Audio Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Release Date: December 29, 2013
Publisher: Dreamscape Media
Format: Audio
Length: 9 hours 9 minutes
Narrator: George Newbern
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Audible | Kindle 


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 must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

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 wasn't sure if I was going to like this book and I found myself laughing out loud and really enjoying every grumpy moment of it. Ove is bitter and looking forward to death when he can be with his wife. He is angry that the young people around him don't seem to know how to do the simplest things like fix a car or minor repair around the house.

When a young couple and their kids move in next door Ove finds himself being sucked into the lives of his neighbors who foil his plans to kill himself over and over. This book reminds me a bit of the movie with Clint Eastwood Gran Torino. Ove little by little finds joy and purpose in his life again. Its a reminder that just because people are old doesn't mean they aren't useful.

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