A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: Book, Screen & Looking Ahead

A man called Ove. How did you just pronounce ‘Ove’ in your head? Was it like ‘stove’? Or more like  ‘Ooo – veh’, where the ‘Ooo’ is the long syllable and ‘veh’ is said pretty quickly. Try it. Or perhaps as the audio book version on Amazon pronounces it – like ‘Ooo- vah’ ?

I started off mispronouncing Ove in my head, and at about 60 pages in, I realized, I couldn’t go on saying it incorrectly. It is a Swedish name and I remember how hard those names can be from what I had read in the ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo! Remember those names?

Since Ove is a Swedish name, apparently it can have different pronunciations, depending on where in Sweden you are from! Now that we are done with the lessons in Orthoepy, let’s talk more about the book itself.


To the reader, Ove comes across as a cranky short tempered old man, who has staunch principles and rigid routines. He is opinionated and doesn’t shy away from it.  He doesn’t smile often but at the core of it all, he is a man of integrity and a kind heart. Ove wants to take his own life, because he misses his wife Sonja, who has passed away. However, things change for Ove, when a friendly young couple and their two delightful daughters move in next door.

This book will have you smiling one minute and crying the next. It takes us on Ove’s journey and how his life experiences have shaped him into who he is. It is life affirming, heart warming, with great pathos and humor.

The author Fredrik Backman has crafted Ove’s story as flashbacks between chapters and as you read on, you develop a greater understanding and appreciation for Ove’s personality.

On Screen : En man som heter Ove

I was eager to watch the movie based on this book. Though I saw it with English subtitles, it is beautifully made, and I quickly forgot I was reading subtitles!

However, as with many book adaptations, I thought the movie fell short, to evoke the same sense of loyalty to Ove, as the book had done. Though the movie captured the essence of the book, I felt it moved fast, and didn’t give us all the feels, like the book did. The flashbacks in Ove’s life were well woven into the movie and done nicely.
Nevertheless, a good adaptation, and Rolf Lassagrd portrayed Ove brilliantly.
It boasts a good 7.7/10 rating on IMDb.

Here is a official trailer to the movie.

Looking Ahead

Tom Hanks is planning to star in ‘A Man Called Ove’ as the American adaptation comes to the big screen. I can’t wait to see what Tom Hanks does with Ove’s character!

I will leave you with my favorite quote from the book.

“We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.” 

Have you read ‘A Man Called Ove’? What did you think. Drop me a line.
For those residing in Qatar, this book is available at the newly built Qatar National Library.

Until next time. Happy Reading.

3 thoughts on “A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: Book, Screen & Looking Ahead

  1. Awesome….. This count as injustice if I will not write: This is the best review of this book, writer should give the link to everyone.


  2. I really enjoyed reading the review, (enough to want to read the book). You have given such a wonderful description of the character and what he is going through that I can’t wait to read about Ove.


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