A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

[a Novel]

Large Print - 2014
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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.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, ©2014.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9781410472922
Characteristics: 477 pages ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Koch, Henning - Translator


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Feb 09, 2018

A glorious story. All of the major characters--from 3- to 59-years-old--are richly fleshed out, no mean achievement for any novelist. The reader wrings out all of his/her emotions on the way through the book, but that is only a build-up for the marvelous final three pages, which are beautiful beyond comparison. Extraordinary.

Feb 04, 2018

From the beginning the book was tedious reading. About half way through I had decided to give it up . . . but I didn't. It did get better but it is a rather contrived story, reminds me of Nicholas Sparks (Message in a Bottle, The Notebook). The last chapter made the time spent reading it worthwhile. This quote from his book . . . [on death] "We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone." How true! And yes, I cried.

Jan 06, 2018

OMG! A Man Called Ove is just so bloody cute!!!!!!! (The bloody was inserted because it is something Ove would say.) I got all the feels while reading it. One moment I am laughing at something Ove did, and the next moment, I am crying over the pain he feels from his past. I love everything about this book: the super cute and grumpy main character, the side characters, the setting, the flashbacks, the plot, and even the chapter headings. I can never look at curmudgeons the same way anymore. A Man Called Ove will definitely get anyone out of a reading slump.

AL_TIEGAN Dec 28, 2017

Meet Ove. Ove has a very certain idea of how things are done, and he really works to make sure everyone else follows his way. Just you try to drive a car on the residential streets of his Resident's Association. Which his new neighbors do, trying to bring a trailer to move into their new house, and in the process destroy his garden and mailbox. There was no greater way for this family to come into Ove's life that could describe just how their friendship operates. The wife, Parveneh, is constantly barreling into his schedule and getting him to do things to help her and his other neighbors by bringing issues to his attention that he greatly cares are done the right way. While he grumbles his way along, Ove finds himself suddenly surrounded by people who care about him and about whom he cares - people that help him see that there are still things to be done during the day, even if one no longer has a job. The slow reveal of all the pieces of Ove's life was just beautiful, the characters are so vibrant, and in the end, I cried some happy tears. Ove would have hated all this. But the man has a way of making you love him with all his curmudgeon-y ways.

vpazreads Oct 16, 2017

Ove may seem like a grumpy curmudgeon, but a closer look reveals his true character. When a kind neighbor cares enough to really know Ove, he is emboldened to change the lives of those around him.

Sep 29, 2017

Quite enjoyable. A tiny bit sad, which I don't typically go in for, but it was good!

Sep 16, 2017

This book surprised me. It was a book club selection. After reading the first couple pages, I thought it was very weird and I wouldn't be able to finish it but I continued it. I finally figured out out what was going on and found the rest of the book fascinating. I really recommend this book.

Aug 11, 2017

Ove is the quintessential grumpy old man, buffeted by hard knocks in life, finding comfort by inflicting his version of order over his life and those around him. His love of his deceased wife and his need to do things in the 'right' way cause him to become involved with his new neighbors and an ever expanding group of people, i.e. friends. Loved this book!

JCLKariE Aug 03, 2017

Heartwarming. Touching. Bittersweet. A Man Called Ove is the best book I've read this year. Backman's characterization is perfect. His mix of humor and sadness bring this book to life. I enjoyed every experience this book gave me.

Jul 20, 2017

One of the best books I've read in a long time.

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Jul 21, 2017

Ove has probably known all along what he has to do, but all people at root are time optimists. We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like “if”. - p. 282

Jul 21, 2017

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say,” said Ove - p. 78

Jul 21, 2017

Her laughter catches him off guard. As if it’s carbonated and someone has poured it too fast and it’s bubbling over in all directions. It doesn’t fit at all with the gray cement and right-angled garden paving stones. It’s an untidy, mischievous laugh that refuses to go along with rules and prescriptions. - p. 60

Apr 14, 2017

“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it's often one of the great motivations for the living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

Apr 14, 2017

“To love someone is like moving into a house," Sonja used to say. "At first you fall in love in everything new, you wonder every morning that this is one's own, as if they are afraid that someone will suddenly come tumbling through the door and say that there has been a serious mistake and that it simply was not meant to would live so fine. But as the years go by, the facade worn, the wood cracks here and there, and you start to love this house not so much for all the ways it is perfect in that for all the ways it is not. You become familiar with all its nooks and crannies. How to avoid that the key gets stuck in the lock if it is cold outside. Which floorboards have some give when you step on them, and exactly how to open the doors for them not to creak. That's it, all the little secrets that make it your home. "

Apr 14, 2017

“People said Ove saw the world in black and white. But she was color. All the color he had.”

Sep 25, 2016

“. . . a laptop?” Ove shakes his head wildly and leans menacingly over the counter. “No, I don’t want a ‘laptop.’ I want a computer.”

Every morning for the almost four decades they had lived in this house, Ove had put on the coffee percolator, using exactly the same amount of coffee as on any other morning, and then drank a cup with his wife. One measure for each cup, and one extra for the pot—no more, no less.

Ove stomped forward. The cat stood up. Ove stopped. They stood there measuring up to each other 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.

Also drives an Audi, Ove has noticed. He might have known. Self-employed people and other idiots all drive Audis.

Suddenly he’s a bloody “generation.” Because nowadays people are all thirty-one and wear too-tight trousers and no longer drink normal coffee.

Sep 25, 2016

All the things Ove’s wife has bought are “lovely” or “homey.” Everything Ove buys is useful. Stuff with a function.

The little foreign woman steps towards him and only then does Ove notice that she’s either very pregnant or suffering from what Ove would categorize as selective obesity.

“Holy Christ. A lower-arm amputee with cataracts could have backed this trailer more accurately than you,”

Ove doubts whether someone who can’t park a car properly should even be allowed to vote.

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say,” said Ove.

Nowadays people changed their stuff so often that any expertise in how to make things last was becoming superfluous. Quality: no one cared about that anymore.

Sep 25, 2016

He believed so strongly in things: justice and fair play and hard work and a world where right just had to be right. Not so one could get a medal or a diploma or a slap on the back for it, but just because that was how it was supposed to be.

As if that was how they built the Colosseum and the pyramids of Giza. Christ, they’d managed to build the Eiffel Tower in 1889, but nowadays one couldn’t come up with the bloody drawings for a one-story house without taking a break for someone to run off and recharge their cell phone. This was a world where one became outdated before one’s time was up.

She loved only abstract things like music and books and strange words. Ove was a man entirely filled with tangible things. He liked screwdrivers and oil filters.

“You only need one ray of light to chase all the shadows away,”

“Once upon a time there was a little train,” reads Ove, with all the enthusiasm of someone reciting a tax statement.

Sep 25, 2016

“There’s Every human being needs to know what she’s fighting for. That was what they said. And she fought for what was good. For the children she never had. And Ove fought for her. Because that was the only thing in this world he really knew.

She liked talking and Ove liked keeping quiet. Retrospectively, Ove assumed that was what people meant when they said that people were compatible.

Ove had never been asked how he lived before he met her. But if anyone had asked him, he would have answered that he didn’t.

The two men look at each other through the locomotive window as if they had just emerged from some apocalyptic desert and now realized that neither of them was the last human being on earth. One is relieved by this insight. And the other disappointed.

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AL_SUSANW Oct 20, 2016

Grumpy old man with a heart of gold, I loved this novel and found it quite heartwarming.

Jun 02, 2016

A book about seeing past first impressions to create unlikely friendships. This book is about a grumpy old man who collects an unusual group of friends and reflects on a life well lived.

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