Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
The word-of-mouth bestseller causing a sensation across Europe, Fredrik Backman's heartwarming debut is a funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step.
'Warm, funny, and almost unbearably moving' Daily Mail
'Rescued all those men who constantly mean to read novels but never get round to it' Spectator Books of the Year
At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets.
But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so?
In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible...
There is something about Ove. At first sight, he is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. He thinks himself surrounded by idiots - neighbours who can't reverse a trailer properly, joggers, shop assistants who talk in code, and the perpetrators of the vicious coup d'etat that ousted him as Chairman of the Residents' Association. He will persist in making his daily inspection rounds of the local streets. But isn't it rare, these days, to find such old-fashioned clarity of belief and deed? Such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so? In the end, you will see, there is something about Ove that is quite irresistible...
Translated from the Swedish.
Kotui multi-version record.
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Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
In this first novel from Swedish novelist Backman, a stereotypical grumpy old man, Ove, finds his quiet life of solitude slipping away when a young family moves in next door. Ove is the kind of man who yells at kids to get off his lawn and is the bane of the local residents' association. He may come across as gruff and bitter, but behind the unpleasant exterior is a dignified man with a story of love and heartbreak. The new neighbors and a scruffy cat may be the perfect combination to break Ove out of his shell and help him truly to start living. This adorable tale starts slowly but quickly gathers speed as Ove's neighbors start testing his patience and upending his sad routine. George Newbern narrates beautifully. VERDICT Witty and full of heart, this is a tale with broad appeal.-Erin Cataldi, Johnson Cty. P.L., Franklin, IN (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
In this Swedish bestseller, Ove is a lovably miserable neighborhood curmudgeon-think a cross between Up's Carl Fredricksen and Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson-who spends his days inspecting his community and criticizing others, judging each by how closely he follows rules and his choice of automobile (Ove cannot reason with BMW drivers). After his handicapped wife dies and he is forced to retire from his job, Ove decides he's ready to leave the world behind. But every time he tries to off himself, he's interrupted-first by his new neighbor, the pregnant Parvaneh; then by Parvaneh's clumsy husband, Patrick; Anita, the wife of Ove's former best friend; Jimmy, Ove's overweight neighbor; Adrian, the neighborhood mailman; and finally a mangy feline Ove calls "Cat Annoyance." Ove continuously pushes his demise from one day to the next, and, as time passes, these characters slowly weave themselves into his life, offering Ove a chance at rebirth. The debut novel from journalist Backman is a fuzzy crowd-pleaser that serves up laughs to accompany a thoughtful reflection on loss and love. Though Ove's antics occasionally feel repetitive, the author writes with winning charm. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
*Starred Review* At 59, Ove is a grumble Gus of the first degree. Rules are made to be followed, signs are meant to be obeyed, and don't even get him started about computers and mobile phones. In truth, Ove has been this way his whole life, but he's gotten worse in the last four years since his wife, Sonia, died, taking with her all the color in a world Ove sees as black-and-white. Ove has decided life without Sonia is not worth living and plans to join her in the next world. But a young couple and their two children (a third is on the way) move in next door, his oldest friend and most feared enemy is about to be forcibly removed to a nursing home, and a street-scarred cat insinuates itself into his life. Suddenly, Ove's suicide plans get delayed as he helps solve neighborly crises large and small. Though Ove's dark mission mitigates any treacly upstaging by animals and small children, readers seeking feel-good tales with a message will rave about the rantings of this solitary old man with a singular outlook. If there was an award for Most Charming Book of the Year, this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down.--Haggas, Carol Copyright 2014 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Originally published in Sweden, this charming debut novel by Backman should find a ready audience with English-language readers. The book opens helpfully with the following characterizations about its protagonist: Ove is fifty-nine. He drives a Saab. Hes the kind of man who points at people he doesnt like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policemans torch. What the book takes its time revealing is that this dyed-in-the-wool curmudgeon has a heart of solid gold. Readers will see the basic setup coming a mile away, but Backman does a crafty job revealing the full vein of precious metal beneath Oves ribs, glint by glint. Oves history trickles out in alternating chaptersa bleak set of circumstances that smacks an honorable, hardworking boy around time and again, proving that, even by early adulthood, he comes by his grumpy nature honestly. Its a woman who turns his life around the first time: sweet and lively Sonja, who becomes his wife and balances his pessimism with optimism and warmth. By 59, he's in a place of despair yet again, and its a woman who turns him around a second time: spirited, knowing Parvaneh, who moves with her husband and children into the terraced house next door and forces Ove to engage with the world. The back story chapters have a simple, fablelike quality, while the current-day chapters are episodic and, at times, hysterically funny. In both instances, the narration can veer toward the preachy or overly pat, but wry descriptions, excellent pacing and the juxtaposition of Oves attitude with his deeds add plenty of punch to balance out any pathos. In the contest of Most Winning Combination, it would be hard to beat grumpy Ove and his hidden, generous heart. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.