Man Called Ove, A

Backman, Fredrik

  18 Reviews

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



AUCK 348
We loved this heartwarming book. Recommended. We are going to watch the original Swedish movie to see how it compares.
Enjoyed by all! Great discussions around responsibility a person takes for their responses to life, even if they have been through a lot. Loved the characters, and the way the plot unfolded. Backman (author) is very good at feeding enough detail, yet holding back detail for suspense!
Not many of us would have chosen this book in the library, but we all eventually enjoyed it. One member thought it should have a warning about suicide.
CHCH 523
Generally well received - both the lovers and dislikers found a lot to discuss.
We LOVED this book! What presented as a 'simple story', about a sensitive topic, proved to be a beautiful story of extraordinary love. Pleasure was taken in recalling and reading aloud favourite passages and quotes. Highly regarded and highly recommended. A fabulous group discussion book.
Those who read the book rated it highly. However the grumpiness did deter some members from persevering.
A good lighthearted read enjoyed by our group.
TAUP 009
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.
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.
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...
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.
AUCK 346
Everyone in the group loved this book. We all know someone with a bit of "Ove" in them. Highly recommended.
WELL 123
Well received. Good discussion - one of the more popular books.
TAUR 043
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.
CHCH 099
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.
WARK 005
Our whole group loved this book!
WELL 066
A heart-warming read.
AUCK 320
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.