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A Man Called Ove: A Novel Paperback – May 5, 2015

4.6 out of 5 stars 39,655 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“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

"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

About the Author

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called OveMy Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s SorryBritt-Marie Was HereBeartownUs 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.

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Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 1476738025
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Washington Square Press; Reprint edition (May 5, 2015)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 337 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9781476738024
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1476738024
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 870L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.9 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.31 x 0.9 x 8.25 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 39,655 ratings

About the author

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
39,655 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2017
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168 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on May 23, 2020
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Grumpy Old Man Next Door Has a Heart of Gold
By Jeremy Ray Stories on May 23, 2020
If you liked the movie Up, or As Good as It Gets, this book is the one for you. Like those stories, this is about a grumpy old man with a hidden heart of gold.

But when I purchased it I actually was one of the few people that didn’t know anything about the story. I only bought it because quite a few people from book clubs gave it a positive review.

But buying and reading are different things entirely, and it was collecting dust on my bookshelf until the day I posted a picture on social media of books I haven’t read. So many people responded about A Man Called Ove that I was compelled to read.

I’m so glad I did. I never laugh out loud with books, but this one made me do it multiple times.

Fredrik Backman is a talent. The story under less talented hands would be considered slow, but with humor and very clear imagery, Backman makes you not just see the world from Ove’s perspective, but also feel for the widowed old man.

The story is like an onion, the things you know and find funny once peeled layer by layer can bring you tears. I’m not saying this is a tear-jerker, I just found myself so moved that I’d look down at the page trying to understand why I was crying.

Not only did I love Ove, but I also loved the supporting characters in his life, Particularly his new pushy neighbor, Parveneh, the stray cat, and his departed wife (who we meet in Ove’s reminisces).

The story is not a perfectly structured piece, but it has so many beautiful things going for it that I’m willing to forgive the too-easily resolved climax and the ending that felt like Backman was trying to force the story into a pretty box with a great big bow.

It still deserves five stars because of how Backman was able to make me love the cranky old man next door.
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35 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2018
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51 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars A bittersweet, compelling, moving to tears story with great character development.
Reviewed in India on August 24, 2018
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226 people found this helpful
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S. Evans
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dearie me!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 19, 2018
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121 people found this helpful
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Karen P Book Lover
5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh, cry, love this book!!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 2, 2017
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97 people found this helpful
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Peter - The Reading Desk
5.0 out of 5 stars Rollercoaster of sadness and humour
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2017
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55 people found this helpful
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lory mcgeown
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone knows an Ove.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2019
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28 people found this helpful
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