Beartown

Beartown

A Novel

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, Simon & Schuster Canada,, 2017.
ISBN: 9781501163104
Characteristics: 418 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)
Alternative Title: Bear town

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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.

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mharris1227
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.

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gr8_reader
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!

s
sheba9898
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!

i
InsJavert
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…

f
FoxLarkin
Jan 13, 2019

As an avid sports fan, I was taken into the inner circle of how teams work, the chemistry, the philosophy, the spiritual aspects, the relationship between players, coaches, sponsors, the politics, the community: all intertwined with what happens when one aspect of being a team is derailed. The characters were real, how the related were believable, the best and worst of who we are as human beings all being played out within the confines of team.

t
TaraAttea
Jan 06, 2019

This book is amazing.
It broke my heart 20 times, once for every character I fell in love with. Then it fed my soul 19 times, once for every character I fell in love with who survived.

Written beautifully, it unfolds in a way where you know everyone in the book. It has incredible insight and it politically on point in America post the Trump election.

I feel have to warn about the sexual assault, though. It caught me off guard and it is difficult to push through.

b
burdeckija
Dec 26, 2018

Recommended by Elaine. Story of small town in Sweden where hockey was everyone's life. Good but not my favorite Fredrik Backman book.

l
LibraryLES
Dec 13, 2018

Loved this! Who would think that a book about a small town with a hockey rink could draw you in? Such great characters and it really drew me in! Can't wait to read the sequel!

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Quotes

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a
abbi_g
Dec 27, 2018

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

a
awayfromkeyboard
Sep 02, 2018

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

a
awayfromkeyboard
Sep 02, 2018

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

a
awayfromkeyboard
Sep 02, 2018

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

a
awayfromkeyboard
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

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

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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape

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