Review - A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman @Dreamscapeaudio

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Narrated by George Newbern
Publisher: Dreamscape Media, LLC
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Date Read: May 3, 2017
Length:  9 hours 9 minutes
Source: Audible Purchase

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.
My Review

I really enjoyed this audiobook.  This isn't the kind of book that I would have normally picked up but I saw so many wonderful reviews for it that I decided to give it a closer look.  When I caught it on sale on Audible, I decided to go for it.  I am so glad that I took a chance on this one because I completely fell in love with Ove over the course of this story.

Ove is exactly what you think of when you try to picture a grumpy old man.  He knows how things should be done and expects others to have enough sense to do them the right away.  He believes that rules are there to be followed regardless of who you are.  He is the man who makes rounds in his neighborhood to make sure that the rules are being enforced.

There is a little more to Ove that is revealed bit by bit during the story.  He isn't quite as unfeeling as he would let you believe especially once his new (and very patient) neighbors enter his life.  Suddenly, it seems that everyone needs his help with things and if he wants to make sure that they are done right he has to help.  I really enjoyed seeing Ove making connections with others and learning about his history. The more that you learn about Ove the more you love him.

George Newbern really brought Ove to life.  I really felt like I was with Ove as he was telling me his life story.  I haven't listened to his narration before this book but I would definitely look for him in the future.  He had such a nice voice to listen to and really was able to bring a few emotions to a character that likes to keep them hidden.  I was able to listen to this book for hours at a time largely because of the narration.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I think that just about everyone can think of someone in their life with a few of Ove's characteristics.  Everything about this story felt very authentic.  There were moments that I laughed and other moments that touched my heart.  This was the first book by Fredrik Backman that I have read and will not hesitate to read his work again in the future.
About the Author

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are published in more than thirty-five countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Beartown is his latest novel.


  1. I have seen this book around on most muset-read lists, but I realised yours is the first review I've read -- i don't know if I would pick this up, but gosh, you have given me much to think abut it.

  2. I need to read this. I have another Backman book sitting on my TBR shelf, and I haven’t read that one, either. I’ve heard so many good things about his work. Great review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. Maybe one day ...or not. I'd have to read it in Swedish, Would be silly to read a translation

  4. Great review! I thought this started a bit slow but when we start to learn why Ove is the way he is, he became much more endearing.

  5. This has been on my TBR for ages and my library just got it on audio on their digital site. I think audio really sounds like the way to go for this book. Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. I am so glad you enjoyed this one, Carole. I did too. :-) I gave a copy to my mother-in-law for her birthday the year it came out and she read her copy before I had a chance to read mine. It turned out to be her favorite book of the year.

  7. I've seen several adore this story and I like what you're saying about Ove and the narrator here. I will definitely have to give this one a try.

  8. I do like the sound of this. Not my usual read, but I do like trying new things, so I will be looking into this.

  9. I have read another book by this author called My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry and I absolutely loved it and would recommend it to you as well! I can't wait to read more books by him, and this would be one of those ones!

  10. This sounds so unique. Not what I'm used to but I'm curious about it. Thanks for sharing. I'll check this out. Awesome review, Carole. Love it. :)

  11. Glad this was good!! I am always temped to take the audio out of the library and maybe now I will. Great review!!

  12. Great Review! I can't wait to read this book! I just watched the movie and loved it.

  13. I'm so glad the narrator worked! I'm patiently waiting for my overdrive number to come up so I can give it a listen.


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