A Novel

eBook - 2017
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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
ISBN: 9781501160783
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)
Call Number: eBook


From Library Staff

List - Inklings Book Club
DCLbookclubs Dec 07, 2016

Discussed at the August 2018 book club

For readers who believe hockey can save the world ... or at least a small Swedish town.

DCLadults Aug 09, 2018

I put aside my lack of hockey interest and focused on the well drawn characters in Beartown.
As a long time fan of Fredrik Backman....this doesn't disappoint. Beartown is a coming of age story set in a small town in Canada. It explores moral failures, and contemporary issues.
It is an "em... Read More »

Nicr Jul 01, 2018

Small-town hockey for all the marbles. A big game night that becomes something else. Not very well written: telling in lieu of character development, lots of unfortunate humor with characters laughing annoyingly on the page, and a truly absurd amount of crying. Moves quickly, though, once it fina... Read More »

kkoenigc Apr 04, 2018

This book left an impression unlike some where I just put it down and go to the next.
It's story touches on many subjects that are currently discussed today: racial biases, class division, sexual classifications, bullying and many more. It will stay with me for a long time.

From the critics

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Jun 19, 2019

DNF - About a hockey crazy town

Jun 16, 2019

Overly dramatic, preachy, slow read.

Jun 12, 2019

Fabulous book. I don't care for hockey, but this book is about hockey in the same way The Boys in the Boat is about rowing.

Great character development, great storytelling. The tale is told by leading out a little rope at a time.

Fabulous first VERY SHORT chapter that lets you know upfront how it will end, but takes a fascinating journey getting to the predicted end.

_McGeek_ Jun 04, 2019

I was recommended this book by many people and it did not disappoint. It was written in such an interesting and captivating way I hadn't expected and was pleasantly surprised. I honestly don't think it matters that I grew up in Canada raised around hockey and hockey rinks, and currently live in a mountain town, I don't think it makes this book any more enjoyable for me than it would for someone with no hockey knowledge who grew up on a beach. It's about the people, the culture, and the dangers of sports idolization in general, no previous hockey knowledge required.

VaughanPLDavidB Mar 12, 2019

Understanding that this is is trilogy has radically altered my initial dim view of this book. It is actually the excellent opening act of the story of the death of Beartown. I'm more than half way though Part 2, Us Against You, and loving it.

Feb 27, 2019

This was my first novel by Mr. Backman. I absolutely loved it. I am not a hockey or sports fan, and, when reading the synopsis, it echoed common story lines (13 Reasons Why), so I was intrigued to see how it was going to be different. After the first few chapters, it was apparent why it has such high ratings. He is very detailed in character development and foreshadowing. By the time I reached the climax of the novel, I felt close with the characters and felt an emotional connection with each. I'm looking forward to reading Us Against Them, as well as A Man Called Ove and his other books.

Feb 25, 2019

This is one of my favourite books EVER! He is a beautiful, compassionate writer that has an incredible gift. I can hardly wait to read the sequel to see where the characters go... I loved “A Man Called Ove” but “Beartown” was even better!

Feb 01, 2019

Absolutely love this author and his story-telling and character development abilities. This was like Friday Night Lights on steroids except it's about hockey and takes place in a small town in Sweden. Mr. Backman takes the reader through a cast of characters and shows how all their individual hopes, dreams, wins, losses, and motivations, intertwine to contribute to the culture and obsession associated with a town that hangs its success and survival on a single sport. I was not a hockey fan before, but after reading this book can see how it can become a part of your mind, body and soul. A totally engrossing read and well worth the time. Also, since this book was originally written in Swedish, mega kudos to the person(s) who translated this into English...........a magnificent job!

Jan 29, 2019

Mr. Backman takes a current and controversial subject and knits a story together that is very well written, keeps you engaged, and most of all, makes you think. If you think you will put this book down and not think about what you have just read, you are sorely mistaken.

The characters, the town, all of it, is neatly thought out, thoughtfully told. Very fitting for this controversial subject. You will not be left knowing all the characters, their fears, their triumphs, almost every singular aspect about them. Truly and engaging and thoughtfully story. So many hopes and dreams, of young teenagers, aspiring to be more than they are, dreaming of their future, a town also aspiring on those same inspirations to become something bigger than it is. Then when tragedy grips the town and people have to take sides, this is when the dark side of humanity comes out at its worst to divide friends as well as the town. How Mr. Backman brings this story to life and to its end, is the mark of a very good author.

I read and enjoyed Mr. Backman's previous book which I enjoyed very much, I had to give this new book a shot. I was not disappointed. I can not encourage you enough to read this book. You WILL NOT regret it.

neyoscribbles Jan 23, 2019

Backman delivers once again!!!!!!! I don’t follow hockey at all but you will become one with hockey and this town. It has all the charm and worries of a struggling small town that has fallen prey to one-ish identity. Although there are tons of characters, they all manage to provide some kind of insight for the reader. It is very easy to keep track of all their backstories and character developments. Backman writes in a manner that both breaks your heart and simultaneously restores your faith in those around you. I found the ending to be just perfect, so I am curious as to what the sequel will entail…

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Dec 27, 2018

You've never been alone. You just need to be better at choosing the company you keep.

Sep 02, 2018

"Sometimes life doesn't let you choose your battles. Just the company you keep."

Sep 02, 2018

"Staying silent in return for being allowed to join in."

Sep 02, 2018

"Sune has always been more interested in the length of the string than the size of the balloon."

Sep 02, 2018

"That was the morning the boy realized that the only way to become better than the bears at their own game was to stop playing it their way."

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

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

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

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

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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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape


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