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A Man Called Ove: Summary

Everything you need to know about Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove, in 1 paragraph.
An illustration of a reader enjoying A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman in a cosy interior
A reader enjoying A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Man Called Ove tells the story of a grumpy old man who has just moved into a Stockholm suburb. Despite his prickly exterior, Ove has a good heart and is always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need. Through his interactions with his new neighbors, Ove slowly starts to open up and find joy in life again. Along the way, he discovers the power of friendship and that life is much more than just following the rules.

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What is A Man Called Ove about?

A Man Called Ove is a story about a grouchy, cantankerous old man in Sweden named Ove. It deals with themes of loss, loneliness, forgiveness, and acceptance. After the death of his wife, Ove struggles to come to terms with his grief and find joy in life again. The novel follows Ove's journey as he forms relationships with his neighbors while learning to forgive himself for past mistakes. Along the way, he discovers that life can be beautiful and that it's never too late to find love and happiness.

A Man Called Ove: Book Club Questions

  1. What themes were explored in the novel?
  2. How did Ove’s life change from the beginning of the novel to the end?
  3. What did Ove learn about himself and his relationships throughout the novel?
  4. What role does love play in Ove’s story?
  5. How has Ove's attitude towards others evolved over time?
  6. What is the significance of Ove’s car in the novel?
  7. How does Backman use humor to explore serious topics?
  8. What do you think was the overall message of A Man Called Ove?
  9. How does Backman use symbolism throughout the novel?
  10. What lessons can readers take away from A Man Called Ove?

What to say about A Man Called Ove

  • A Man Called Ove is a heartwarming story that speaks to the importance of community and connection.
  • Backman's use of wit and humor makes Ove's journey all the more endearing.
  • The novel touches on themes of grief, resilience, and hope in a way that is both moving and thought-provoking.
  • Backman has crafted an incredibly relatable character in Ove, who is richly complex yet also easy to understand.
  • I was particularly struck by the way Ove's relationships with his neighbors develop over time, showing how even the most unlikely of connections can be meaningful.
  • The narrative structure of A Man Called Ove effectively blends together past and present events to create a powerful overall effect.
  • The book carries a strong message about finding joy in even the smallest moments of life, which I found to be very inspiring.
  • In A Man Called Ove, Backman demonstrates how compassion has the potential to transform lives for the better.
  • Reading this book gave me a newfound appreciation for the power of friendship and understanding between people who are different from one another.
  • A Man Called Ove is not only an entertaining read but also an important reminder that we all have something valuable to offer each other regardless of our differences.

Top 5 Quotes from A Man Called Ove

  1. "People called him Ove, but that was not his real name. His name was actually Karl-Oskar."
  2. "If you look hard enough, you can find something good in every person."
  3. "No matter how much he groused, life never stopped throwing new things at him."
  4. "Sometimes I think the world would be a better place if we just said everything we were thinking."
  5. "That's all life is, after all: a series of moments to be lived and then gone forever."

Adaptations of A Man Called Ove

1. A Man Called Ove (2015) – Swedish feature film directed by Hannes Holm. 2. A Man Called Ove (2019) – American adaptation of the novel directed by Hannes Holm and starring Tom Hanks. 3. A Man Called Ove Radio Play (2019) – Radio play adaptation of the novel, produced by BBC Radio 4 in the UK. 4. A Man Called Ove - The Podcast (2020) – Podcast adaptation of the novel, produced by Audible Originals.

Other books by Fredrik Backman

  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry
  • Britt-Marie Was Here
  • Beartown
  • Us Against You
  • And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer
  • The Deal of a Lifetime
  • Anxious People

Did you know?


The book has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 43 languages.