by Fredrik Backman
Published by: Dreamscape Media on August 5, 2014
Narrator: George Newbern
Length: 9 hours and 9 minutes
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Narration Rating: 5
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.
Early this year, I listened to and loved Britt-Marie was Here. I then added all of Fredrik Backman’s audiobooks to my wishlist. Thanks to an Audible fairy, I was gifted a copy of A Man Called Ove. The ratings do not lie, once again I was transported as Backman made me fall in love with a grumpy old man named Ove and the folks in his community.
Five reasons to grab your earbuds and listen to A Man Called Ove
- Backman has this incredible gift for bringing his characters to life as he draws you into their story. His tales deal with small towns and everyday people who we soon discover anything but. Backman skillfully weaves these characters into your heart, and there they will remain for years to come.
- You have to meet Ove. He is methodical, grumpy, opinionated and at the beginning of our story depressed. Backman shares Ove’s story giving us chapters in the present as he deals with the loss of his wife and then he scatters stories of his past throughout. All of this allowed me as the reader to truly see the man. Ove made me laugh, had me recognizing similarities to my father, and made me cry. I shed both tears of joy and ones of immense sadness.
- Secondary characters are fully developed adding depth and meaning to the tale. The small suburban town burst to life. He highlighted everything from homeowners associations to nosy neighbors. I loved his neighbors and the interaction between them and Ove. The banter and perfectly mundane conversations were infused with honest humor. I laughed so hard at times it brought me to tears. He sheds light on our differences and highlights what makes us the same.
- Ove is at the center of the story, but it’s so much more. We get to know this little community, see character growth and experience a side of humanity I want to embrace. Ove’s struggles throughout the story and initiates a plan to resolve this issue. He is very through, not missing a single detail but life and his neighbors keep getting in the way. The way in which Backman had the secondary characters interfere with his plan made A Man Called Ove one of the most delightful, heartfelt books I have ever listened to. In fact, I loved it so much; I bought the hardcover edition for my bookshelf. I want to be able to spend time with these characters again.
- George Newbern narrated the tale and captured Ove and this little community. The emotions, sarcasm, and awkwardness that is Ove were enhanced. I loved his voices for secondary characters including Parveneh. Who by the way was wonderful.
What more can I say except I want everyone to listen or read A Man Called Ove. I want you to experience all of the emotions that I did. It is often that you read stories that will forever stay with you.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
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