A Man Called Ove

Rune Character Analysis

Rune and Ove moved into the neighborhood with their wives on the same day. When their wives, Anita and Sonja, became friends, Rune and Ove became friends to appease their wives. Rune is a lot like Ove: he doesn't say much, he has principles, and is handy around the house. He also shares Ove's love of fighting bureaucracy—the two of them set up the neighborhood steering committee and fight to keep the forest behind their houses from being cut down. His only fault in Ove’s eyes is that he drives a Volvo and upgrades to a sporty BMW after his adult son leaves for America. Not long after, Rune becomes very ill with Alzheimer's disease and requires intensive home care.

Rune Quotes in A Man Called Ove

The A Man Called Ove quotes below are all either spoken by Rune or refer to Rune. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Washington Square Press edition of A Man Called Ove published in 2015.
Chapter 25 Quotes

Both men, once as close as men of that sort could be, stare at each other. One of them a man who refuses to forget the past, and one who can't remember it at all.

Related Characters: Ove, Rune
Page Number: 218
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 28 Quotes

After the accident Ove bought a Saab 95 so he'd have space for Sonja's wheelchair. That same year Rune bought a Volvo 245 to have space for a stroller. Three years later Sonja got a more modern wheelchair and Ove bought a hatchback, a Saab 900. Rune bought a Volvo 265 because Anita had started talking about having another child.

Related Characters: Ove, Sonja, Rune, Anita
Related Symbols: Cars
Page Number: 245
Explanation and Analysis:
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Rune and Anita's lad grew up and cleared out of home as soon as he got the chance. And Rune went and bought a sporty BMW, one of those cars that only has space for two people and a handbag. Because now it was only him and Anita, as he told Sonja when they met in the parking area. "And one can't drive a Volvo all of one's life," he said with an attempt at a halfhearted smile. She could hear that he was trying to swallow his tears. And that was the moment when Ove realized that a part of Rune had given up forever.

Related Characters: Rune (speaker), Ove, Sonja
Related Symbols: Cars
Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:
Quotes explanation short mobile
Chapter 33 Quotes

He thinks about how Sonja would have taken it if she'd found out. If she'd known that her best friend had not asked for her help because Sonja had "enough problems." She would have been heartbroken.

Related Characters: Ove, Sonja, Jimmy, Rune, Anita
Page Number: 287
Explanation and Analysis:
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Rune Character Timeline in A Man Called Ove

The timeline below shows where the character Rune appears in A Man Called Ove. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
6. A Man Called Ove and a Bicycle That Should Have Been Left Where Bicycles Are Left
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...decides it's either something criminal or testing bacon. On the other side of Jimmy lives Rune, Ove's enemy. Rune and his wife, Anita, moved in on the same day that Ove... (full context)
7. A Man Called Ove Drills A Hole For A Hook
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...to stop being rude and tells Anita that Ove will certainly help. Ove asks why Rune can't do it, and Anita explains sadly that Rune is sick with Alzheimer's. Parvaneh insists... (full context)
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Anita explains quickly to Parvaneh and Patrick that there was a "wrangle" between Ove and Rune when Rune was elected head of the Association. Ove continues to be belligerent, but Anita... (full context)
9. A Man Called Ove Bleeds a Radiator
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...of time to think about radiators. The narrator says that the feud between Ove and Rune had been about a new heating system for the houses in the neighborhood, though it... (full context)
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove and Rune had developed the Residents' Association. Ove was the chairman and Rune was the assistant chairman,... (full context)
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Rune bought his BMW long after that and Ove thought he was an idiot for doing... (full context)
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...away. He grabs his watering can out of the shed and knocks on Anita and Rune's door. When Anita happily opens it for Ove, he grumpily asks where the radiators are... (full context)
11. A Man Called Ove and a Lanky One Who Can't Open a Window Without Falling Off a Ladder
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Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Ove angrily walks to where the Škoda was parked in front of Rune and Anita's house. He picks up cigarette butts that the driver threw on the ground.... (full context)
15. A Man Called Ove and a Delayed Train
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...his turn. She says the car is from Social Services and soon both Ove and Rune will be placed in homes. Weed gets into Anders' Audi and Ove wants to destroy... (full context)
20. A Man Called Ove and an Intruder
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...then falls asleep. Ove looks over the parking area and thinks about his friendship with Rune. Rune and Anita had moved in the same day that Ove and Sonja did, and... (full context)
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
Ove and Rune talked about their wives' raging pregnancy hormones. Anita kept putting the coffee pot in the... (full context)
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...worried that he wasn't going to be a good father. Sonja suggested Ove talk to Rune about it and laughed when Ove asked for an instruction manual. Ove and Rune ended... (full context)
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...pressing the issue, the man in the white shirt explains that they're there to take Rune into care. When Ove reminds the man that Anita doesn't want that, the man tells... (full context)
22. A Man Called Ove and Someone in a Garage
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...vehicles are prohibited had been run over. Ove fetched his snow shovel and looked at Rune and Anita's house. The cat looked at Ove accusingly, and Ove yelled at the cat... (full context)
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
...that reminds Ove of Sonja. Ove tells the cat again that the council won't take Rune away for years and reminds the cat that it has Ove to thank for the... (full context)
25. A Man Called Ove and a Piece of Corrugated Iron
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Ove and the cat knock on Rune's door. Rune finally answers. Ove asks Rune for corrugated iron, but Rune only stares for... (full context)
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...minutes later, Ove reappears in the doorway with a surprisingly huge piece of corrugated iron. Rune smiles and waves at Ove from the window, and Anita tells Ove again that Social... (full context)
26. A Man Called Ove and a Society Where No One Can Repair a Bicycle Anymore
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...mail arrive, Ove says "I won" to the cat. The narrator explains that Ove and Rune used to bet on when the mail would arrive and had a complex system since... (full context)
27. A Man Called Ove and a Driving Lesson
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
At various points during the past forty years, a neighbor would ask Sonja why Rune and Ove hated each other. Sonja usually offered an account of their vehicular upgrades over... (full context)
28. A Man Who Was Ove and a Man Who Was Rune
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...always said that Ove was unforgiving. Ove knew that Sonja was disappointed that he and Rune couldn't remain friends, but Ove couldn't figure out how to fix what happened or even... (full context)
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Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...after Ove and Sonja returned from Spain after the accident, Ove laid new paving stones, Rune built a fence, Ove put up a higher fence, and Rune built a swimming pool.... (full context)
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...in and amongst the conflict where Sonja and Anita were able to get together with Rune and Ove for dinner. When Anita and Rune's son was a teenager they had a... (full context)
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
A few years later, Ove and Rune fought over the heating system for the last time, and then over Rune's new robotic... (full context)
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...and wheelchairs and more children that never arrived. The narrator wonders if Ove never forgave Rune for having a son he didn't get along with, or if neither man was able... (full context)
31. A Man Called Ove Backs Up a Trailer. Again.
Rules and Order Theme Icon
The man in the white shirt gets out of his car by Rune and Anita's house as Ove yells at him. The man asks Ove what he's going... (full context)
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
When the man in the white shirt comes out of Rune's house, he finds his car blocked by a trailer. Ove stands there and insists he... (full context)
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...looks sad. Parvaneh comes up behind him and tells him that they're going to take Rune away from Anita. Anita appears suddenly and tells Ove that they're coming to get Rune... (full context)
32. A Man Called Ove Isn't Running a Damned Hotel
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Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
The narrator says that Sonja said that men like Ove and Rune were men caught in the wrong time. Dignity to them meant never being reliant on... (full context)
33. A Man Called Ove and an Inspection Tour That Is Not the Usual
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Jimmy asks Ove if he has heard that the council is picking Rune up today. He explains that Anita has been trying for two years to get more... (full context)
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...he thought he had more time to help, and then strides off to Anita and Rune's house. He bangs on the door and Anita opens it. Ove steps in without being... (full context)
34. A Man Called Ove and a Boy in the House Next Door
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Rules and Order Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...over the last forty years, many different people lived in the house between Ove and Rune. Ove and Rune could always agree that the current residents of the house were imbeciles.... (full context)
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...boy pleading one night for the man to stop yelling, he went outside and found Rune waiting. Ove and Rune hadn't spoken for a year, but rang the doorbell together and... (full context)
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...Social Services from Parvaneh's house and spoke with the man in the white shirt about Rune. The conversation went poorly from the start: Ove insulted the man's ability to read signs,... (full context)
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...opened her door to a courier with a letter confirming the date and time of Rune's "transfer into care." (full context)
35. A Man Called Ove and Social Incompetence
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Patrick and Parvaneh's kitchen with Jimmy, Mirsad, Adrian, and Anders, formulating a plan to help Rune. After a few nights, Ove made a phone call. (full context)
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Half an hour later, the man in the white shirt knocks on Rune and Anita's door. Anita opens it and he tells her it's time to take Rune.... (full context)
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
...asks if he's read the letter yet. He hasn't. Ove spends an hour sitting with Rune before he goes home. (full context)
37. A Man Called Ove and a Lot of Bastards Sticking Their Noses In
Memory and Grief Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Community Theme Icon
Principles, Fairness, and Loyalty Theme Icon
...Parvaneh lowers herself down and gives Sonja flowers from herself and more from Anita and Rune. Everyone but Parvaneh heads back to the car. When she joins the group and Ove... (full context)
A Man Called Ove and an Epilogue
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...moves into Jimmy's house and they adopt a little girl the next year. They visit Rune every day, and although he doesn't get better, he smiles every time Jimmy and Mirsad's... (full context)