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Wednesday, August 8, 2018

#Audiobook #Review: 4 out of 5 stars for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman @Backmanland @Dreamscapeaudio

AUTHOR: Fredrik Backman
NARRATOR: George Newbern
PUBLISHER: Dreamscape Media
PUBLICATION DATE: May 8, 2014 (first published 2012)
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook
LENGTH: 9 hrs and 9 mins
GENRE: Contemporary Fiction
ISBN: 9781629239828
Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon - the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him 'the bitter neighbor from hell.' But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.


I've debated reading this book for years. I wasn't sure that I wanted to read a book about a disagreeable man. However, I was looking for a book in translation for one of my reading challenges and this one fit the bill. I'm so glad that I picked this up!

Ove is a cantankerous middle-aged man, whose life no longer has any purpose. His wife passed away, he was let go from his job, and there is nothing left for him but his morning rounds in the neighbourhood to ensure that everything is in order. So, Ove makes preparations for 

When a family moves in next door, it's the beginning of a beautiful metamorphosis for Ove. I love the pregnant mom, Parvaneh, who seems to see right into the heart of Ove and knows exactly what he needs.

Aside from the trigger in the beginning of the book that was upsetting, this was a moving story of how one man's world changes from losing what he thought was everything that mattered to finding joy in new things and people. Life does go on, no matter what. I've always felt that no matter your age that one needs to feel needed and to have a purpose or there is no motivation to get your aching bones out of bed each morning! Life is about living and making a difference, and I love that sentiment that Backman conveys.

This is my first book from this author, but it won't be my last! I can't wait to read more of his work. He has such a beautiful way of writing. Here are some memorable quotes:

"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."

“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.”

“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'.”

George Newbern's narration was fantastic! He made me laugh and cry and everything in between. He brought these characters to life, and I recommend listening over reading the book yourself. Here is a sample of the narration:

I haven't seen the 2015 film adaptation yet, but I hope it does justice to the book!


4 stars!! It was really good, and you should put it on your TBR if you enjoy contemporary fiction.

This book qualifies as:


  1. This sounds so good! I've been thinking about reading this one because it seems like such a moving story. Glad to hear that it holds up. Great review!

  2. Great review! I really liked this book, too. I’ve read a few others by the author. My favorite so far is My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!


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