From the author of the internationally best-selling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother's fairy tales.
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is 77 years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus crazy. She is also Elsa's best and only friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother's stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa's grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa's greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman's internationally best-selling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and an ode to one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.
©2015 (c)2015 Fredrik Backman. All rights reserved. English language translation (c)2015 Henning Koch. All rights reserved. (P)2015 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.
"Joan Walker narrates this delightful novel with a perfect balance of reverence and playfulness, bringing out Backman's wonderfully authentic child's-eye perspective as well as his heartwarming humor." (AudioFile)
I read this as soon as I finished A Man Called Ove. Backman has an exceptional talent of description using the most incongruous elements which adroitly fill your imagination with exactly the image required (you laugh out loud despite the tears in your eyes with your identification with imperfect upbringings). This book first introduces you to the harsh and easily judgmental view of the characters that would be easily reached upon superficial evaluation, and then leads you to a far more mature and intelligent understanding of their foibles and their heroism, all told in the voice of a painfully precocious, "almost 8 year old" girl. Your understanding of the characters deepens, even as they themselves continue to develop with his talented hand. Though told in the voice of a child, do not mistake this for a children's book, even as you wish you would have read it far earlier in life!
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I love Fredrik Backman's writing style. He has a way of painting a picture on the surface then diving in to show you just how wrong your assumptions can be. His characters are interesting, flawed, loveable and real - with a great similarity to people you've known in your own life. He has a special way of showing what makes us who we are.
Both of his books have been absolutely terrific listens - enough so that I've now listened to both of them twice. The first time through I had to find out what was going to happen. I was totally engaged in the story. The second time through I wanted to enjoy his talent as a writer and the pure enjoyment of a perfect narration.
I'll read anything by this author; he's that good. Just buy this and enjoy it. I love A Man Called Ove more than this, but this one is charming and sweet and delightful as well.
Listen to about four audio books a months. Never without one.
I had high expectations because I loved "A Man Called Ove" and it got great reviews here on Audible. I know I am in a minority but I was so disappointed. There is a lovely story hidden in this book but it is hidden in fairy tales that I found boring and I got lost in. I feel like I wasted 80% of my time to read 20% with meaning. I almost quit many times but I hung in there. I don't mind fantasy. I am listening to Harry Potter now and love it. I didn't like the blending of fantasy with reality. Am asking for a return.
I really enjoyed. The story started off a little slow for me and was not sure whether I was enjoying. So very glad I kept listening. Thoroughly enjoyable story. I became invested in all the characters. It was so good how the story of each character unfolded. Honestly did not want the story to end. Narration was excellent.
Daisy - love audible books
Backman's writing is magical - I love the eccentricity of his characters, his ability to reflect this crazy world and to populate it it with unlikely yet everyday heroes. In Ove's story the cat rules but here we have a true canine hero and a grandmother that any little girl - especially a different little girl - needs and deserves. Bravo!
I download over 100 books a year. I don't even know how to go about my day without listening to a title. It's my happy place!
Like many, I discovered Fredrick Backman first by reading "A Man Called Ove." That book put me on a search for more. This book turned out to be even better! It was such a simple story with subjects and characters easily taken from our everyday lives. And yet, it was so much more. I won't go into the details of the book; many reviewers have already done that. Just know that this is not a YA book, no matter the age of the main character. It was written and narrated with subtle nuances that require a bit more of a mature audience to appreciate. I tend to hate stories that turn out to be book one in a series. What I wouldn't do to have this story continue.
I'm so sad it's over. I could have followed Elsa's daily life until adulthood. I want to live in Elsa's world. I'm full of joy having experienced this wonderful book.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
It might have been the timing, it might have been the narrator, it might have been the author, but whatever it was, this is the perfect book. Sweet, sad, funny, serious, laugh inducing, tearful - - it's all the emotions and all the sentiment a person could ask for in a book. A fairy tale wrapped up in reality, please just grab this quick and give it a listen. There will be no need for apologies.
Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
I have to preface this review by saying that I am not a fantasy lover. I have tried the genre several times, always convinced that this time it will be different, only to find I can't continue. I really had no idea how much fantasy was in this story when I started my listen. Yes, there were times when I contemplated quitting and felt quite disappointed. But, something kept me hanging in there.
I did finish this book and am so glad I did. Sometimes we just need to push ourselves to do something that is not in our comfort zone. I have always found this to be good for me.
What initially kept me invested in this story was Joan Walker's amazing narration. She is truly a genius. As far as the story line, I found myself more and more invested in the many interesting characters and events as time wore on. Elsa, of course, was my favorite. As an almost-eight-year-old girl, she had wisdom beyond her years, as some children do in reality. Yet, she was still a vulnerable little girl whom I worried about and who still made me chuckle and laugh at times. And strangest of all, I admired her and wished I could have been more like her as a child!
If you could call this an adult fairy tale, it is surely the best of its kind. Fredrik Backman is a very special author and man, and I only have positive thoughts about his writing, this current book and the previous, "A Man Called Ove", which I tremendously enjoyed. If you are sitting on the fence about this book, let me suggest you go for it!
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