Title: Man Called Ove, A
Authors: Backman, Fredrik
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 294
Year: 2014
Language: English
Description: Imagine how frustrating it is when your earnest attempts to end your life are continually interrupted by people needing your help. Such is the experience of Ove, a Swedish gentleman in his twilight years who finds himself surrounded by incompetents and time wasters. But for all his curmudgeonly ways, Ove is drawn into the lives of his neighbours where his uncompromising routines and staunch principles collide with the messiness of twenty first century living, with comic effect.

Bringing a light touch to some challenging issues, this is a deceptively simple story of community and friendship that will have you lamenting the fact that Ove is not around to back your trailer for you.

Comments from Groups:

Everyone loved the book - easy to read, amusing but very poignant. The story of Ove unfolded so gently, but explained his life, upbringing and character so well. A truly good honest man. A well thought out book about life, death and grief. Well worth reading. Christchurch 088

The whole group enjoyed this book. We really warmed to the main character as it went along. The book generated a good discussion about how easy it is to judge someone who seems grumpy, when you don't know the underlying story. Huntly 001

Everyone loved it - hard at the start, but once the layers were peeled off, he was a great character. It was quite hilarious in parts - especially the situation where he installed the hook (for a suicide attempt), and the rope broke! He was extremely resilient. We are all of an age that we can relate to Ove, especially when buying computers... We would definitely recommend this book - one member has bought her own copy! Carterton 001

Not all the group found this a charming light read; the group was divided between those who enjoyed the story of Ove's discovery of some joie de vivre through his dealings with young new neighbours, and those who were disconcerted by the book's lack of realism. Can't please everyone! Hamilton 029

Members were moved to tears by this book. 99% found it a most enjoyable book, and very moving in places. Christchurch 009

We thought it was a good evocation of grief, caused by the loss of Ove's wife (the only thing he loved, besides his Saab) presented in a jigsaw of snappy characters. The events unfold to give a quirky rationale for continuing with a diminished life. Wellington 057

A tragicomedy, and whimsical. Some hated it, some loved it. Swedish humour...

We all unanimously loved it! A first. Auckland 155

This was a very popular book. Everyone in the group agreed it was a very human story about an unusual man who, in the end, became a very likeable character. Christchurch 099

Categories: Fiction, Community, Contemporary, Humour, Relationships, Social commentary/perspectives, Sweden, 2016 Titles


[Please log in to write a review]
By: TAUP 009 2021-01-11 12:46:13
Almost all of us really loved this book, and found it really touching and heartwarming. However it's not for everyone, as one of our group found the grumpy old man character too annoying to really get into the book.

By: WHITBY 002 2020-07-19 13:06:12
All but one loved this book. Not very appealing to read about a grumpy old man but as the layers were lifted this turned out to be a very rewarding read. It was both sad, poignant, but also quite humorous. We loved the way Ove's story unfolded, the introduction of his various neighbours and that first impressions hide hidden depths. Highly recommended.

By: WESTO 001 2019-09-17 14:28:50
All but one member enjoyed this book. Reminded us that it is easy to judge people and how they act without knowing the full story. Although Ove was difficult to like in the beginning we all warmed to him as more of his past life was revealed. A nice easy read but left you thinking...

By: DUNED 086 2019-02-05 13:46:40
Very mixed reviews; some were fine spending time with such a grumpy man while others were not. All felt that the relationships around the central character were too contrived.

By: AUCK 346 2019-02-05 13:41:37
Everyone in the group loved this book. We all know someone with a bit of "Ove" in them. Highly recommended.

By: WELL 123 2019-02-05 13:38:50
Well received. Good discussion - one of the more popular books.

By: TAUR 043 2019-02-05 13:38:02
Thoroughly enjoyed by all members of the group. Some good discussion on grief, older members of the community and the values people hold dear. Discussion also on changing values and attitudes as well as people themselves changing.

By: CHCH 099 2019-02-05 13:34:05
Thank you for this novel. Without exception, our group found it a delightfully warm and compelling read. The situations Ove found himself in moved us and made us smile. We enjoyed the supporting cast of colourful characters. As the author gradually revealed pieces of Ove's past life, we grew to know and love him. It was a joy to see him slowly build meaningful relationships with the people around him.

By: WARK 005 2019-02-05 13:28:31
Our whole group loved this book!

By: WELL 066 2019-02-05 13:27:59
A heart-warming read.

By: AUCK 320 2019-02-05 13:27:29
We all found this book difficult to get into, but once we persevered we were rewarded with a delightful insight into different natures and people's perception of others. Well worth the read.

The Book Discussion 
Scheme is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations in Aotearoa New Zealand
BDS is a member of the Federation of Workers Educational Associations