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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 listeners say about A Man Called Ove

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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?"

6 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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Brilliant and sweet book

When I first started the book, I was almost going to give it up, as it felt like the first chapter was going nowhere. I’m so glad I didn’t. The author brings all the characters to life, and they’re so lovable. The ending was so sweet I couldn’t help but cry (even though I was in a public area, and had tears stream down). Totally recommend this book

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent


Loved every moment of it, and I will definitely be recommending it to all of my friends.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved this journey with Ove!

A man named Ove kept me interested the whole time! It's written beautifully, full of humor, at times accompanied with sadness or a variety of other emotions.
Enjoy!

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Incredibly sweet

What a fantastic novel. I laughed like a horse, cried like a baby, and can't stop thinking about it.

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A loveble sort

This book and it's characters are so loveble and no e more than dear Ove. Listened to it a few times now and it always gets me. Get ready to laugh, cry and enjoy.

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I want to listen again!

I absolutely loved this audiobook. The story is fantastic at combining humorous and serious aspects of life. It's so... human. There was a bit of every character in me, and that was quite enjoyable. The author's style is equally wonderful. This book made me laugh hard and cry subtle tears. The narration is really engaging, and I found the production to be flawless. I would definitely (and probably will) listen to this book again.

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Wish it never ended

I love this story. I didn’t want it to end but couldn’t stop listening to it.

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Wonderful

Beautifully written, perfectly performed. Every chapter has a gem in it. Could not stop listening until the end.

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  • Kaggy
  • 09-22-14

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.

30 people found this helpful

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  • Kari
  • 11-11-14

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.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Lynn T.
  • 09-19-14

BEST BOOK EVER!!!!

Fantastic characters, well written, heartwarming story. Stick with the first few chapters as I wasn't sure if it was "my thing" but I loved it!!

27 people found this helpful

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  • john morton
  • 07-14-14

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Suzanne
  • 12-04-14

A wonderful. heartwarming, funny book

I heard about this on the radio, and when I started listening, I thought I'd made a mistake. Ove is cranky. He is difficult. But listen a little longer, and you can't help but get engrossed in his life, the people he "adopts" (whether they want to be adopted or not), his relationship with his wife (so sad) and so much more.

This is a story about a man living to die, to join his wife, but he just can't seem to get around to dying, thanks to all the weird and wonderful people who come into his life, usually unexpectedly.

I loved this so much that I bought 7 copies for friends and family.

From a narration point of view, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the book (important for me as I know only too well how an unappealing narrator can ruin an otherwise good book).

17 people found this helpful

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  • helen
  • 10-02-14

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..

7 people found this helpful

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  • glenda
  • 09-29-14

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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • S. W. Holdings
  • 09-21-14

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

12 people found this helpful

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  • Martin
  • 07-27-14

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.

10 people found this helpful

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  • whodathunkit?
  • 11-20-19

A Friend Called Ove

This book was recommended to me and I can only say thank you. I've had a roller coaster ride of emotions while listening to this. I have laughed out loud at Ove and myself, for those parts of Ove that I recognise in me and probably in all of us. I have also felt Ove's sadness. It shows us that we can never know what a person is struggling with. Loss leaves an empty space; you can fill it with bitterness or maybe, if you let them or if that friend is persistent enough, you can fill it with joy and contentment. With the end of this story I am saying goodbye to characters I'd love to have as friends. Listen to the book. How can you reason with a person who won't listen to this book? You'll get it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anne
  • 01-11-15

Best book i've read in a long time!

Wonderful book and beautifully narrated. So many beautiful moments - full of pathos and understated emotion. Want to read it again as I'm sure I'd get something different out of it with each reading. Made me laugh and cry

13 people found this helpful

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  • patricia
  • 04-18-16

A man called Ove Splendid

So sorry to have finished this intriguing book. Would highly recommend. Innovative and funny whilst always engaging.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-01-18

Stunning

Totally heartfelt story. I laughed and cried in great measure. Couldn’t recommend more highly ! Love love loved it!!!❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

7 people found this helpful

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  • ozgribbo
  • 05-22-17

Poignant or depressing?

I don't usually read this sort of book. However, my daughter suggested try it. Being retired, spending a lot of time fixing cars, making furniture etc, I suppose I have something in common with the lead character. I initially found the book very dark and depressing but gradually got into it. Those familiar with the British series "One foot in the grave" will see similarities, but this has a Scandinavian slant. Very well written and characters are well crafted (I recognise a few of my present and past colleagues!) but not for you if you want to be cheered up.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Barbara
  • 05-24-16

Great book!

I don't often finish a book and want to start again, but I do now!!



6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-12-18

delightful

delightful both funny and enlightening and emotions. . i felt part of the story. great read

5 people found this helpful

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  • Emmerson92
  • 12-06-19

Uplifting and feel good. But a bit strung out.

Not a huge amount actually happens in this story line, however its an uplifting story about community and loneliness.

I personally found the narrator annoying.

Loved the premise but got bored throughout and didn't feel any of the characters came alive.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Katherine Avery
  • 03-25-19

Definitely one I'd recommend to friends

I have listened to this twice and would happily listen to it again. I loved the way the story slowly unravels and you fall in love.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-03-19

lovely story

I bought this to listen to whilst breastfeeding my newborn. I wanted something to listen to that wasn't too heavy and depressing but not silly either. This book was perfect. It is such a lovely story...it had me laughing and crying.

3 people found this helpful

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  • val
  • 02-06-18

The hidden truth

This is a beautiful, funny, sad, lovely read of the life of a man that with so much to give but that he wanted to hide. Just shows how we don’t always know everything about people.

3 people found this helpful