Beartown

Beartown

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
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"From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, comes a poignant, charming novel about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything. Winning a junior ice hockey championship might not mean a lot to the average person, but it means everything to the residents of Beartown, a community slowly being eaten alive by unemployment and the surrounding wilderness. A victory like this would draw national attention to the ailing town: it could attract government funding and an influx of talented athletes who would choose Beartown over the big nearby cities. A victory like this would certainly mean everything to Amat, a short, scrawny teenager who is treated like an outcast everywhere but on the ice; to Kevin, a star player just on the cusp of securing his golden future in the NHL; and to Peter, their dedicated general manager whose own professional hockey career ended in tragedy. At first, it seems like the team might have a shot at fulfilling the dreams of their entire town. But one night at a drunken celebration following a key win, something happens between Kevin and the general manager's daughter--and the next day everything seems to have changed. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. With so much riding on the success of the team, the line between loyalty and betrayal becomes difficult to discern. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear. Fredrik Backman knows that we are forever shaped by the places we call home, and in this emotionally powerful, sweetly insightful story, he explores what can happen when we carry the heavy weight of other people's dreams on our shoulders"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2017
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501160769
1501160761
Branch Call Number: Fiction Bac
Characteristics: 418 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)

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l
laphampeak
Jul 18, 2017

I had to work a bit to finish this one. The author's writing style kept me in the current of the story but the stream didn't have a lot of twist, turns, or rapids. The end left a smidgen of retribution but it took a long way to get there.

s
Squid_1
Jul 18, 2017

I love author's other works. But this book is very disjointed, and hard to follow. I feel like right when you are getting into a character, he abruptly interrupts the flow by introducing another character. Plus, another negative is that I don't really care for sports.

s
swheeler89
Jul 17, 2017

Wonderfully told coming of age story that might as well be set in "anytown" America. Backman has a way of developing characters that resonate. This book will choke you up, make you laugh, enrage you and hopefully challenge you to treat everyone with decency. Much darker than A Man Called Ove, but equally as beautiful.

d
darladoodles
Jun 23, 2017

My first thought when I picked up this book was "Can I get through 400 plus pages of a book about hockey?" I should have known that with Backman doing the writing, it would be about so much more than hockey.

And it was. . .

Backman's style of writing draws you in and takes you places you did not know you would go. The Beartown hockey team is the backdrop for a huge story. There are some characters we see impacting the story without even knowing their names -- like the man in the Volvo and David's girlfriend. As the plot is moved forward we often see characters referred to as a sum of pronouns rather than by their name. At times the reader must fill in the name using their own deductions -- if the character has been given a name.

What I loved about this book is classic Backman coming through in the compassionate way he depicts the people in his books and the way they deal with the events that shape their lives. They make hard decisions and we understand them thanks to Backman. Highly recommended!

l
letstakeashelfie
Jun 22, 2017

In my opinion, Beartown is a masterpiece. From the writer's meticulous character development down to his ability to elicit an abundance of emotions, it is like nothing I have ever read. This engaging and captivating read will hit a chord right down to your core.

A full review of this title can be found on my blog: http://www.letstakeashelfie.ca

b
BLBliss
Jun 10, 2017

A departure from his other books. I loved it! A story of a youth sports program and how it impacts classes of people and individuals in a small town. I like the people I met in Beartown.

b
becker
Jun 02, 2017

This is a departure from the whimsical feel of Fredrik Backman's earlier books. However the characters in this book have their own brand of appeal. The story focuses on a small town in Sweden where hockey is not only the passion, but may also be a key to the survival of the town. Backman uses the build up to a championship game in order to set all the pieces of the story in place and to introduce us to the characters. Then half way through the book, a serious situation happens that tests the integrity of the town's people and places friend against friend and neighbour against neighbour. It is a great look at small town dynamics, family, loyalty and a few much more serious issues as well. I enjoyed this book and as much as I loved his first book titled A Man Called Ove, I'm glad to see Backman try something a little different.

c
cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

This is easily one of the best books I’ve read. Hard to surpass author Fredrick Backman’s standout, A MAN CALLED OVE, but for me, BEARTOWN may have achieved this. BEARTOWN is a real departure from Backman’s previous novels which featured quirky characters finding their way in gentle, heartwarming tales. This book is much darker, grittier, and sensitive readers should be aware it contains mature events and strong language. The setting is timely. Beartown is a small, remote town in decline, and the hopes and dreams of it’s residents rest squarely on the shoulders of the local teenage ice hockey team whose club motto is “Culture, Values, Community”. A large cast of complex characters populate the story, and once again, Backman demonstrates his skill in exploring their motivations as well as providing wise insights into human relationships - I literally ran out of Post-its marking pages with notable quotes! A serious incident occurs prior to a crucial championship game, and before the story reaches a real and not so tidy ending, the community’s culture of silence will be broken, secrets revealed, values re-examined, and loyalties tested. A thoroughly engrossing and thought-provoking read, BEARTOWN sets the bar very high for subsequent works by this versatile and gifted writer.

debwalker May 31, 2017

Hockey and small town dreams - getting great reviews.

h
haileyj
May 31, 2017

Couldn't get into this story at all. Perhaps if you love hockey and all the hoopla surrounding the game you might enjoy it more. I read about 1/4 of the book and didn't finish it. A Man Called Ove was a better read by this author.

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l
letstakeashelfie
Jun 22, 2017

"There's a thin line between living and surviving, but there's one positive side effect of being both romantic and very competitive: you never give up." -p.123

c
cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

“Community is the fact that we work toward the same goal, that we accept our respective roles in order to reach it. Values is the fact that we trust each other. That we love each other…. For me, culture is as much about what we encourage as what we actually permit.” - p. 210

c
cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

“People sometimes say that sorrow is mental but longing is physical. One is a wound, the other an amputated limb, a withered petal compared to a snapped stem. Anything that grows closely enough to what it loves will eventually share the same roots. We can talk about loss, we can treat it and give it time, but biology still forces us to live according to certain rules: plants that are split down the middle don’t heal, they die.” - p. 138

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cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

“One of the plainest truths about towns and individuals is that they usually don’t turn into what we tell them to be, but what they are told they are.” - p. 73

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cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

“Culture is as much about what we encourage as what we permit” - p. 66

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cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

“Sports creates complicated men, proud enough to refuse to admit their mistakes, but humble enough always to put their team first.” - p. 58

c
cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

“It’s only a game. It only resolves tiny, insignificant things. Such as who gets validation. Who gets listened to. It allocates power and draws boundaries and turns some people into stars and others into spectators. Thats all.” - p. 53

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