28 Inspiring Quotes from A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove is a heartwarming novel about an old man who befriends his local immigrant shop owner, who teaches him about diversity and privilege. 

After the loss of his wife, Ove is struggling to come to terms with his new life, but upon meeting his new friend, he learns to overcome many obstacles.

It covers themes of aging, grief and loss, and challenging diversity. 

It’s also full of incredible quotes. If you’re looking for quotes from A Man Called Ove, then these are the most inspiring ones from the book…

A man called ove book quotes

Powerful Quotes from A Man Called Ove

There are some powerful quotes about love, grief and life in A Man Called Ove. These are the most powerful…

“Houses were fair, they gave you what you deserved. Which, unfortunately, was more than one could say about people.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“He knew very well that some people thought he was nothing but a grumpy old sod without any faith in people. But, to put it bluntly, that was because people had never given him reason to see it another way.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“He had almost forgotten that feeling. The humiliation of it. The powerlessness. The realisation that one cannot fight men in white shirts.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“A time comes in every man’s life when he decides what sort of man he is are going to be. Whether he is the kind who lets other people tread on him, or not.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“People said he was bitter. Maybe they were right. He’d never reflected much on it. People also called him antisocial. Ove assumed this meant he wasn’t overly keen on people. And in this instance he could totally agree with them. More often than not people were out of their minds.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“Ove has probably known all along what he has to do, but all people at root are time optimists. 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.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“We are always optimists when it comes to time, we think there will be time to do things with other people. And time to say things to them. Time to appeal.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“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. People had always said that Ove was ‘bitter’. But he wasn’t bloody bitter. He just didn’t go round grinning the whole time. Did that mean one had to be treated like a criminal? Ove hardly thought so. Something inside a man goes to pieces when he has to bury the only person who ever understood him. There is no time to heal that sort of wound.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“You go to the hospital to die, Ove knows that. It’s enough that the state wants to be paid for everything you do while you’re alive. When it also wants to be paid for the parking when you go to die, Ove thinks that’s about far enough.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove
A man called ove book quotes

A Man Called Ove Quotes About Sonja

When Ove loses his wife, he feels like he is no longer living. These are some of the most beautiful A Man Called Ove quotes about Sonja, his wife…

“They say the best men are born out of their faults and that they often improve later on, more than if they’d never done anything wrong,” she’d said gently.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“And time is a curious thing. Most of us only live for the time that lies right ahead of us. A few days, weeks, years. One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. Memories, perhaps. Afternoons in the sun with someone’s hand clutched in one’s own. The fragrance of flower beds in fresh bloom. Sundays in a café. Grandchildren, perhaps. One finds a way of living for the sake of someone else’s future. And it wasn’t as if Ove also died when Sonja left him. He just stopped living.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“Ove realized that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“Loving someone is like moving into a house,” Sonja used to say. “At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren’t actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then 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.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“You miss the strangest things when you lose someone. Little things. Smiles. The way she turned over in her sleep.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove Parvaneh Quotes

When Ove meets Parvaneh, he starts to feel like his heart is beating again. These are the best A Man Called Ove Quotes about Parvaneh, his new friend.

“And you can’t let the girls freeze to death tonight, Ove, right? It’s quite enough that they had to watch you assault a clown, no?”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“You’re the funniest thing she knows. That’s why she always draws you in color,” says Parvaneh.

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“The woman is pregnant. Her eyes glitter as she walks through the rooms, the way eyes glitter when a person imagines her child’s future memories unfolding there on the floor.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“And then he utters seven words, which Parvaneh will always remember as the loveliest compliment he’ll ever give her. “Because you are not a complete twit.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

Short A Man Called Ove Quotes

The best quotes are often the short and powerful ones. These are our favourite short A Man Called Ove quotes.

“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

“There were certainly people who thought that feelings could not be judged by looking at cars. But they were wrong.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“You are what you are and you do what you do, and that was good enough.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“We can busy ourselves with living or with dying, Ove. We have to move on.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“Nowadays people changed their stuff so often that any expertise in how to make things last was becoming superfluous.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“Maybe to her destiny was something, but to him destiny was someone.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

“Ove doubts whether someone who can’t park a car properly should even be allowed to vote.”

Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

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Final Word on Quotes from A Man Called Ove

So there you have it, our top 28 A Man Called Ove quotes, from the heartwarming to the hilarious. We hope that you found one of these quotes inspiring.

Do you have a favourite quote? Let us know in the comments.

About Louisa

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the founder, editor, and head honcho of Epic Book Society. Once a published poet at the age of 7, she aspired to become a journalist, but that career hit a wall so here she is writing about books instead. When she's not writing about books, she's teaching English to primary school kids around the world.

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