A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

A Novel

Book - 2014
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Read the New York Times bestseller that has taken the world by storm!

In this "charming debut" ( People ) from one of Sweden's most successful authors, 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 feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand , 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).
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Atria Books, 2014.
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition.
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9781476738017
1476738017
Branch Call Number: FIC BACKM
Characteristics: 337 pages ; 24 cm

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e
elphiegirl
Jun 01, 2018

A beautifully written story about a man who lost love and became swallowed in grief fighting any friendship that offered to help. You can't help but fall in love with this cynical character who has decided a lonely life is better than having to deal with the world (or people) around him. Great read!

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sssggglll
May 31, 2018

I loved this book. It was both funny and sad. If you've ever loved someone with mental illness, this book will help you cope.

p
paperfiend
Apr 19, 2018

This book made me laugh and cry and love it so much! "Poignant" is the perfect description. The writing is wry and witty, and the story is well crafted.

JCLEmilyD Mar 21, 2018

This is the story of a man called Ove, a grumpy old man who loves his Saab. This endearing story of an unsung hero trying (and not succeeding) to be left alone, inspires the value of unexpected friendship. Enjoy the story of Ove and his boisterous new neighbors, find out what makes Ove tick.

A Man Called Ove is about an old elderly man that wants to join his wife who passed away. He tries a couple of times and fails all of the times finnaly he stops trying and makes friends with his neighbors and lives a happier life. - Christine, age 10

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orange_lobster_23
Mar 15, 2018

Touching, sad, humorous story about a man whose hard shell of withdrawal from
multiple losses is cracked by his persistent new neighbors. Really enjoyed the book and Bachman's writing. I saw the movie, after reading the book. Although fun, it doesn't compare.

4
4536o
Feb 09, 2018

A glorious story. All of the major characters--from 3- to 59-years-old--are richly fleshed out, no mean achievement for any novelist. The reader wrings out all of his/her emotions on the way through the book, but that is only a build-up for the marvelous final three pages, which are beautiful beyond comparison. Extraordinary.

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jaycrossing
Feb 04, 2018

From the beginning the book was tedious reading. About half way through I had decided to give it up . . . but I didn't. It did get better but it is a rather contrived story, reminds me of Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle, The Notebook). The last chapter made the time spent reading it worthwhile. This quote from his book . . . [on death] "We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone." How true! And yes, I cried.

c
CassandraOverney
Jan 06, 2018

OMG! A Man Called Ove is just so bloody cute!!!!!!! (The bloody was inserted because it is something Ove would say.) I got all the feels while reading it. One moment I am laughing at something Ove did, and the next moment, I am crying over the pain he feels from his past. I love everything about this book: the super cute and grumpy main character, the side characters, the setting, the flashbacks, the plot, and even the chapter headings. I can never look at curmudgeons the same way anymore. A Man Called Ove will definitely get anyone out of a reading slump.

ArapahoeTiegan Dec 28, 2017

Meet Ove. Ove has a very certain idea of how things are done, and he really works to make sure everyone else follows his way. Just you try to drive a car on the residential streets of his Resident's Association. Which his new neighbors do, trying to bring a trailer to move into their new house, and in the process destroy his garden and mailbox. There was no greater way for this family to come into Ove's life that could describe just how their friendship operates. The wife, Parveneh, is constantly barreling into his schedule and getting him to do things to help her and his other neighbors by bringing issues to his attention that he greatly cares are done the right way. While he grumbles his way along, Ove finds himself suddenly surrounded by people who care about him and about whom he cares - people that help him see that there are still things to be done during the day, even if one no longer has a job. The slow reveal of all the pieces of Ove's life was just beautiful, the characters are so vibrant, and in the end, I cried some happy tears. Ove would have hated all this. But the man has a way of making you love him with all his curmudgeon-y ways.

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cknightkc
Jul 21, 2017

Ove has probably known all along what he has to do, but all people at root are time optimists. We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like “if”. - p. 282

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cknightkc
Jul 21, 2017

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say,” said Ove - p. 78

c
cknightkc
Jul 21, 2017

Her laughter catches him off guard. As if it’s carbonated and someone has poured it too fast and it’s bubbling over in all directions. It doesn’t fit at all with the gray cement and right-angled garden paving stones. It’s an untidy, mischievous laugh that refuses to go along with rules and prescriptions. - p. 60

k
KaseyNB
Apr 14, 2017

“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations for the 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. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

k
KaseyNB
Apr 14, 2017

“To love someone is like moving into a house," Sonja used to say. "At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one's own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That's it, all the little secrets that make it your home. "

k
KaseyNB
Apr 14, 2017

“People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.”

j
jimg2000
Sep 25, 2016

“. . . a laptop?” Ove shakes his head wildly and leans menacingly over the counter. “No, I don’t want a ‘laptop.’ I want a computer.”

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.

Ove stomped forward. The cat stood up. Ove stopped. They stood there measuring up to each other for a few moments, like two potential troublemakers in a small-town bar. Ove considered throwing one of his clogs at it. The cat looked as if it regretted not bringing its own clogs to lob back.

Also drives an Audi, Ove has noticed. He might have known. Self-employed people and other idiots all drive Audis.

Suddenly he’s a bloody “generation.” Because nowadays people are all thirty-one and wear too-tight trousers and no longer drink normal coffee.

j
jimg2000
Sep 25, 2016

All the things Ove’s wife has bought are “lovely” or “homey.” Everything Ove buys is useful. Stuff with a function.

The little foreign woman steps towards him and only then does Ove notice that she’s either very pregnant or suffering from what Ove would categorize as selective obesity.

“Holy Christ. A lower-arm amputee with cataracts could have backed this trailer more accurately than you,”

Ove doubts whether someone who can’t park a car properly should even be allowed to vote.

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say,” said Ove.

Nowadays people changed their stuff so often that any expertise in how to make things last was becoming superfluous. Quality: no one cared about that anymore.

j
jimg2000
Sep 25, 2016

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.

As if that was how they built the Colosseum and the pyramids of Giza. Christ, they’d managed to build the Eiffel Tower in 1889, but nowadays one couldn’t come up with the bloody drawings for a one-story house without taking a break for someone to run off and recharge their cell phone. This was a world where one became outdated before one’s time was up.

She loved only abstract things like music and books and strange words. Ove was a man entirely filled with tangible things. He liked screwdrivers and oil filters.

“You only need one ray of light to chase all the shadows away,”

“Once upon a time there was a little train,” reads Ove, with all the enthusiasm of someone reciting a tax statement.

j
jimg2000
Sep 25, 2016

“There’s Every human being needs to know what she’s fighting for. That was what they said. And she fought for what was good. For the children she never had. And Ove fought for her. Because that was the only thing in this world he really knew.

She liked talking and Ove liked keeping quiet. Retrospectively, Ove assumed that was what people meant when they said that people were compatible.

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.

The two men look at each other through the locomotive window as if they had just emerged from some apocalyptic desert and now realized that neither of them was the last human being on earth. One is relieved by this insight. And the other disappointed.

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AL_SUSANW Oct 20, 2016

Grumpy old man with a heart of gold, I loved this novel and found it quite heartwarming.

c
calistarm
Jun 02, 2016

A book about seeing past first impressions to create unlikely friendships. This book is about a grumpy old man who collects an unusual group of friends and reflects on a life well lived.

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