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My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry Paperback – April 5, 2016
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“Fredrik Backman has a knack for weaving tales that are believable and fanciful. Backman’s smooth storytelling infuses his characters with charm and wit… a delightful story.” (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Every bit as churlish but lovable as Backman’s cantankerous protagonist in his debut, A Man Called Ove (2014), precocious Elsa will easily work her way into the hearts of readers who like characters with spunk to spare. A delectable homage to the power of stories to comfort and heal, Backman’s tender tale of the touching relationship between a grandmother and granddaughter is a tribute to the everlasting bonds of deep family ties.” (Booklist (starred))
“Full of heart, hope, forgiveness, and the embracing of differences, Elsa’s story is one that sticks with you long after you’ve turned the last page.” (Library Journal)
“Firmly in league with Roald Dahl and Neil Gaiman. A touching, sometimes funny, often wise portrait of grief.”
“What I admire in Backman’s stories is his honesty and perspective about grief and losing those we love the most. I would recommend this book to Neil Gaiman fans, as the storytelling is fantastic and heartwarming.” (Sun-Gazette)
“I can't remember the last time that I read a book where I alternately cried and laughed, and sometimes both at the same time.” (Marilyn Dahl, Shelf Awareness)
Praise for A MAN CALLED OVE:
“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.” (People)
"An inspiring affirmation of love for life and acceptance of people for their essence and individual quirks. A Man Called Ove is a perfect selection for book clubs. It's well written and replete with universal concerns. It lacks violence and profanity, is life-affirming and relationship-driven. The book is bittersweet, tender, often wickedly humorous and almost certain to elicit tears. I contentedly wept my way through a box of tissues when I first read the novel and again when I savored it for a second time.” (BookBrowse.com)
"A Man Called Ove is exquisite. The lyrical language is the confetti thrown liberally throughout this celebration-of-life story, adding sparkle and color to an already spectacular party. Backman's characters feel so authentic that readers will likely find analogues living in their own neighborhoods." (Shelf Awareness (starred review))
"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)
"There are characters who amuse us, and stories that touch us. But this character and his story do even more: A Man Called Ove makes us think about who we are and how we want to live our lives. A Man Called Ove seems deceptively simple at the start, yet Frederik Backman packs a lifetime's worth of hilarity and heartbreak into this novel. Even the most crusty curmudgeon will love Ove!" (Lois Leveen, author of Juliet's Nurse and The Secrets of Mary Bowser)
“One of the most moving novels I have read this year. I defy anyone to read this book and look at a quiet withdrawn person the same way ever again.” (Cayacosta Reviews)
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, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Beartown is his latest novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
Overall I found the book a thoroughly enjoyable read. It was both funny and heartbreaking at the same time. But while I loved the middle and the end of the book, I found the beginning a little muddled. In the beginning I found it hard to relate to the wacky almost senile character of Granny, and the convoluted stories about the Land-of-Almost-Awake were confusing and difficult to follow. (I actually found myself skimming the sections about Miamas and the Land-of-Almost-Awake.) But after Granny's death all those random pieces started to come together in a very structured way. (At this point I had to go back and re-read the parts I skimmed). In the end I found that all of Granny's madcap actions had a reason, and all her stories had a point.
So a very enjoyable read, just pay attention to all those stories that Granny and Elsa tell in the beginning. They really are important.
On a side note there is one thing that still confuses me about the book: What was the deal with the Leaseholds? Why would the conversion from flats to leasehold make some tenants a profit and force other tenants out of the building?
The characters were both extremely real and larger-than-life all at the same time. Through an almost-8-year-old's mind we see their struggles and extreme humanity, but with a touch of humor as the somewhat strange ways of adults are viewed through the eyes of a pragmatic child. I found myself examining my own habits and wondering how Elsa would describe me, what she would find strange about my life and of those around me. And her grandmother has joned the ranks of my all-time favorite characters. She's exactly the kind of woman that I would probably struggle to get along with in real life, but is enchantingly amusing to read about. Her antics on one hand are completely barmy, and yet somehow the author makes her relatable. She's the kind of character you want to see win battles- and seen through the eyes of an imaginative (however rational and hard-nosed) little girl, she's nothing short of a superhero.
I listened to the audiobook as well and found it to be simply delightful. The reader, though being older herself, embodied Elsa's voice perfectly- just the right amount of snark mixed in with an innocent quality. And the grandmother, too, was perfect. She exemplified a gloriously bonkers old lady- the kind of woman you want in your army when you go to battle.
I loved the author's style. Novel reading for me is all about the characters, and he has characterization down to a tee. I greatly look forward to reading anything else he produces.
I read a lot. Some books are a nice story, some a nice adventure, and some will change your life. And here is a spoiler alert: this is a book that will change your life. Fredrik Backman is brilliant, and he dares to change lives through his writing. He makes it okay to be different, by finding the "different" in us all.