Beartown

Beartown

A Novel

Paperback - 2017
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream--and the price required to make it come true.

People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Simon & Schuster, 2017.
Edition: Simon & Schuster Canada edition.
ISBN: 9781501163104
1501163108
Branch Call Number: FIC Backm
Characteristics: 418 pages
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)

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m
midori_hon
Sep 16, 2017

I loved backman's previous books, but beartown was a whole nother level of intensity and emotion.a rare book I'm tempted to read all over again, it was that good.

m
mcmitch
Sep 15, 2017

I loved this book. Definitely worth the read. It took a little while to get into the story but after that I couldn't put it down. The story and the characters are well developed. I found it a very emotional, powerful read. It makes you think about some deeper issues and I found that it stuck with me after I was done. Would definitely recommend it.

b
becker
Aug 27, 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.

p
poodlegirl
Aug 03, 2017

Anyone who thinks that this is a book about kid's ice hockey didn't read past the 50% part. It is a little slow but, in the end, I see that this was a character-building technique. You got to know each and every one of the main characters which made the ending extremely powerful. No book has ever drawn me in and made me cry, stand up and cheer and see that it's actually about humanity more than this. The author really knows people.

JanieHH Aug 02, 2017

As a fan of both hockey and all of Fredrik Backman's man previous works to say that I was looking forward to reading Beartown would be an understatement ... and once I started reading I could not stop.

On the surface this is a book about hockey, but really it is so much more. It is a coming of age story told from multiple viewpoint as well as a book that questions values, friendship, belonging, and commitment -- and asks the reader to consider some tough questions (and truths) along the way.

The residents of Beartown are unique and the quirky, whimsical nature of Backman's previous books, though not as strong, still shines through.

Can't recommend this book enough ....

k
kakacurt
Aug 02, 2017

For whatever reason, it takes me a bit to get involved with all this author's books. However, it is always worth the time to continue to read. A wonderful book!

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!

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Quotes

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JanieHH Aug 02, 2017

“She’s fifteen, above the age of consent, and he’s seventeen, but he’s still “the boy” in every conversation. She’s “the young woman”.

Words are not small things.”
― Fredrik Backman, Beartown

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

c
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

c
cknightkc
Jun 02, 2017

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

c
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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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape

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