Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Length: 9 hrs, 13 mins (Audiobook)
Published: August 27th, 2012

My Rating: ★★★★¼
Read: 3/14/2023 – 3/17/2023


I had high hopes for this book after reading Anxious People and I was not disappointed. Fredrik Backman’s writing is so relatably human, managing to find humor in some of the darkest areas of our lives.

On the surface, Ove appears to be nothing more than a cranky old man. Beneath that gruff exterior is a  wounded and lonely old man. When new neighbors move in, he finds himself suddenly surrounded by people despite his efforts to maintain his isolation. 

I had to read this in a hurry because my library has waitlists on multiple copies, so I’m not sure if because of this I found it dragged a lot in the beginning. By the middle, it began to pick up though I can’t say the pace changed much overall. It’s one I would have preferred to read slowly. Still, I enjoyed it a lot.

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • Character-driven story.
  • Extremely lovable characters.
  • Humanistic.

What I didn’t like:

  • Slow to start, making it a little difficult to get into it.
  • Some of the things involving the cat.


I regret not starting this as soon as my loan came through. It unfortunately came during a busy month. I may purchase a copy so I can go back to it when I have more time. There are a lot of highlightable lines in here, too.

Where to buy the book:

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