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A Man Called Ove | [Fredrik Backman]

A Man Called Ove

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'.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (16 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.6 (15 )
5 star
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3 star
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Story
4.1 (14 )
5 star
 (7)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Donald A. Leischman Corvallis,, Oregon United States 09-19-14
    Donald A. Leischman Corvallis,, Oregon United States 09-19-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    5
    1
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    "5 Stars is not enough"

    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.

    Don L.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith R King La Crescent, MN, US 08-14-14
    Judith R King La Crescent, MN, US 08-14-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    FOLLOWING
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    "Perfect book"
    Would you listen to A Man Called Ove again? Why?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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.


    Have you listened to any of Joan Walker’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No, but I will now look for other books she narrates. She has become one of my favorite narrators.


    If you could take any character from A Man Called Ove out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Pavana would be an interesting character to have dinner with.


    Any additional comments?

    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?"

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvonne 09-03-14
    Yvonne 09-03-14 Member Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I couldn't get past chapter three. Too dull and depressing. Ove is a pedantic fool.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-3 of 3 results
Sort by:
  • Kaggy
    Kent, United Kingdom
    9/22/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Lynn T.
    9/19/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "UTTERLY BRILLIANT!!!"
    What did you like most about A Man Called Ove?

    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.


    What other book might you compare A Man Called Ove to, and why?

    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.


    What about Joan Walker’s performance did you like?

    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.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • john morton
    7/14/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Want to recommend to everyone!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Man Called Ove the most enjoyable?

    Joan Walker's performance compliments the style of the book perfectly.


    What did you like best about this story?

    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


    Have you listened to any of Joan Walker’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    This book will delight and surprise you. Guaranteed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Kari
    11/11/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • helen
    10/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, funny, sad"
    Where does A Man Called Ove rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    at the top.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ove.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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..


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Glenda
    Sutton on Derwent, United Kingdom
    9/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    What other book might you compare A Man Called Ove to, and why?

    Haven't read anything to compare. All of human life is here, brilliantly described and read.


    Have you listened to any of Joan Walker’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    No but I will be looking for more now.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jayneylonglegs
    Lancashire
    8/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enhance your literary life, read or listen now!"
    What made the experience of listening to A Man Called Ove the most enjoyable?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Man Called Ove?

    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.


    What does Joan Walker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Ove is a gift of a man, like pass the parcel, as you peel away the layers the true prize is revealed...


    Any additional comments?

    Best book I've read in 10years.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Martin
    London, United Kingdom
    7/27/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "For fans of the 100-Year-Old-Man and Harold Fry"
    Any additional comments?

    '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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • S. W. Holdings
    St Martin
    9/21/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Ana
    12/12/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good"

    Great audiobook, the narration is wonderful, I couldn’t stop listening. Ove is a very peculiar character, so grumpy that makes his life experiences seem very funny. I laughed so much at the beginning but towards the end, as his full story is revealed, I cried too (which I wasn't expecting). It will definitely keep you entertained.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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