A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots – neighbours who can’t reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d’etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents’ Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.

But isn’t it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?

In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible…


A colleague of mine recommended this book and lent it to me, and I might not have chosen it otherwise.

What a pleasure it was to read, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Ove is a grumpy character, one who fills his life with petty concerns about rules and regulations in his neighbourhood, one who is infuriated by others and their behaviour. He is full of little quirks and foibles. But when we discover more about him, and what shaped him into the man he is today, we understand him better. The only difficulty I had with it was that he was 59 years old. He seemed so much older, but perhaps circumstances had made him like this. His childhood and young adulthood had certainly been unconventional.

This book is full of humour, but also sadness and regret.

Excellent characters, humour and pathos, clever plot, and very readable. Highly recommended.



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