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Explore thought-provoking book club questions for A Man Called Ove (also known as A Man Called Otto) here. This bestselling novel by Swedish author Fredrik Backman has had millions of readers talking for years now.

You’ll foster meaningful discussion and get free printable book club questions to prepare for your in-person book club. Get started below.

a man called ove by fredrick backman.

Book Club Questions for A Man Called Ove

Spoiler Alert: These discussion questions for A Man Called Ove contain spoilers.

Describe the character of Ove and how you envision him.

What positive and negative characteristics does Ove have?

What has contributed to Ove’s pessimistic mindset generally?

Why do you think Ove has such an ongoing battle with the modern world in particular?

Why does Ove confront life in such controlled, ritualistic ways?

Can you identify with any of Ove’s gripes with life?

How does Ove view himself?

Discuss Ove’s relationship with Sonja.

What do you think Sonja saw in Ove?

Do you agree with Sonja that “loving someone is like moving into a house”?

How may Ove be different if he were a father?

Describe Ove’s relationship with his own father.

What made Ove hate “men in white shirts”?

How did Ove change after his wife died?

How does Ove cope with his grief?

Does Ove live more in the past, present, or future?

What is the significance of the specific cars Ove and Rune drive?

Describe Parveneh.

What made Ove able to connect with the cat and with Parveneh?

Discuss the significance of “the Lanky One.”

Are Ove and Parveneh “likely” or “unlikely” friends?

Why does Ove want to commit suicide?

What do you make of Ove’s failed suicide attempts?

How do Ove and Parveneh change over time?

What did Ove contribute to Parveneh and visa versa?

Discuss the concept of masculinity in A Man Called Ove.

How would this novel be different if Ove were a woman?

Did your opinion of Ove change over the course of the novel?

Did Ove’s life story surprise you?

How does Ove express emotion?

Why do you think Backman wrote this story in a non-chronological format, and do you agree with his choice?

Discuss the role of community in the novel.

A Man Called Ove takes place in Sweden. Does it resonate where you live?

Did the ending surprise you?

Discuss the irony in Ove’s death.

What does the turnout at Ove’s funeral symbolize?

Do you know anyone like Ove in real life?

Did you learn any lessons from A Man Called Ove to apply in your own life?

What is Ove’s legacy?

Do you consider A Man Called Ove to be a happy or sad book?

Printable Discussion Questions

Download printable book club discussion questions to quiz your in-person book club below.

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Why A Man Called Ove Is a Good Book Club Book

  • #1 New York Times bestseller
  • More than two million copies sold

My Review: ★★★★★

A Man Called Ove is a perfect book for your book club to discuss how one life impacts many others.

This is one character-driven book that’s captured my mind and heart for years now and, when I asked my Instagram followers to name their favorite Fredrik Backman book, A Man Called Ove won by a landslide (followed by the Beartown series).

From as early as the book cover, the reader learns that Ove is a curmudgeon — a grumpy old man with a disdain for disorder and the modern world.

But, like the layers of an onion, as the story unfolds, so too do details of Ove’s difficult past. Underneath a tough exterior, he’s a sad and lonely man, grieving the loss of the love of his life and coping with other hardships.

He just wants to die, but through a series of failed suicide attempts, he meets a young family moving in next door to him. The extroverted mother, Parveneh, brings “color” to Ove’s “black and white” view, and they end up providing each other both companionship and usefulness in life.

READING TIPS

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between A Man Called Ove and A Man Called Otto?

A Man Called Ove is a bestselling book by Fredrik Backman, a Swedish author. A Man Called Otto is the 2022 America-based movie adaptation of the book, starring Tom Hanks.

What is the overall message of A Man Called Ove?

A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman conveys the profound impact of community and connection in overcoming grief and loneliness. Through Ove’s transformation from a solitary widower to a cherished member of his neighborhood, the novel illustrates that kindness and unexpected relationships can revitalize one’s purpose in life. It underscores the essential message that it’s never too late to open your heart and change.

What are some book questions for A Man Called Ove?

How does Ove’s view evolve, and what events cause this change?
Explore the impact of Ove’s wife, Sonja, on his life.
Discuss how loneliness and community are portrayed in the novel.
Analyze the role of supporting characters in Ove’s journey.
How does the book balance humor with darker themes like grief?

What does the cat mean in A Man Called Ove?

In A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman, the cat symbolizes companionship, joy, and purpose. Its persistence in Ove’s life mirrors the gradual opening of Ove’s heart to his community.

Conclusion

These A Man Called Ove book club questions offer readers a heartwarming journey into the depths of human connection and resilience. Through the lens of Ove’s poignant and often humorous experiences, Fredrik Backman presents a narrative rich in real-life themes that are perfect for discussion.

Keep the discussion going! Share your thoughts on A Man Called Ove or any remaining questions you may have in the comments below.  

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