Beartown: A Novel

Fredrik Backman
The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with Beartown—an instant New York Times bestseller—about a forgotten town fractured by scandal, and the amateur hockey team that might just change everything.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 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. “Like Friday Night Lights, this is about more than youth sports; it’s part coming-of-age novel, part study of moral failure, and finally a chronicle of groupthink in which an unlikely hero steps forward to save more than one person from self-destruction” (Kirkus Reviews).

Reviews

Reviewed: 2019-11-29
I've loved everything I've read by Fredrik Backman and this was no exception. THIS BOOK IS INCREDIBLE. This book explores the politics of a small hockey town and a scandal that shakes the town. It really explores how people choose to believe what they want to believe to keep their peace of mind and how victim-blaming is unfortunately still a huge issue. It's both heartbreaking and heartwarming and takes you through a whole spectrum of emotions This book also jumps from story to story and perspective to perspective, so if that's not for you, just know that going in. I think it's worth it for the overall story. tw for rape
Reviewed: 2019-09-22
Beartown is such a well written and thought provoking story that manages to explore dozens of well developed themes around friendship, family, community, culture, class, small town living and the dynamic that does with it, the struggles of growing up, parent child relationships, sports culture and the drive toward winning, individual success verses team success, being part of the team... I could go on and on. For me, this was a morality tale exposing the dark side of this community, a town that defines itself by the success of its hockey team, when it’s MVP is accused of an atrocious crime. The repercussions are crippling for this community as loyalties are tested and divided regardless or right and wrong. You will experience the best and worst from humankind in this story. Fredrik Backman is a masterful storyteller that has a tremendous ability for developing realistic characters, realistic situations and realistic reactions. I love his writing style but Beartown was different and I will admit that I missed his quirky characters and dry humor that palliated the tragedy in his other books. His books always generate great discussion and this will resonate with me for a long time.
Reviewed: 2018-06-26
Video Review: https://youtu.be/JWFihGOfuXo
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