Hannibal Free Public Library
May 21, 2018
1. The title of the book is A Man Called Ove. How do you define masculinity or what makes a “man”?
2. If the author had used a woman as the lead character aka “A Woman Called Ovina”, would that have worked for you? Why or why not?
3. Do you recall the opening chapter (A man Called Ove buys a computer that is not a computer)? How did these few pages set your expectations for the novel?
4. Ove has several rants throughout the novel. Be honest, did you ever channel your inner Ove and find yourself agreeing with any of them? If so what resonated with you? Some examples of his rants: people driving in places clearly marked no cars allowed, the lanky one having such a hard time backing up his trailer, people paying everything on credit, and service charges for credit card purchases.
5. How do you feel about Backman’s use of alternating the present and past to tell the story? Do you think this is more or less effective than if he had told the story from a strictly chronological view?
6. An unfortunate character in Ove’s past was Tom. Tom stole and Ove took the fall. What did you think of Ove when he refused to name Tom as the thief??
7. Thanks to Tom, Ove was ultimately shifted to the night shift which is how he met Sonja. “All roads lead to something you were always pre-destined to do” (pg. 79). What do you think of this statement?
8. Ove is a completely honest man, yet when he first met Sonja he lied about himself. Why?
9. What drew Ove and Sonja to each other?
10. Sonja described loving someone, like moving into a house “At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you… over the years, the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfection but rather for its imperfections”. What are your thoughts?