A Man Called Ove: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a lovely, loving and lovable book. Cathy Langer of Tattered Cover recommended it to my wife, Judy who then passed it to me. I am glad of both recommendations and am looking forward to the author’s next book.
Ove can only be called a curmudgeon. Profoundly opinionated, intolerant of fuzzy thinking and inflexible in every way, he seems, at first, to be an unsympathetic character. As his story emerges, however, the reader begins to understand the sources of these apparent flaws and to regard them as more virtuous than otherwise. To be clear he never over the course of the story becomes any less invested in any of these attitudes, but there is a positive growth in his emotional consciousness and there are revelations of a caring and tolerant side to this grumpy old man.
Each chapter is titled mirroring the book; “A Man Called Ove Drills a Hole for a Hook” (which is significant in a way I’ll not spoil for you), “A Man Called Ove and a Clown Named Beppo”, etc., and each is accompanied with a whimsical drawing of a carpenter’s tool that adds a lighthearted tone. In fact, the tenor of the book is playful in spite of some rather dark factors and in the end is positively heartwarming. I challenge anyone with a tender heart to read this without shedding a tear or two.
There’s not much of a plot, but plenty of subplots and a satisfying degree of character development in Ove and his neighbors. In fact, it’s the neighbors who drive much of the action. Some warm relationships and a few deep enmities are responsible for situations where wry humor reigns sovereign. I recommend this highly. One should always listen carefully when Cathy Langer speaks.
August 2014 Indie Next List
“A Man Called Ove by Swedish blogger and columnist Backman is one of those books you read and then want everyone else to read, too. It is also one of those books where you don't dare go into detail about the main character, the setting, or the plot because that would ruin the experience for others. Suffice it to say that the man whose name is Ove is a curmudgeon. He's grumpy. He's cantankerous. And he is a delight! Long may he harrumph!”
— Rene Kirkpatrick, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA
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).
About the Author
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.
“A charming debut…You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll feel new sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life. You’ll also want to move to Scandinavia, where everything’s cuter.”
"In turns moving and funny. . . I wager that you’ll soon fall in love with Ove and be deeply moved by his situation, and after spending time with him, may perhaps gaze at the world around you with a little more empathy than when you turned the first page."
— Eric Larson
“Even the most serious reader of fiction needs light relief, and for that afternoon when all you want is charm, this is the perfect book."
— San Francisco Chronicle
"A magnificent homage to humanity and to the possibility of friendship and faith in long-lost love. It covers a lot of ground: marriage, love, race, class, division, gentrification. It's one of those good stories that connects."
— James McBride
“You will laugh, you will cry, as his heartbreaking story unfolds through the diverse cast of characters that enter his life, all uninvited. You will never look at the grumpy people who come into your life in quite the same way. A very memorable read."
— San Diego Union Tribune, Best Books of 2015
"An inspiring affirmation of love for life and acceptance of people for their essence and individual quirks...a perfect selection for book clubs...bittersweet, tender, often wickedly humorous and almost certain to elicit tears.”
"A light hearted, deeply moving novel about a grumpy but loveable curmudgeon who finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. This quirky debut is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the impact one life has on countless others—and an absolute delight."
— CBS Local
"Readers seeking feel-good tales with a message will rave about the rantings of this solitary old man with a singular outlook. 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
“A funny crowd-pleaser that serves up laughs to accompany a thoughtful reflection on loss and love… The author writes with winning charm.”
— Publishers Weekly, starred review
“This charming debut novel by Backman should find a ready audience with English-language readers… hysterically funny… wry descriptions, excellent pacing… In the contest of Most Winning Combination, it would be hard to beat grumpy Ove and his hidden,generous heart.”
— Kirkus Reviews