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Beartown by Fredrik Backman
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Beartown

by Fredrik Backman

Series: Beartown (1)

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1,2211059,883 (4.19)114
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English (102)  German (1)  All languages (103)
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
He also wrote a Man called Ove.
  LeonaL | Mar 13, 2019 |
Oftentimes the best books aren't just books, they're an experience. This book is an experience well worth having.

There's something very unique about growing up in a small town with few economic prospects, where even intermittent success at sports is what really causes the heart of the town to beat. It's something that's very hard to explain to people who grew up differently; it's nearly impossible to explain to someone else's satisfaction why teenagers carry the weight of the town and its residents on their shoulders and why the adults allow them to do so. Backman understands that, and communicates that, along with the magic and guilt and tragedy and compromise that come along with it.

His writing here is beautiful. He gives it a rhythm and cadence that I haven't really seen elsewhere. He gives you so many quiet heroes to cheer for, and stops you along the way to ask difficult questions: What do you think? What would you do? Why? How? When?

If you're thinking about giving this book a pass because you dislike sports, or you're tired of reading about sexual assault, or you heard about Ove and it wasn't your cup of tea, pick this up anyway. It's about so much more than you think it is, and it's worth it.

ETA, First Reread: I'm still utterly in love with this book and the five stars were well-earned. ( )
  mediumofballpoint | Mar 4, 2019 |
Although I recognized from the beginning that the writing in this book was exceptional and the themes were relevant, I had to force myself to get through the first half or so, which I did because I was committed to finishing the book. I didn't enjoy the depressing Beartown, and many of the characters were pretty hard to take. However, my opinion changed as the book unfolded and I learned more about the characters' backgrounds and motivations. Nearly every person in the book is obviously flawed, some with much darker issues than others. Themes of loyalty, community, family, bullying, were seen from different perspectives through the flaws and strengths of the characters and their responses to a devastating event. The book is gut wrenching and tugs at your heart, and even though I won't want to reread it, Beartown is extraordinary and it will stay with me for a long time. ( )
  tkcs | Feb 23, 2019 |
This is the classic rape story writ large - a whole town gets involved. In a place where hockey rules every aspect of life, no one wants to believe that their golden boy star could do such a thing. Mr. Backman does magical things with personalities - particularly with the parents who have to cope with their children's actions and suffering. There is a bit of hope at the end - but only a bit. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Feb 19, 2019 |
I'm impatient. Things I don't like I don't do. The thing is, I love to read, anything. On the other hand, I think books that describe one boring action for dozens of pages only to get the reader to the beginning of the point are books that are a problem for people like me. So yes, I read the book to the end, and although the bottom line of the subject well emphasized and the message is undoubtedly appropriate, still, I find it very difficult to recommend this book.

On the third hand (what? I'm sure some people got one of those,) if you are an ice hockey enthusiast of youth groups - you will probably enjoy (well it's not the right word to describe the filings at the and of reading this one, but I suppose you get my point) the book. ( )
  bookloverreview | Feb 13, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 102 (next | show all)
The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove tells a poignant story of a hockey town paralyzed by scandal. Jobs are disappearing and Beartown is slowly dying, so for its citizens, hockey is everything. Backman asks, “Why does everyone care about hockey? Because hockey tells stories.” This is the story not just of hockey, but of a 15-year-old named Maya Andersson, whose father, Peter, the general manager of the hockey club, loves hockey, but loves his family more. Seventeen-year-old Kevin Erdahl is the star of Beartown, with a chance to go professional. One night, after a huge win, Maya goes to a raucous party at Kevin’s house and is thrilled at his attention, but things get out of hand, and what takes place changes Beartown forever. Lest readers think hockey is the star here, it’s Backman’s rich characters that steal the show, and his deft handling of tragedy and its effects on an insular town. While the story is dark at times, love, sacrifice, and the bonds of friendship and family shine through, ultimately offering hope and even redemption. Backman veers close to the saccharine, but readers may be too spellbound to notice.
added by VivienneR | editPublisher's Weekly (Feb 17, 2017)
 
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Mob mentality/
Rape, revenge, renewal/
Hockey, hate and hope
(HelenGress)

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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"--… (more)

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