Beartown

Beartown

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
ISBN: 9781501160769
Branch Call Number: BACKMAN
Characteristics: 418 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew), - Translator

Opinion

From Library Staff

Canada is hockey, and to Beartown, hockey is all that's keeping the town going as employment and population falls. What happens when a star hockey player is accused of a terrible crime?

Comment
AL_KATI May 15, 2017

The first book I've read this year that really earned its 5 stars. Beartown isn't just about hockey. It's about family and loyalty. The prose is beautiful and several times I had tears in my eyes. If you want to read one astounding fiction novel this year, make it this.

The first book I've read this year that really earned its 5 stars. "Beartown" isn't just about hockey; it's about family and loyalty. The prose is beautiful and several times I had tears in my eyes. If you want to read one astounding fiction novel this year, make it this. AL_KATI

A small Swedish town that lives and breathes hockey has set its heart on winning a national championship. Another insightful novel with unforgettable characters by the author of "A Man Called Ove."


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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.

c
cmfrakes
Mar 13, 2018

It was ok. Very slow at the beginning. Didn't feel like there was much character development - very flat characters. For me personally, too much hockey! I have read Ove and My Grandmother and thought they were excellent. This one, sadly, was very disappointing.

m
Margush
Mar 11, 2018

Love Backman’s other books but for some reason this one was hard to follow...I don’t really like hockey, it may explain it.

s
shaylae
Feb 15, 2018

This is a book I will never forget. His writing is beautiful, though the story is heartbreaking. Well worth the read!

d
dprodrig
Feb 08, 2018

Backman's style takes a bit of getting used to. This is a portrayal of political manoeuvring to take a currently winning team and bring a hockey training facility to a dying town. But the star player raped a young girl and the book details the fallout of when this happens. Including how the town turns against the family, the mother's complicity, how the boy escapes all charges and even takes a small step to peak into the future. Not entirely grim, but definitely gripping. Worth reading.

b
Blabbermouth
Jan 11, 2018

Wow what a book. I found it hard to get into but once there it was gripping. This story is multi-layered. It's about a small town that's dying, it's about a sport, it's about parenting it's about teenage angst & it's about good & evil. Mostly it's about a culture that involves men & women & I have to admit to being a woman but regardless of that fact it seems very clear to me that men need to make a lot of changes. It's also a story about rape & lying that's called loyalty & the violence that follows this culture if you tell the truth. It's deep.

t
TSMasi
Jan 03, 2018

This is the best book I read in 2017. ALL YEAR. It almost had a feel of John Green meets Harper Lee. It took me awhile to figure out that it as not set in the northernmost United States, the monetary unit is the kroner, a smarter person would have caught on right away! But the story is gripping, Just when you think this is a story abut small town hockey, think again. Great plot,unexpected twists. LOVED IT.

m
mstenroos
Dec 27, 2017

This is a must read! Backman handles the complexity of a small town, a sport (hockey), teenage years, adults raising teens, women in sport, women in the work place, bullying by kids, bullying by adults, post athletic career and the power of group hate, extremely well. This is not a book to gloss over. The story line could take place in any small town in America whether it be football in Texas, basketball in Indiana, or baseball int the Midwest. The message of the story is powerful beyond belief. Each line and each word carries a punch and a meaning that can be missed and should not be. I would put this at the very top of my 2017 list of already great books. The story line may be dark, but it is something America needs to read!

i
ItsAccrualWorld
Nov 24, 2017

It's alright as an examination of rape culture, but the narrative itself is a cliché riddled and maudlin mess of 2 dimensional characters.

d
dirtbag
Nov 09, 2017

Backman is unerring in his capacity for giving an honest read on the state of society generally and the stories we as individuals tell ourselves in order to stay with the herd.

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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

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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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