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Publisher's Summary

More than two million copies sold

“You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life.” (People)

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.

Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. 

“If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down.” (Booklist, starred review)

©2019 Fredrik Backman (P)2019 Simon & Schuster Audio

Featured Article: The Best Listens for Tom Hanks Fans


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What listeners say about A Man Called Ove

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By Far the Best Narrator of a Book I've Had

The story was phenomenal by itself but the narrator was so exceptional I got completely sucked in. He made it so enjoyable.

36 people found this helpful

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Best book ever!

This hilarious, touching, deep and at times sad story is the most amazing book I have ever read. I was so sad when it ended. I have hundreds of titles in my library and this one tops the lot! I will be listening to all the authors works for sure. I will also watch the movie now that was made from the book. Don’t hesitate to invest in this purchase, you won’t regret it!

26 people found this helpful

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Loved this book so much!

I laughed, I cried, I LOVED this book. J.K. Simmons was the perfect narrator. What a lovely story, the heartfelt moments snuck up on me and brought me to tears and then there would be a snarky comment from Ove that would then move me to laughter. Highly recommend this book!!

22 people found this helpful

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One of the best books I have ever read.

Bought the paperback but the text was really small. You should listen now - it's love. And life. And makes the pandemic just a little more bearable.

14 people found this helpful

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I read Backman’s books last to first

This was my least favorite book by Backman. When first meeting Ove I didn’t like his curmudgeon ill temper from the start. However, I love J.K. Simmons and the reviews well are usually worth of a best seller but Ove put me off and by the time we got to know his childhood and his despair after losing his wife I thought there would be a deeper connection between Ove and his self awareness at this stage of his life but the narrator seemed to not have access to Ove’s internal thoughts. It was like reading or listening to someone observing an old man that lives in your neighborhood and weaving together rumors and overheard interactions by a witness who is trying to explain why the man is so grumpy and lonely.

Ove’s character doesn’t have a his moment where he’s aware of himself. There isn’t an evolution from sad to renewal or connection by way of understanding mistakes or choices to being useful in a new way. No, Ove decided to be helpful so people would leave him alone. He was seemingly thoughtful but in reality he didn’t trust others to do it “right” such as, no one else was going to do the neighborhood watch if he didn’t.
I don’t see his neighbors wanting to subject themselves to his impatient outbursts without some kind of genuine need to put up with them never knowing his personal turmoil. because he wasn’t friends with anyone by the time we are meeting him and all of his friends are dead or dying at this point.

As times change from his abrupt youth to meeting his wife and watching his neighborhood gentrify Ove became an unlikely magnet for misfits. First there was a lone cat that went everywhere including riding in the car and behaving more like a dog would from my experience to a pregnant woman who he was obviously racist of but from an old man perspective and a couple of teenagers one being gay who think his house is the only safe place to hangout when the boy is kicked out after he comes out. The boys are friends not a couple in this story and need the old school fix it with your own tools kind of self sufficient era Ove is so proud of.

I think Backman nails the stereotypical last of his generation racist but not racist grumpy and lonely old man who is just misunderstood. I would have liked to hear about his reversal from wishing he was dead to finding he can change with the times and want to risk breaking out of his comfort zone versus doing these things because no one else will do it the same way he has done things. This book sounded more like the pregnant woman was driving the events of the plot and yet we don’t know her all that well either.

By the end I finally wanted to know Ove. He was finally becoming interesting to me.
His next two books do a better job with character development and keeping the listener interested in the doldrums of a midlife crisis in my opinion.

13 people found this helpful

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Powerful novel...

Powerful novel In its own right, but the narrator elevates it a notch further. Absolutely beautiful.

11 people found this helpful

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Not for me

This book has a lot of great reviews, but it was just not for me. The character is just not likable, no matter what he does toward the end of the story. It’s really hard to like a guy, regardless of his history, who is basically a jerk. So, I know a lot of people like this, but it is not for me. I did enjoy JK Simmons narration.

9 people found this helpful

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It truly lives up to the hype

I kept hearing how great this story was and was a bit late to reading it but I’m so glad I did. Full of warmth and love—makes you appreciate others and the little things in life. Jk Simmons made it even better I’m sure—great book!

9 people found this helpful

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Possibly my favorite book to date.

Such a charming and witty book. I couldn't love the characters any more than I do. Definitely one of those books that makes you sad that you've come to the end of it. A must read.

6 people found this helpful

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Beautiful book about family connections

This is a lovely story about how one forms a family from the connections one makes. I loved it. Had me crying at the end. You become very engaged with the characters and how their relationships develop. It also does a good job of going back and forth between Ove’s present and past life in a way that shows how his past experiences shaped his character and values.

5 people found this helpful

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  • JB
  • 01-09-21

Slow start, great story!

I have to admit I almost stopped in the beginning, but decided to give it a chance. The grumpy old man trying to but a device at an electronic shop did not grab me. I am so glad I pushed on and ended up loving the book, and the grumpy old man!