Friday, July 14, 2017

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman, Author
Henning Koch Translator
Hardcover, 337 pages
Published July 2014 by Atria Books (first published August 2012)
Original Title: En man som heter Ove
ISBN 1476738017 (ISBN13: 9781476738017)
**Adult language**

Several people had suggested this book to me, but I admit that I checked it out from the library, started to read...and took it back the following day without having finished the first chapter.

I didn't get it.  Ove, a widowed elderly man, gnashing his teeth over any infraction that a neighbor might make, such as parking a bicycle against the side of the shed, or allowed their dog to pee on his paving stones.  And he wants to buy an iPad, making the sales clerk break into a cold sweat when Ove asks for the keyboard.

Then, a few weeks later, "A Man Called Ove" appeared while scrolling through the list of available audiobooks on my library's phone app.  With a shrug, I tapped it into my queue of books.  Guess you could say my curiosity took ahold of me.

And am I glad I went in for that second try!  Hilarious!  Not only does Ove's very pregnant neighbor, Parvaneh, barge into his life while dragging her two daughters behind her, but she interferes with every solemn daily ritual that the old man has come to adore.  As does Adrian, who was a pupil of Ove's late wife Sonja, and Jimmy, an obese fellow who's computer savvy works a smart trick against 'the men in the white shirts'.

Cannot omit Cat, either.  Did you know there was a cat?  No!?!  Cat is as important as all the others, and his opinions of Ove and the three-year-old child from next door will make your belly shake like a bowlful of jelly.

As mentioned, I listened to an audiobook, with a reading in English. The original book is in Swedish, and a movie of the story was also made in Sweden.  Please consider "A Man Called Ove" for your reading list, as I found it funny, a bit sad, snarky as all get out, and one of the best books I've enjoyed so far this year.  Ove is every man, every woman, every one of us who plow through life, trying to do the right thing.

Patty says, "Quit typing and fetch my noms!"


  1. I've abandoned a few books very quickly, but I usually give it at least 30-40 pages. I'm glad your second try at this one was a better experience. I've never listed to an audio book. I've always suspected the pace would be too slow and I'd get distracted.

  2. Great review! Glad your second try was a success. I wish I could get into audiobooks so I could rest my eyes but so far they just don't work for me.

  3. How lucky for you that you decided to give it another chance...and found it a winner.

  4. Something I would have never thought to read, but now I want to.

  5. We enjoyed your review, it sounds fun. I love how Patty is trying to ring the dinner bell too!

  6. Äiti here - so funny you should mention this: I was told about the film by Mom Trish from the Katnip Lounge, and also found it on my Kindle yesterday so it's 'next to read'. The fact it has a cat in it is the icing on the cake. Thanks!

  7. I'm glad you gave "A Man Called Ove" a second try. I loved the book and passed it along to my Mum who loved it too.
    Did you get Patty's noms???

  8. I loved this book SO MUCH I read it twice, back-to-back! The movie is excellent as well. There are some story lines cut from the film, but you would have to have a Masterpiece Theatre Production to do the book full justice. Glad you went back to finish! The author's other books are equally quirky and enchanting...

  9. This is a great book--and check out the (Swedish) movie (has subtitles). They did a good job with the movie too.


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