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Beartown

Beartown

Escrito por Fredrik Backman

Narrado por Marin Ireland


Beartown

Escrito por Fredrik Backman

Narrado por Marin Ireland

valoraciones:
4.5/5 (774 valoraciones)
Longitud:
13 horas
Publicado:
Apr 25, 2017
ISBN:
9781508230984
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Nota del editor

Suspenseful & moving…

Backman tells the story of a town deep in the forest of Sweden that lives and breathes hockey, but it’s about so much more than sports. Both suspenseful and moving, it tackles issues from class to immigration to #MeToo, and is ultimately a story of what unites and divides us.

Descripción

The #1 New York Times 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.
Publicado:
Apr 25, 2017
ISBN:
9781508230984
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Sobre el autor

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.

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4.6
774 valoraciones / 125 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    ‘Beartown’ is my fourth book by Backman, and ranked #2 overall, after ‘A Man Called Ove’. It’s #3 for being relatable, after also Britt-Marie. But it’s #2 in its creative use of sports to tell a story; the fact that I am not a sports-anything person and I easily read through the book without dragging says a ton about Backman’s ability to envelope a reader despite a non-relatable environment.It’s modern times in a cold, harsh area that’s dumped upon by surrounding towns and the weather. Its inhabitants are survivors; they don’t particularly thrive. A huge cast of distinctive and often fierce characters fills the pages, with the main protagonists being the family of Peter and Kira, and their children Maya and Leo. The antagonist is Kevin and his family. All characters reveal their true self in the conflict between Maya and Kevin. Some step up loudly or with their actions: hockey mates Amat and Benji, bar owner Ramona, Kira – ‘the wolf mom’. Some are bullies through and through: Kevin’s dad, hockey mate William and his mom, Maggie, and the Sponsors. Some go with the flow because it’s the easier thing to do despite their conscience: Coach David, hockey mate Filip, Kevin’s mom. Some are simply cowards: Kevin. “Bang. Bang. Bang.” marks the beat of the story, the sound of the hockey puck, and the fear of truth.It’s easy to dismiss ‘Beartown’, a story that seems to be dominated by hockey, located in an alcohol-filled hockey town. But it would be SO trivializing this sensitive story. The undying friendship and bond between Maya and Ana, the sincere love and devotion between Amat and his mom, the care between Benji and his sisters, friendships that grow apart, friendships that re-discover each other, the journey to find one’s voice (Amat), the trials to accept oneself (Benji), the path to recovery and to find strength within (Maya), the ferocious strength of a mother (Kira), and the gentleness of a dad (Peter), I can go on and on, but you really ought to discover all these sweet and a few not so sweet human experiences for yourself. With all that is going on in the world, this book brought some heart and wise insights of humanity back to the front. Thanks for doing that. Some quotes:On aging:“Sune remains seated after Amat’s gone. He’s been old for a long time, but is really feeling it today. There are two things that are particularly good at reminding us how old we are: children and sports. In hockey you’re an experienced player at twenty-five, a veteran at thirty, and pensioned off at thirty-five. Sune is twice that. And with age he has become shorter and broader, he’s got more face to wash and less hair to comb, and finds himself getting annoyed by narrow chairs and poor-quality zippers.”On last words:“A young man left Beartown in silence and when he came home again it was too late for words. You can’t look a gravestone in the eye and ask its forgiveness.”On imposter syndrome of being a good mom – I hate this world of Pinterest made goods and deco:“She’s ashamed to admit it to herself, but getting to work feels like a liberation. She knows she’s good at her job, and she never feels that way about being a parent. Even on the best days – the tiny, shimmering moments when they’re on holiday and Peter and the children are fooling about on a beach and everyone is happy and laughing – Kira always feels like a fake. As if she doesn’t deserve it, as if she just wants to be able to show a photoshopped family photograph to the rest of the world.”On career vs. job, man vs. woman – argh!“There’s a label she used to love but which she loathes when it’s pronounced I n a Beartown accent: ‘career woman’. Peter’s friends call her that, some in admiration and some with distasted, but no one calls Peter a ‘career man’. It strikes a nerve because Kira recognizes the insinuations: you have a ‘job’ so you can provide for your family, whereas a ‘career’ is selfish. You have one of those for your own sake. So now she’s dangling somewhere between two worlds, and feels just as guilty when she’s in the office as she does when she’s at home.”On sexual assault:“For the perpetrator, rape lasts just a matter of minutes. For the victim, it never stops.”On being a ‘wolf mom’ – if I was a mom, I would totally be a wolf mom:From Maya to Kira: “You know, when I was little all the other parents at preschool used to call you ‘wolf mother,’ because they were all scared of you. And all my friends wanted a mom like you.”On men and their excuses:“Ramona slaps him so quickly and hard across his ear with the palm of her hand that the fat old man almost falls off his barstool. The angry old bag on the other side of the bar snarls:‘Is that why you’re here? To talk about that? Sweet Jesus…you men. It’s never your fault, is it? When are you going to admit that it isn’t ‘hockey’ that raises these boys, it’s YOU LOT? In every time and every place, I’ve come across men who blame their own stupidity on crap they themselves have invented. ‘Religion causes wars’, ‘guns kill people’, it’s all the same old bullshit!” ‘I didn’t mean…,’ Sune tries, but has to duck when she tries to slap him again.‘Keep your trap shut when I’m talking! Fucking men! YOU’RE the problem! Religion doesn’t fight, guns don’t kill, and you need to be very fucking clear that hockey has never raped anyone! But do you know who do? Fight and kill and rape?’Sune clears his throat. ‘Men?’‘Men! It’s always fucking men!’” On boys and girls:“Girls aren’t allowed to like hockey even just a little bit in Beartown. Ideally they shouldn’t like it at all. Because if you like the sport you must be a lesbian, and if you like the players you’re a slut… And they don’t have any female friends, and there are no women’s teams here, so they learn that hockey only belongs to them, and their coaches teach them that girls are a ‘distraction’. So they learn that girls only exist for fucking. She wants to point out how all the old men in this town praise them for ‘fighting’ and ‘not backing down’, but not one single person tells them that when a girl says no, it means. NO. And the problem with this town is not only that a boy raped a girl, but that everyone is pretending that he DIDN’T do it. So now all the other boys will that that what he did was okay. Because no one cares…”
  • (4/5)
    I nearly didn't read Beartown since everyone was talking about it being a "hockey book" and, despite being Canadian born and bred, hockey bores me. But it doesn't bore me as much as football does - and this book wasn't really about hockey: it could have happened in any small college town anywhere in America. This is a book about a rape and how circumstances converge to allow people to behave in ways they never thought they would. It's ultimately about the people (good) but a little too tidy (bad); rape never is tidy.
  • (3/5)
    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.
  • (4/5)
    Well written, but a bit too tied up in the end.
  • (4/5)
    Yes, this was a good book, as attested to by the majority of the other reviews on this site. Yet, there were things about the author's writing style that annoyed me as I got deeper into it: the author constantly sticking in philosophical questions and opining on them rather than just letting the story flow; too many characters that "whispered" in circumstances where nobody would realistically be whispering; too many people driving or walking out into the middle of the forest to sit and cry or just to lose themselves for a while. Although this stuff seems petty, it distracted me on several occasions. Still, I was interested in the outcome and satisfied enough to think that I'll read the sequel.
  • (5/5)
    I enjoyed a man called Ove, and have a twelve year old granddaughter who plays and loves hockey. I was expecting a different kind of story, perhaps something much less intense. The underlying psychodrama made it an unexpectedly captivating read. Character development was quite well done. One has the sense that in the end the good guys win but room is left for a sequel. The characters get under your skin enough you need to know more about their lives. Whether you have an interest in hockey or a just a student of human nature you should enjoy this book.
  • (4/5)
    This is a coming-of-age novel about ice hockey in a dying Swedish town named Beartown where winning at hockey is everything. There are a lot of characters, most have their own viewpoints and it all ties into the hockey team which gives this small town the hope it needs to survive. Like most organized sports for children of all ages, those who are the best players can get away with just about anything. These were students of high-school age, but I see that in college and professional sports as well. In Beartown, politics surround the people who run the hockey club. Like in most small towns, there are the people with money who run the town and who manage to control those who are working in low-paying jobs and are just managing to get by. I found that I didn't like some of the characters who should never have been community leaders, parents who had no clue how to do their job, and the way hard-working immigrants were treated.Mr. Backman has written a powerful novel with ice hockey playing a predominant role. But the book is about a lot more than ice hockey. The characters seemed like real people to me, experiencing genuine emotions to their particular situations. I don't want to include any spoilers since there are sensitive issues involved. I didn't enjoy the "locker-room" talk which belittled women and gays. The coaches took part in this derogatory talk and encouraged players to participate. I would like to think that is not the norm in real life, but I guess that I am wrong. I also didn't care for the ending and am wondering if Backman has a sequel planned.
  • (5/5)
    This is a book about hockey. But it is also a book about so much more. When I first started reading it I was kind of indifferent because I'm not a big hockey fan and while some of the details about the town and the team were interesting I was appalled by the casual use of profanity and violence and sexual references. And then the story got to be about how a community bands together and how parents realize they can't protect their children and how some children have to grow up too early. That's when I got hooked.Beartown is a small community off in the woods of Sweden. It's one claim to fame is its hockey team. Although even that has fallen on hard times lately. Peter Andersson was a star player on the hockey team twenty years ago when it won second place in the country's hockey finals. He went on to skate with the NHL in Canada but returned to Beartown to manage the hockey team. His wife, Kira, is a lawyer in the nearby town of Hed and they live with their two children, 15 year old Maya and ten year old Leo. The town's junior team is about to play the semi-final and everyone in town is on edge. If they win this semi-final and then the final the government will probably put a hockey school in Beartown. That would be a huge boost to the local economy. The juniors have some good players but the very best is Kevin Erdahl who is already being scouted by the NHL. Kevin's best friend Benji is not as good as Kevin but the two have an almost supernatural awareness of each other and Benji will always support Kevin. Until he doesn't because he realizes that Kevin is not the person he thought he was. That happens on the night after the juniors win their semi-final and Kevin throws a big party at his house. Kevin has just started to notice Maya Andersson and he invites her and her best friend Ana to the party. There's booze and drugs and adrenaline that contribute to the event that night but nothing can condone Kevin's actions. Kevin rapes Maya thus causing events in Beartown that can maybe never be forgiven or forgotten. The conclusion of the book is both forseeable and unexpected.Backman has an amazing faculty for getting into his characters' minds, male or female, young or old. Some of the best characters in this book are not the main ones. I particularly liked Ramona, owner of the only bar in town. Her husband died some years ago but Ramona never says he died; she says he left her. She drinks and smokes too much and hasn't stepped foot out of the bar except for a few feet away from the door where she smokes since he left her. Yet she is the person others come to when they need to talk. Ramona plays a decisive role in the book but she probably doesn't appear on much more than 10 pages.Backman also has a lot of wisdom to share. Early in the book (start of chapter 11) I read this sentence which stuck with me throughout the book:A simple truth, repeated as often as it is ignored, is that if you tell a child it can do absolutely anything, or that it can't do anything at all, you will in all likelihood be proven right.Wise words.
  • (5/5)
    Written by the author of "A Man Called Ove", this novel focuses on a small town in Sweden and the community's elevated support of ice hockey. Beartown is experiencing economic decline, stores and businesses are closing, jobs are ending and people are leaving town, while nearby Hed is taking up the slack. Rivalry between the town hockey clubs of Beartown and Hed involves town pride, athletes, coaches and families. A rape committed by a standout Beartown hockey player divides the town. Note: The story continues in a sequal, "Us Agains You."
  • (5/5)
    Wow! What a read! Nothing like I expected. I was expecting something like A Man Called Ove or Britt-Marie Was Here but Beartown is the opposite of them. Told through multiple eyes with a narrator putting his comments in throughout the book, it is a very intense read. There are some good one-liners that made me laugh out loud but there is more about our humanness and how we fail to live up to that humanness in this book. It is the teens who do the teaching here. Some show loyalty by sticking by the offender. Others show loyalty by standing up to those who want them to chose the wrong/evil path. This book so clearly shows how often the female is judged and found wanting while the male is seen as the "poor" victim. No one reverses how the questions are asked or the comments made to show who was in the wrong. I liked the teens. Too many of the adults were found wanting. Kevin's father is horrible. I loved Maya's solution. I was a little worried there. I appreciated her response to Kevin's mother. She shows so much compassion. Maya's parents, Peter and Kira, do the best they can but come to realize they can't protect their children. They are good complements for each other. I loved Benji and Amat and how they went against the others.This is a keeper. I cannot wait to read the sequel, Us Against You.
  • (4/5)
    Beartown by Frederick Backman leaves you with a lot to think about. I found the book rather slow to come to the boil, but when it ultimately did, I read into the wee small hours as I couldn't put it down. Backman spends the first half of the story building his characters (so many to name, but integral to the story) their backstories and relationships with each other and how they fitted in to Beartown. Occasionally I struggled with this, being a little impatient for something to happen. However it was worth staying with it, understanding the events from different character perspectives. The whole of Beartown is so immersed in the culture of Ice Hockey and the need to win seemingly surpasses everything else. Right and wrong is clouded, friendships fractured and parents and children are traumatised by the events.Like" A Man Called Ove" Frederick Backman has produced another great novel, which I could imagine would make another good movie.
  • (5/5)
    In the small forrest town of Beartown, hockey is king. This rural Swedish town lives and breaths the sport, adults and kids alike. With a formidable team lead by a truly remarkable star, Kevin, the town really thinks it may have a shot at winning the finals and putting themselves on the map nationally. With a national win, the sponsorship’s would roll in, breathing new life into Beartown, a truly life changing dream. After an incredible win in the semi-finals, a celebratory party gets out of hand leaving one teen girl the victim of a horrible crime, and the alleged perpetrator is none other than the towns hero, Kevin. Lines are drawn and sides are taken as the town battles within itself. Some will go to any lengths to protect their star, the team, and by extension, the towns promise of growth and success. You guys, please, READ. THIS. BOOK.This was a heavy read and I for sure am having to move on to some more light hearted fantasy or something after this because my god. Backman does a phenomenal job of really setting up the plot in this novel. The entire first half is character development and set up; which may sound like too much but trust me, Backman keeps it engaging. The reader gets a real grasp on the various characters (there are quite a few), fleshing them out in such a way as to where you can see out of their lens as they each learn of “the incident” (it’s honestly not really a huge shocker and is foreshadowed numerous times so I’ll just say it, SPOILER, the young girl was raped) and their subsequent reactions. The town as a whole, its past, history, and culture which is so entrenched in the hockey lifestyle, gives the reader such an in depth look how a sexual assault by the towns hero could be handled in the way it eventually was. So many relevant themes were woven into this story, victim shamming, rape culture, toxic masculinity, all very eloquently portrayed and executed. This story could be one of millions of girls/women’s stories. In fact, at the time that I was reading this book, the Kavanaugh hearing was taking place. I could not (still can not) open up my Facebook, Twitter, online news articles without running into a wall of commentary so eerily similar to the arguments in the book. “Why did she wait so long to report it?” “She was drinking, and went with him upstairs, what did she think would happen?” “She’s just confused”. It was angering and disheartening but so relevant and timely. Fantastic read that I cannot recommend enough. I plan on reading the companion novel, Us Against You (after I read a few fantasy books- I need a break after such a heavy read in-conjunction with an also heavy news cycle). Heatwrentching and deep, this is a must read for all.
  • (5/5)
    To most of the people in Beartown, hockey is everything. And for the remaining few, they accept that concept, because the people they love think hockey is everything. It matters not if Beartown was created for hockey or vice versa: if you live in Beartown, you dare not speak a word against Beartown hockey. But then, something terrible happens that disrupts the town and tears friendships asunder, and life in Beartown will never be the same. Author Fredrick Backman has written a compelling story that is so much more than a coming-of-age tale. He had peopled Beartown with complex and flawed characters and placed them in untenable situations, forcing them to take a stand and to make moral and ethical decisions. Backman has created a community rich in the culture and camaraderie of small town life, but that spirit soon deteriorates in the face of a town tragedy. This novel will evoke a range of emotions, but don’t expect happiness to be one of them, especially with the somewhat abrupt and vague ending, which will leave you reaching for the next book about Beartown.
  • (4/5)
    Having not read any of Fredrik Backman's previous novels I did not know what to expect with this story. Set in a small Swedish town called Beartown, the story centers around the local juniors' hockey team and their preparation for their semifinal game. The hockey team is the pride of the town, which is otherwise suffering a decline. People are out of work and local businesses are shuttering. The plot involves a small group of people associated with the hockey team and the importance of it to the town. After the team wins the semifinal game there is a terrible event that affects everyone directly or indirectly leading to decisions that must be made by the individuals involved.Backman focuses on the human experience and provides insights into the difficulties surrounding the individuals' abilities to deal with their feelings. The author captures some of these feelings when he comments:"All adults have days when we feel completely drained. When we no longer know quite what we spend so much tie fighting for, when reality and everyday worries overwhelm us and we wonder how much longer we're going to be able to carry on."The author uses the theme of community to demonstrate how an identity based on belonging to a group can have both positive and negative effects. Beartown is a small community that is centered around a successful hockey team. The people of Beartown are very devoted to both the team and the town, but this ultimately causes many to dismiss the importance and impact of the event that interrupts their regular activities.How each of them carry on is demonstrated in their actions as the novel moves toward a denouement. The conclusion is not necessarily a happy one, but it is portrayed in a true and realistic way. The author did tend to emphasize the points he was trying to make a little too hard, but overall I found the book suspenseful and excellent.
  • (4/5)
    Friday Night Lights comes to Scandanavia. Predictable and feels like Backman was writing with a movie in mind but still a great read.
  • (3/5)
    Roughly a third of the way through this book, two major events happen. The first is a logical culmination of what has been laid out to that point. It is also a catalyst for what could be argued is an equally significant event that follows almost immediately. The author weighs one event against the other in the novel's community. It is also at this point the author reveals the book is indeed of the "young adult" genre. (By the way, why do YA titles almost always center on teenagers rather than young "adults"?) The author does a good job of crafting a number of very memorable significant and not so significant characters who stand out on their own. Also, throughout the book, he sprinkles a number of truly beautifully written moments -- moments that could only have worked so well if the characters had been so finely crafted. However, in general, there is little here that an aware, experienced true "adult" would find beyond what can be found easily in real life. No big issue is debated that hasn't been debated already. Supposedly, this is because the book is actually aimed at much more inexperienced -- and sheltered? -- "young adults". Unfortunately, for all that is good about the book, I question whether the author has any idea how the criminal justice system really works. This is not unimportant to believing the story line. There are a number of problems that show up because of how this is handled. I suspect I was supposed to be wrapped up in much of the over-hyped emotions, and not notice the rough treatment of reality. Perhaps, the biggest flaw in my eyes is the pairing the author makes of two very key characters. One is totally memorable, unique, and charismatic in a supremely humanly flawed way. The book, in my mind, is worth the price of admission for this character alone. And yet, the author has inextricably linked this character to what I can only describe as one huge cliche. Frankly, as much as the author explains why the two characters are linked, I struggle to accept that "logic" on its face. Am I inclined to read the follow-up book by this author on his community of characters? I'm not so sure.
  • (5/5)
    I just read another Backman, [Beartown]. The second in the series is [Us Against You]. I have loved all the books I have read by him and this is no exception. Beartown centers around a small town defined by their love of hockey. It's all blown apart when a crime happens and people take sides. Still filled with his trademark humor and lots of love, but it does explore dark issues. Backman does a masterful job of not giving away the ending even through the book starts with it. Ha!! How's that for a hook? Now I have to get the second in the series... 4.75 stars
  • (5/5)
    Overall, this is a plot you've read or seen before: Small town community torn apart by accusation and resulting scandal. (TW: rape. Emotionally, but not sexually explicit.)The plot is elevated by powerful and a master class in development of characters with deep understanding and empathy as well as the social commentary/critique of community. The story is set in a small, decaying town in the forests of Sweden where the fate or triumphant reclaiming of town pride is tied to the wins and losses of a boys' hockey team. However, you don't have to be a hockey or even a sports fan to appreciate the book. It could easily be set in Smalltown, Anywhere. Hockey specifically, sports generally, serves as representation of the fabric that ties the community and its residents together. What this story explores:- what it means to be loyal to a group (a community, team, employer), as well as the cost for that loyalty when what seems better for the group is counter to what is better for the individual- the human need for connection and belonging and what happens when relationship ties are severed- the meaning of friendship and "family"- the boundaries and lines of situational vs. absolute ethics, personal integrity, and character- how much who you are is determined by vs influenced by where you come fromAnd more. The story is rich with theme that is ripe for interesting discussion, debate, and conversation. The story is told in flashback, with a 10-years-later flash forward at the end to provide resolution for key characters.I deliberately chose to sit out the much-hyped Ove, so this was my virgin read of this author. Based on Beartown, this is definitely an author I want to read more of and see how he grows over time. I took off a half star because while the writing is powerful, searing even, for me the reading experience was like a snowglobe. Beautifully detailed and artfully rendered, but still viewed from the outside at a distance rather than felt. Still, highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Just found this book to be breathtaking. Although I think a lot of the things it explores - family, community, loss - seem to resonate with older readers, so I don't know that I'll add it to the shelves at Highland as part of the Lincoln program. Maya is a musician. Her dad is the manager of a the BearTown Hockey Club. When she is raped by the star Beartown junior player and she decides to report it. It changes everything in the town and the people involved are soon forced to choose what and for whom they stand. The characters have depth, the setting is cold. Benji and Amit are hockey players and so much more.
  • (4/5)
    Great story from the author of A Man Called Ove
  • (5/5)
    Story was very topical because of the me too movement happening now. I really could undestand many parents in this story. I do not homestly know how I would have thought in the same situation. Characters were well developed and the author kept you interested right to the very end. You had to really pay attention at the end because the author flits back and forth in the past and the future. I had to reread the end since I felt I had missed some information. Recommended.
  • (5/5)
    *Free e-book ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss/Above the Treeline in exchange for an honest review. No money or other goods were exchanged, and all views are my own.*Beartown is a hockey town. It always has been... but it may not always be, if the A-team and juniors can't step it up and start winning. Places are closing down, and the new hockey club will probably be in the bigger city of Hed. But Beartown hockey has some hope - a talented coach bent on winning, a GM who loves the game, and a fantastic player in Kevin Erdahl.The beginning of the book is slow to get started, jumping perspectives and explaining what hockey means to each person in the town. I was getting to the point of, "Okay, I get it already" and expecting a feel-good story about an underdog team, when an incident causes the book to entirely change direction. Sure, hockey is important and has brought together a whole town - but what does loyalty mean to the team mean and what kind of culture has been created in that team? What responsibilities do each player have to themselves and each other? Without making sports out to be the evil villain, but raising many questions, Backman has written a stellar, moving account of a small town and its hockey team.
  • (5/5)
    Beartown is a small hockey town in Sweden that rests all its hopes and dreams on the junior hockey team winning the national semi-finals. 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.Backman is a masterful writer and this one will leave you reeling. His characters are well-drawn and the story is well-told. What amazes me about Backman is his knowledge of human behavior and how humans generally will react in certain situations. This story could have happened in any small town and would probably have the same repercussions. It is a highly emotional read and you don't have to like hockey in order to enjoy it. I have read one other novel by Backman, A Man Called Ove and enjoyed that one too. This book is a bit darker than that one but one that you should not miss reading. I look forward to reading the next book by Backman and I highly recommend this one to those who like to read about human behavior.
  • (4/5)
    This book needed some serious editing on the front end.
  • (3/5)
    This tale of a small town in the woods for whom hockey is the reason to breathe, is pretty good. Having lived in such a small community I can vouch for the way town politics finds its way into athletics, and athletes are often exempt from disciplinary measures, and social norms can be a generation behind the culture at large. The story is well told, yet the characters are not quite what I have come to expect from Fredrik Backman. The ending also felt rushed.
  • (5/5)
    A haunting dissection of the dangers of small-town desperation and obsession, plus timely commentary on feminist issues. A great, diverse cast of characters, psychologically examined to perfection. A simple but effective plot line that highlights the strengths and weaknesses of each character and unfolds in an incredibly believable manner. And an undeniably excellent writing style and story structure that highlight the powerful emotions behind the whole novel.There's not really much else to say.
  • (5/5)
    Wow - what a phenomenal book! If you've read Fredrik Backman before, be prepared - it is totally different in style and tone from A Man Called Ove or My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. It is an incredible portrait of a small hockey town that is rocked by a sexual assault involving one of the star players. It starts off a little slow but then I couldn't put it down. Backman does a great job of developing all the characters and showing you who they truly are. Fredrik Backman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors and every book I have read of his is on my go to list when someone asks me for a recommendation - this is no exception.
  • (3/5)
    Disappointing after other Backman books. A little too much hockey and never have liked making sports the centerpiece of unrealistic heroic attributes. The characters were interesting but everyone was flawed. Disheartening to see the town turn against one of their own without a thought except for their own selfish wishes. For all the talk about the generations of defending the togetherness of the town, their concern for each other, the love of their sport as something that gave heart to their town and made them different from other towns and urban centers, they certainly abandoned their principles and fellow residents as swiftly as possible when winning was denied. Commonsense as well as common decency needed to prevail here as well as the truth. Would the team have actually killed Amat and BoBo if they had not been curtailed?? Is that a quality to be admired as part of the "team loyalty"? Oh well, I will look forward to the next Backman novel. He is still an excellent author. This one was just not for me.
  • (4/5)
    This book is hard to figure out at the beginning and then about half way through it is like watching a train wreck, two train wrecks, and not being able to do anything about it. It all plays out from there, if not to a happy ending and ending about as happy as anyone could hope for.
  • (4/5)
    I listened to the audiobook, and as always, I always wonder if my opinion would have been different if I read Beartown. Backman certainly brings you inside the head of the characters, even when there are multiple characters. The author immerses you into the world of hockey. For me just too much hockey, though I do understand the book is much more than the sum of its parts. Perhaps again because of listening rather than reading I was tired of so much negativity and anger among the hockey players as well as the adults in town. I appreciated the virtues of some of the residents of this dying town, perhaps if there was more of a balance.