A Novel

Book - 2017
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NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: LibraryReads * BookBrowse * Goodreads

"You'll love this engrossing novel." -- People

The 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: New York : Atria Books, [2017]
ISBN: 9781501160769
Characteristics: 418 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew) - Translator
Alternative Title: Bear town


From the critics

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Sep 08, 2020

I really liked this a lot.
The way Backman unfolded the ending, I've never experienced an unpacking like that (novice reader).
The character development at the start was worrying me a bit, was getting overwhelmed by nearly meeting the whole town.
I am picking up the sequel this afternoon. Back to back Backman!

Aug 23, 2020

I am definitely not a fan of hockey, but I enjoyed this book very much. I finally understand how wrapped up people become in a sport. This book crosses all generations. It's about love and hatred and loneliness and pride and character and parenting and being a teenager and LIFE. Terrific book.

May 31, 2020

“The very worst events in life have that effect on a family: we always remember, more sharply than anything else, the last happy moments before everything fell apart.”

This book was a very nice surprise and it wouldn’t have been under my “reading radar” if it wasn’t a recommendation from my friend. So, thank you KB! Definitively book was much more than a hockey story....Time well spent.... I loved it!

May 27, 2020

This at times heart-wrenching novel that asks readers to consider morality, honesty, belonging, the role of heroes and how our silence can empower the wrong people. Many Canadians will feel drawn to the story as it centers around hockey and some of the well drawn characters feel familiar. The prose has moments of sentimentality and at times plot details veer into common tropes, but overall it is worth a read. This is the first in a series of books.

Jan 17, 2020

"there are few words that are harder to expain then "loyalty".Its always regarded as a positive characteristic, because a lot of people would say that mwny of the best things people do for earh other occur precisely because of loyalty. The only problem is that many of the bery worst things we do to each other occur because of the same thing. "
One of the many, many thoughts I loved in this book.

Jan 13, 2020

I'm not sure how Beartown can be considered a humorous read; the rape of a young girl and ensuing results, including her ostracism and attacks on her family, are not topics I'd consider humorous.
The author's works are poignant, resonating and engrossing, but this book is not what I'd consider humorous.

Dec 29, 2019


Dec 27, 2019

5+ Stars!!

Phenomenal! Writing and storytelling perfection. From the foreboding opening to its escalating crescendo, this book held me captive.

Backman used multiple point of views, character interactions, and misguided motivations to tell this story. From the seemingly inconsequential to the most vital, the author laid a foundation and planted seeds to bring the story full circle and it was mesmerizing.

Beartown had everything in it's pages. It was heartrending, witty, inspirational, and at some of its best/worst moments, emotionally devastating. The nuances were smart and subtle. In the end, this book was a dichotomy - at times, maddening and difficult to read, but equally hard to put down. Perfection

Dec 04, 2019

At first I was not sure whether I would finish reading this book as I was so angry at the community for being so sports captivated. However, I was soon caught up in the writing and the story. I could relate this book to real communities where the residents lives are lived around a single sport and those who play are idolized. When finished reading this I had to read the sequel to find out what happened next. Can fractured communities and families be healed?

Dec 04, 2019

This book has stuck with me for over two years. As the parent of athletes and a coach, I get angry when politics become involved in sports and bad behavior is excused as "boys will by boys." How about we are all humans? Beartown brings these issues to the reader and I'm glad that book clubs are taking this book on.

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Jan 27, 2020

"there are few words that are harder to explain then "loyalty".Its always regarded as a positive characteristic, because a lot of people would say that many of the best things people do for earth other occur precisely because of loyalty. The only problem is that many of the very worst things we do to each other occur because of the same thing. " One of the many, many thoughts I loved in this book.

Sep 26, 2019

"The only time I'm not moving forward is when I'm taking aim."

Sep 26, 2019

We become what we are told we are. Ana has always been told that she's wrong.

Dec 27, 2018

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

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

Jun 02, 2017

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

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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape


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