Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Audiobook Review: A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman book cover and review
Ove is such an interesting character that I couldn't help thoroughly enjoy his story, A Man Called Ove.

Not much happens. But everything happens. The story takes place in Sweden (and is a translation). Ove is an older man who recently lost his wife and then was forced to retire. He doesn't think he has anything left to live for, so he tries to commit suicide. Several times. But always, he gets interrupted by something that becomes important to him.

That's the whole point. That this cantankerous, unpleasant man can end up finding joy. Even if he can't admit it.

As the story progresses, we also learn about Ove's past. His childhood, how he met his wife, and their life together. Especially one particular tragedy.

The people (and cat) that enter Ove's life are flawed themselves. All the more reason Ove needs to assist them.

The narrator, George Newbern, was just too slow for me. I listened at 1.25x speed. Not that he didn't do a good job. I always think if I can't think of anything to say about the narrator, that's a good thing. The story should shine through. And it does.

The story made me laugh and cry. The writing is exceptional, and that's what makes A Man Called Ove compelling and well...brilliant. This isn't a story you can really explain. You can only experience it. And you should.

Published by Washington Square, 2013, audio: Dreamscape, 2014
Audiobook obtained from the library
337 pages

Rating: 4/5

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  1. I really liked this one too! Ove is so grumpy, but he cares about people in his own way.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. I've heard great things about this, but haven't had a chance to read it yet. It sounds excellent. Great review!

  3. This is one of those books that I feel like I am the last person who hasn't read it. I feel like I should, but then I don't get around to it. We have it in our house, too, so perhaps I will get to it.

  4. I really liked this one too. It was my first Backman book. If you want another readalike then I would highly suggest "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman. It has the same vibe.


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