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A Man Called Ove: A Novel Paperback – May 5, 2015
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“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)
“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)
"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 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)
"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)
“Poignant and unpredictable, Backman’s book is filled with many twists and turns, as well as enjoyable characters and humorous situations." (Columbia Tribune (Missouri))
About the Author
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.
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I will admit that I am entirely on the Ove train!
The book is about a man, named Ove, who is the angry neighbor that we all seem to have. He complains about everything, has put up signs around his neighborhood with rules about what should and shouldn't be done, and feels there is a proper place for everything. He is not a friendly guy to say the least.
Into his life walks or rather drives a family who are to be his new neighbors. He doesn't bother to get to know their names and calls them the pregnant one and the lanky one. After an accident with the lanky one, Ove is forced to help this family, complaining the entire time.
Throughout the book Ove also speaks to his wife, complaining about the neighbors, the rule breakers, and how much he misses her (very minor spoiler). During interludes within the narrative, we read about how Ove became Ove. I will say by the end of the book, a bunch of dust was flying around the room and some got into my eyes.
The first thing to write is this book is funny. Ove is quite the character and how he treats people is hysterical. He just doesn't care what he says or how he says it. He simply wants order in his world and has lived that way for all of his life. The way he expresses himself becomes incredibly funny.
It is also a tragic story. Backman interweaves the two (funny and tragic) quite well and doesn't make it overly heartwarming. This could have easily become a book with the sentiment that we don't know people's past, so don't judge them, but it isn't. Ove is an ass in his past too and sometimes with reason. Backman keeps it level with just enough to make the reader fall for Ove.
The great thing is this is a book that pretty much anyone and everyone can (and will) enjoy. I recommended this one for book clubs and discussion groups. Grandmas will like this as well as middle aged men. Ove is simply a good book.
I gave this one 5 stars.
Ove is grumpy and awful and the first two chapters left me frowning and upset, wondering who would want to read a book all about someone so unhappy. But minutes later, I was deeply enthralled with the story of Ove. Backman has a unbelievably skill, a heartwarming talent to weave Ove's story through different timelines and a completely breathtaking array of events. I mean it when I say I COULD NOT put this book down. I had to know more about Ove and his life, and I was not disappointed. I am left here with a heart that is full from Ove's story, a heart that breaks for an old (although not that old) man called Ove who somehow found his way into my soul and proceeded to deeply and proundly speak to me about the nature of loss and love and honesty.
Each and every character Backman has created has a story to tell, and each of them finds a way to tell it through Ove's eyes. Every second of this book was something refreshing and touching and completely overwhelming. I am unlikely to ever forget what an utterly fantastic book this is, and what a thoroughly talented writer Backman is. This book is worth the few hours you spend with it, because it will stay in your heart for a lot longer after that.