ove is a gift of a man, like pass the parcel, as you peel away the layers the true prize is revealed...
Best book I've read in 10years.
"For fans of the 100-Year-Old-Man and Harold Fry"
'A Man Called Ove' is another one of those The-Unlikely-Pilgrimage-of-Harold-Fry, The-Hundred-Year-Old-Man-Who-Climbed-Out-of-the-Window-and-Disappeared and The-Universe-Versus-Alex-Woods-books which are really easy to listen to, humorous, sometimes uplifting and make you think about life a little more. The lesson to learn from Ove's life is that humans are not always as they seem to be on the outside. Ove might give the impression to be a grumpy old man, but you can't dislike him. Behind his moody facade there's a man whom it might take a little while to let people into his heart, but who's also going to be a friend for life once he did.
"I am married to Ove"
I feel like I am married to a man like Ove. Angry choleric on the outside, soft and terribly romantic on the inside.
Lovely and heart warming story about a man who after his wife's death, struggles to find a reason to live other than keeping the order in his housing community and having to help his useless new neighbours.
The character of Ove is being uncovered in small steps, while the story of his past and presence unfolds.
Nice Sunday listen
"A Heartwarming Story Wrapped In Grump..."
The characters were understated and the story was extremely well writen.
Ove. He is just... cool.
All the characters came to life with her expert reading. She's just wonderful- more a performer than a reader.
Ove's relationship with the cat and the times he got protective of others.
A masterpiece in the understated:
The main character is someone almost everyone has run across at some time in their life, someone who not-so-quietly gets on with things, fixing, mending, taking the world as he finds it (with a lump of salt), as long as the rules are followed: cantankerous would be putting it mildly... so much so, that a compliment like "You're not a total idiot" coming from him is very high praise indeed.
But like most people like this, there are layers and layers of the outside bit - and the middle, buried deep down - turns out to be... incredibly soft
This story is extremely endearing, not least because we all have elements of Ove in us, on all levels.
A brilliant book, the author, Fredrik Backman, is definitely one to watch, and I intend to keep an eye out for more from him.
Narrated by Joan Walker, who, I must say, provides an absolutely stunning performance, I will look for her again, it's always such a treat to have a reading this well done. Fantastic.
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