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A man Called Ove

Backman, Fredrik, 1981- Book - 2014 Adult Book / Fiction / General / Backman, Fredrik 1 On Shelf 5 requests on 1 copy Community Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Call Number: Adult Book / Fiction / General / Backman, Fredrik
On Shelf At: Pittsfield Branch

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Adult Book / Fiction / General / Backman, Fredrik 4-week checkout On Shelf

Translated from the Swedish.
Translation of: Man som heter Ove.
"First published in Great Britain in 2014 by Hodder & Stoughton"--Title page verso.
A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.


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I didn't expect submitted by Lucy S on August 23, 2014, 4:55am To like this as much as I did. This cranky oldish man, Ove, really works his way into your heart. Though the story seemed to work out a little too neatly, I still really enjoyed it.

Life and Death in Sweden submitted by sdunav on June 12, 2015, 2:29pm A great "feel-good" story about a suicidal middle-aged curmudgeon and his neighbors in suburban Sweden. I loved how the story deepened as more and more details about Ove's life were revealed.

Totally wonderful submitted by willow on June 27, 2015, 9:39am I couldn't stop reading this. It's a wonderfully absorbing tale of a grumpy old man who seems obsessed with yelling at people for not following the rules. We come to see him in a totally different light. It is just wonderful, and I cried at the end.

Sweet, swift read submitted by rkraut on July 6, 2015, 9:18pm I was looking for a book that was funny and had a happy ending and a bookseller sold me this. I wouldn't say it has a "happy" ending but it is satisfying. It has some funny scenes but I didn't think it was laugh out loud funny. There is a deep sorrow to the book but nothing too terrible happens and it definitely drew me in! So--enjoy!

Love this Author submitted by downing on June 18, 2016, 9:49am A really fun, quirky story.

lchoward submitted by lchoward on July 2, 2016, 9:28pm My favorite book I read in 2015. Made me both laugh out loud and cry and left me with such a warm feeling at the end.

Lovely book! submitted by bookher on July 15, 2016, 9:26am I loved this book from the first page to the last! Just read it!!

A Lovable Curmudgeon submitted by aspinallj on June 16, 2017, 2:02pm The back of the book describes Ove as a curmudgeon. He is. But Ove is also a humble, honest, and well meaning man. There is not a lot of depth to the other characters in this book, but Ove's character stands out and makes the book worth reading.

Ove submitted by mrondo on June 17, 2017, 10:30pm The plot was somewhat predictable, but still an enjoyable read. It made me feel things and it made me think. What else can you ask for?

Read!!! submitted by zoe.dvh on June 18, 2017, 10:09am Before you know it, this grumpy old Ove will have a place in your heart ;-)

Cry and like it. submitted by terpsichore17 on June 22, 2017, 9:23am Book 2 in the Fredrick Backman Made Me Cry & I Loved It set. This whole book is a sine wave of giggling and crying and giggling while crying - partly because of Backman's use of similes (best I've read since Douglas Adams? possibly, Jeeves), partly because years in a law office have made me very familiar with the sort of man who feuds with his neighbors in the residents' association, partly because of how each chapter shows a bit more of life carving this man into who he is.

(This seems to be Backman's greatest strength, this gradual revelation of everyone's character. I can't wait to see how that plays out in Britt Marie Was Here. Or how rereading bears out.)

Ove makes me think of my dad (solid, honorable, stubborn, showing love very practically, vexed by change, asking questions when conversation runs dry, more mortal than I ever want to admit), which is an excellent thing.

Heartwarming submitted by Lea on June 28, 2017, 9:15pm Ove is not your average likable man - but you will come to love him. Absorbing, touching, and yes, fun too! Great book.

nice read submitted by ginnyb60 on July 4, 2017, 1:11pm The book started slow, I thought, but was worth the read.

Good Summer Read submitted by thegretch on July 5, 2017, 11:05am This book is good for many age groups.

Sweet and often funny submitted by Susan4Pax -prev. sueij- on July 23, 2017, 3:36pm A sweet and often funny book that had me misting up three different times. It's not perfect, but I really did love it.

_A Man Called Ove_ is the story of a lonely old curmudgeon who never wants anything (ever) to change, but encounters a set of neighbors who get in the way of some carefully laid plans. The relationships felt mostly quite real and viable to me. People are people... some are bright lights, some are depressed, some are goofy, some are persistent. Some reach out and some are desperate. Mostly life just moves on, but once in a while a confluence of situations brings people and events into proximity in moments that make for moving stories.

The cat was, of course, ridiculous and impossible. I regretted that it was so predictable in the story (the relationship with Ove), as well as so unrealistic (cats don't just get into cars happily and follow people into stores). And the author's linguistic obsession with and faulty view of overweight people is appalling. I disliked that immensely.

I read a few reviews and was struck that no one seemed to comment on what seemed instantly obvious to me when reading this, which is that Ove is clearly on the Autism Spectrum. ASD is defined by the DSM5 (Diagnostic and Statistic Manual, 5th edition) as 1) communication problems, 2) difficulty relating to people, things, and events, and 3) repetitive movements or behaviors. These have to be present since childhood and interfere with their quality of life. Ove pretty clearly fits these, even if he has found functional work-arounds (as many people do!). ASD explains *many* of his life-long characteristics. He doesn't like change because transitions are hard. He sees the world in black-and-white because rules are rules. He doesn't like animals because they are unpredictable. If you don't believe me, compare him to the main character in the book _The Rosie Project_, who was deliberately written to be a man with ASD (Asperger's, specifically, when that was still a designation). Ove and Don could be variations of the same man at different ages. This, to me, did not detract from the book but actually made it better, as it gave more depth to a character who was trying to keep life going day to day when the rug had been pulled out from under him.

A wonderful book, occasionally predictable, but worth it anyway.

Great Book! submitted by Beth Manuel on August 15, 2017, 6:33pm While the title character, Ove, was a very grouchy man; I loved how the writer revealed Ove's true character to us. I especially loved the author's use of similes. A favorite was describing how a cat looked at a person "like he was in a police line up". Who hasn't seen that look from a cat?

Good read submitted by amandaberry on August 27, 2017, 9:20am Wry humor and fun characters. Not as good as the effusive recommendations I'd gotten from several people, but it was a good quick read.

Another great read submitted by Xris on June 16, 2018, 7:53pm It's another book that has given me perspective into how people feel when they lose a loved one.

Man Called Ove Review submitted by jocelyngreene on June 23, 2018, 4:53pm A friend recommended this book. I was a bit uncertain about it, but the story seemed familiar when I read the synopsis. An excellent book exploring what it is like to struggle with life's challenges, to grow old, to lose a loved one, to have to continue on in the face of loneliness. An excellent study in thinking outside of one's self when dealing with those who have difficult or challenging personalities. A wonderful book about understanding and loving difficult people.

Lovely character development submitted by lbootzin on June 24, 2018, 6:02pm I wasn’t expecting to like such a cantankerous old man as much as I did.

You'll laugh you'll cry submitted by markwells on July 8, 2018, 2:02pm One of the best books I've read, period. An engaging story with colorful, realistic characters. Grade: A.

A charming debut submitted by nirmala on August 1, 2018, 8:56am Well written, humorous, a must-read, a time to reflect, love the character

A Wave of Emotions submitted by rebecca.perreault on June 19, 2019, 12:56am This book draws on the human experience and creates a truly round character. You'll laugh and cry as you watch Ove from a birds eye view go through his day appearing as a curmudgeon to his peers, with a rich and sad history.
Be patient with the translation, as the book was originally written in Swedish. You may need to read slower or reread certain passages to make total sense.

A Man Called Ove submitted by kassafrass on June 21, 2019, 9:37am I liked this book... but didn't love it. Maybe my expectations were too high, considering that this book generally is well-loved and well-reviewed. I did enjoy "Every Morning the Way Home gets Longer and Longer" by the same author much more.

Loved it! submitted by cmespino on July 19, 2019, 9:13pm This book was a lot of fun. I read it for book club, and absolutely loved it. You'll laugh, cry, and likely relate to the characters you read about.

I cried and I laughed, but overall, I LOVED this book! submitted by TeacherN on July 27, 2019, 4:36pm I absolutely loved this book, and was sorry for it to end.

A Man Called Ove submitted by Varshini on August 7, 2019, 10:07pm A Man Called Ove is a pleasant book. At times I felt it was bland, but the story is relatable, and the ending is great.

Saw the film first. Friend said book better. I dunno. Maybe? submitted by lisa on July 6, 2020, 7:43am There's something about hearing Ove's internal monologue that was off-putting to me, even knowing that his reformation is coming, even having compassion for his humanity and a sense of the ugliness of my own internal monologue, on many occasions, in many ways.

Better than you'd think! submitted by cayluebeck on July 19, 2020, 1:03pm Despite the depressing nature of Ove's inner monologue, this book is much better than you'd think. Ove is an incredibly grumpy man that as the book goes on you can't help but love, at least I couldn't. He compares the moral fiber of people to the cars they drive, he loves deeply under his prickly exterior. I would describe this book as a Grinch story for adults.

Has it all - Grumpy Old Man, New Neighbors, and Cat submitted by reaganmalcolm on July 19, 2020, 9:31pm This novel is short and bittersweet. I grew attached to curmudgeonly Ove, and invested in the story. The first book I've read in a while that I couldn't stop myself reading.

A little goes a long way submitted by jmac2579 on July 26, 2020, 10:55am If I had read this book straight through, I don't think I would have enjoyed it as much. Instead, I read several chapters everyday so it didn't become too monotonous. It was a delightful book with out-loud laughter and a few tears.

It took me awhile, but then I got into it. submitted by Trudie G on July 26, 2020, 11:43am It took me awhile to get into this book, but as I kept reading, it got better and better. The main character, Ove, a feisty, crabby soul, was a well principled man who followed orders and did things by the book. A transformation takes place in his life as he slowly lets people into his life, and his once small heart like the Grinch, grows bigger and bigger as this once solitary widower learns to be a friend and accept friendship. It is heartwarming and reminds us that life is so much better when it is shared with those we love.

Persevere with this grumpy character submitted by Nicola on June 20, 2021, 1:58pm I don't normally enjoy books with characters that I don't like or can't relate to. After a short while I found myself slowly enjoying Ove's grumpy comments. He warmed my heart and made me cry! One of my favorite books!

Be'll cry! submitted by kelleyc on June 21, 2021, 11:25am This was such an amazing book. Something about grumpy but secretly tender old people just completely steals my heart.

An enduring wonderful story submitted by LVDS on June 29, 2021, 3:05pm Ove initially seems like an odd grumpy old man. But then you learn about his grief, you feel compassion. And I've lived with some very detailed, melancholic "Rule" followers, it made me laugh

Such a moving story submitted by ilenekroll on July 22, 2021, 10:30pm I loved this book so much. Such amazing story and well written. Ove is a very complex character that you will fall
in love with.

Sadder Than Expected submitted by jmb.mlis on July 25, 2021, 10:32pm A beautifully written book in translation, this one will definitely call for a box of tissues.

You Can't Help But Love Ove! submitted by mickplu on August 6, 2021, 11:53am Wonderful book with an important lesson that is repeatedly demonstrated throughout the book.

Ok Backman submitted by bjkoch on June 28, 2022, 11:51am Preferred anxious people

Wonderful Book submitted by ADMartin on July 29, 2022, 4:33pm Wonderfully written, humorous yet dark. I really enjoyed reading this. It was a bit predictable, but it was a heartwarming book.

loved this submitted by graytabby on August 7, 2022, 8:26pm it was truly spectacular, cover to cover. couldn't put it down!

Top 10 favorite books submitted by leah karr on August 19, 2022, 6:39pm this is always on my list of books to recommend. Humor, learning who family really is, friendship, sadness, depression,'s all here

One of the Best Books I've Ever Read submitted by lukepauer on June 9, 2023, 3:28pm I didn't know what to expect going into this. I had heard good reviews, but I didn't know how relatable I would find an old Scandinavian man. Those reviews turned to be incredibly accurate, maybe even underselling the book. Every character in the book felt like a real human with their own feelings and motivations, something that I love in books and it's hard not to fall in love with the morals and intentions of the main character, Ove, no matter how grumpy and standoffish he may come across. This book was the best book I've read in a long time and I can already tell that I'll be reading it several more times in the future.

you will love to read this book submitted by Bensoncow on June 12, 2023, 8:31pm Ove is different

Fantastic submitted by zwachtel50 on June 18, 2023, 8:59am I still think about this book 6 years after reading it. It’s a little slow in the beginning and Ove is a frustrating character, but I grew to love him through the course of the book. It was a lovely story and the writing from Backman is always amazing.

Never judge a man with his nature submitted by aayushis on June 21, 2023, 6:17pm Ove is rude and always to the point kind of person but is very kind of heart and shows not just talking sweetly matters but being kind from heart matters.

What a great read submitted by danibersche on July 4, 2023, 11:24pm “Ove stomped forward. The cat stood up. Ove stopped. They stood there measuring each other up for a few moments, like two potential troublemakers in a small-town bar. Ove considered throwing one of his clogs at it. The cat looked as if it regretted not bringing its own clogs to lob back.”
I can't tell you how much I loved this book. Backman has a way of writing that will crack you up one moment and hit you right in the heart the next. Ove is a cranky old man who lives by himself and is something of a menace to the neighbors, until he gets some new neighbors and they start to crack the walls his grief has built around him. I really appreciated that Ove could be grumpy and taciturn, and still be beloved by the people around him.
Stray observations:
I feel like it would have made more sense for Ove to be 69 instead of 59 - he's awfully old for how young 59 is.
There's a bit of fatphobia, and I could really have done without that.
4/5 stars

Fantastic! submitted by ginnymo on July 20, 2023, 10:53pm Perfect combination of heart wrenching, hilarious, and heart warming. May be my favorite book of all time!

Terrific submitted by evie2017 on July 2, 2024, 8:56am I really enjoyed this book. It's a simple story, but the details of the characters, their lives, and the way they impact one another really hit home. A great tale about "human-ness." Made me tear up at the end. This book made me fall in love with Backman's writing. If you liked this, try Backman's "Anxious People" next.

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New York : Atria Books, 2014.
Year Published: 2014
Description: 337 pages ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Format: Book


Older men -- Fiction.
Neighbors -- Fiction.
Neighborhoods -- Fiction.