A Novel

Book - 2017
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"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
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9781501163104
Branch Call Number: BACKMAN
Characteristics: 418 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)
Alternative Title: Bear town


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Staff Book Review: Beartown

It’s been awhile since I’ve really loved a good book. Perhaps Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park was the last book that I finished and just wanted to hug. With Fredrik Backman’s Beartown, every page and every word, completely broke my heart into a million pieces.

Beartown is the name of a fictional small-town whose residents all pin their hopes and dreams on the local junior boys hockey team. (more)

From Library Staff

"Beartown is filled with unforgettable characters that you will cry for, champion, be enraged at, and be inspired by. I could not put this book down, and I didn’t want it to end! A breathtaking fable of ambition, hope, and courage" - Alan

From the critics

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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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Oct 01, 2017

Well written but a GRAPHIC RAPE SCENE, and the consequences of the rape are explored in the second half of the book. For anyone with potential triggers, I would suggest being careful when you read this book.

Sep 16, 2017

I loved backman's previous books, but beartown was a whole nother level of intensity and emotion.a rare book I'm tempted to read all over again, it was that good.

Sep 15, 2017

I loved this book. Definitely worth the read. It took a little while to get into the story but after that I couldn't put it down. The story and the characters are well developed. I found it a very emotional, powerful read. It makes you think about some deeper issues and I found that it stuck with me after I was done. Would definitely recommend it.

Aug 27, 2017

This is a departure from the whimsical feel of Fredrik Backman's earlier books. However the characters in this book have their own brand of appeal. The story focuses on a small town in Sweden where hockey is not only the passion, but may also be a key to the survival of the town. Backman uses the build up to a championship game in order to set all the pieces of the story in place and to introduce us to the characters. Then half way through the book, a serious situation happens that tests the integrity of the town's people and places friend against friend and neighbour against neighbour. It is a great look at small town dynamics, family, loyalty and a few much more serious issues as well. I enjoyed this book and as much as I loved his first book titled A Man Called Ove, I'm glad to see Backman try something a little different.

Aug 03, 2017

Anyone who thinks that this is a book about kid's ice hockey didn't read past the 50% part. It is a little slow but, in the end, I see that this was a character-building technique. You got to know each and every one of the main characters which made the ending extremely powerful. No book has ever drawn me in and made me cry, stand up and cheer and see that it's actually about humanity more than this. The author really knows people.

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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

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

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

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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