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Beartown: From The New York Times Bestselling Author of A Man Called Ove Kindle Edition
Look out for ANXIOUS PEOPLE, the new novel by Fredrik Backman and INSTANT #1 New York Times bestseller!
***Beartown is now a MAJOR HBO TV series, coming to UK screens in 2021***
'I utterly believed in the residents of Beartown and felt ripped apart by the events in the book' JOJO MOYES
'I couldn't put it down. Heart-rending and engrossing' 5***** Reader Review
In a large Swedish forest, Beartown hides a dark secret . . .
Cut-off from everywhere else, it experiences the kind of isolation that tears people apart.
And each year, more and more of the town is swallowed by the forest.
Then the town is offered a bright new future.
But it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act.
It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who'll risk the future to see justice done.
Who will speak up?
Could you stand by and stay silent?
Or would you risk everything for justice?
Which side would you be on?
'A mature, compassionate novel' Sunday Times
'You'll love this engrossing novel' People
'You know a book is good when you don't want it to end' 5***** reader review
About the Author
"Compelling characters and a wrenching story, beautifully told." The New York Times Book Review<br ><br > Backman is a masterful writer, his characters familiar yet distinct, flawed yet heroic. . . There are scenes that bring tears, scenes of gut-wrenching despair, and moments of sly humor. . .Like Friday Night Lights, this is about more than youth sports; it's part coming-of-age novel, part study of moral failure, and finally a chronicle of groupthink in which an unlikely hero steps forward to save more than one person from self-destruction. A thoroughly empathetic examination of the fragile human spirit, Backman's latest will resonate a long time. Kirkus Reviews<br ><br > 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. Publishers Weekly<br ><br >"[A] slow burn of a novel about a community that pours all its hopes into a youth hockey team. Think Friday Night Lights for Swedes." O, The Oprah Magazine<br ><br >"Backman is the Dickens of our age, and though you'll cry, your heart is safe in his hands." --Green Valley News, Arizona
There are, in the end, real acts of bravery and sacrifice in this appealing novel. --Wall Street Journal
Mr. Backman cements his standing as a writer of astonishing depth and proves that he also has very broad range plus the remarkable ability to make you understand the feelings of each of a dozen different characters. . . . The story is fully packed with wise insights into the human experience causing characters and readers to ponder life s great question of who we are, what we hope to be and how we should lead our lives. --The Washington Times --This text refers to the paperback edition.
- ASIN : B079XY62GF
- Publisher : Penguin (3 May 2018)
- Language : English
- File size : 3574 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 421 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 6,718 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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This book was an unexpected jem to stumble across. I found it on Goodreads best books of 2017. And it truly is deserves its number 1 title.
I read the reviews on the book and some people thought the start was long and drawn out, but I loved getting to know the characters. They were all so believable, the whole community was. The story line was brilliant and I would love to see this book be made into a movie.
I would recommend this book to anyone. I know feel so sad the book has come to an end. I would love to live in Bear Town.
The book was heavily skewed towards men and their sport of ice hockey and it permeated the culture of the town, yet the women in the story were all strong characters – Benji’s three sisters, Mia’s mother, Ramona and Amat’s mother.
"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. That's all."
"Hockey is like faith. Religion is something between you and other people; it's full of interpretations and theories and opinions. But faith... that's just between you and God. It's what you feel in your chest when the referee glides out to the center circle between two players, when you hear the sticks strike each other and see the black disk fall between them. Then it's just between you and hockey. Because cherry trees always smell of cherry trees, whereas money smells of nothing."
"A great deal is expected of anyone who's been given a lot."
The content is heavy and much darker than a traditional Backman story, but it still holds that magical quality where you seem to be watching the exchanges and thoughts happening from just outside the realm of reason. It is stopped from being a depressing book by the shining examples of forgiveness.
"If you are honest, people may deceive you. Be honest anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfishness. Be kind anyway.
All the good you do today will be forgotten by others tomorrow.
Do good anyway."
Some books shape your lives and push your out of your comfort zone to question your dignity, your beliefs and finally help to remember who you are! 'Bear Town' is one of those books. One of my all-time favourites!
I ordered this book with Audio and then was informed that my iPad was no longer compatible.
I have ordered many books from you, occasionally with voice.
My prescription with Audible was not applied and I was charged the usual fee.
How can I make this work please?
Top reviews from other countries
Beartown is an ice hockey town, the sport so tightly woven into its fabric as to define its very existence. The town and its people live and breathe hockey, they socialise through hockey, and they look to hockey to make the town great again. The club is on the cusp of its greatest achievement for a generation: its junior team has made it to the finals of the national league. Winning would mean everything: recognition for the town, increased sponsorship and even a new stadium. Excitement is at fever pitch, when driven by his godlike status, the team’s star player commits a single act that threatens to wreck everything the club and the town have worked for.
I found the first quarter of the book - the scene setting - hard going So many characters were introduced, it was difficult to keep track of them all and figure out who were the main protagonists. It was also hard to pick up any sense of a plot, as the narrative seemed very vague and rambling. What sucked me in and kept me reading, though, was the dark, brooding atmosphere and the oppressive imagery, which are both compelling and unsettling. The narrative explodes about half way through, and from then on is a heart-stopping, breathtaking read.
Beartown boasts a rich and memorable cast of characters, each and every one of them lifelike and convincing. As different as they all are, as a reader, you can relate to, or at least understand what drives them, even the most unlikeable of them. And this, I think, is one of Backman’s greatest talents: the ability to delve deeply into the hearts and souls of his characters and present them as multifaceted human beings with emotions, foibles and contradictions.
I’m so glad I persevered with this book. The more I think about it, the more I come to appreciate its brilliance. Backman’s depiction of morality versus a small forest town’s desire for glory is both compelling and keenly observed. I look forward to reading the sequel.
Thanks for reading my review. I hope you found it helpful. You can find more candid book reviews on my Amazon profile page.
Beartown is a small community that has only one thing going for it- ice hockey. Virtually, all the boys/men want to be in the team, or part of the set up, either by sponsorship or coaching/management. Success will put Beartown 'on the map'. The recruitment of boys to the team, in some cases, has a detrimental effect on their social development. Those 'up the ladder' and ardent followers will do anything to avoid bad press and ensure the best for the teams. The first part of the storyline gives background of the characters and the obsession of the townsfolk with ice hockey. Then following a win, Kevin the star player of the junior team, holds a party during which a nasty attack takes place. This splits the community as to who and what they believe to be true.
It was at this point in the book that I couldn't put it down. It's heart rending and engrossing. Backman gives depth to all the characters, even those with small parts within the plot. He's a very talented author.
Don't give up on this in the beginning else you'll be losing out.
I live in a town next to the small town where I grew up and that sense of claustrophobia that comes with a tight knit community rings true. I’m also the mother of sons who play a sport that has huge community buy in and involvement at the same club where their dad, my husband still plays, that my dad played and sits on the committee of a competing team. It’s a different sport (rugby not ice hockey) in a different country (Wales not Sweden), the kids teams even have the same nickname “the Bears” but again, this book is the first I’ve read that gets that essence, not just the “soccer mom” trope of American chick lit but something more. As Backman puts it: “The children’s hobbies aren’t only the children’s hobbies – the parents put just as many hours into them, year after year, sacrificing so much, paying out such huge amounts of money, that their significance eats its way even into adult brains.”
The rape that the plot centres around is the catalyst for change, it’s the watershed moment that throws the community and characters off course. It raises issues and themes that are so current even though the book is now 3 years old. The language used, the victim blaming, toxic masculinity, consent, power, privilege, it’s all in there. One reviewer mentioned something about not wanting to read about such nasty things but I think if you can’t explore these issues in literary fiction we’re in dangerous world of ignorance. There’s room for sunshine and buttercups in comedy but in a drama, a mystery, a novel, it’s not violence for the sake of violence, it’s to start a conversation, challenge the thinking of the reader and good literature has always tackled and portrayed the horrors of life as well as the joy.
This novel, like Backman’s previous works, is at heart about the human condition, it focusses on what’s dear to us. It’s intergenerational, it’s about community.
I know jack all about ice hockey but it wasn’t a barrier. I read a fair few comments on negative reviews here about it not living up to the hype. That’s the trouble with hype. For me, I’m glad I read Bear Town. I’m currently on series 3 of Thirteen Reasons Why (I read the book a couple of years ago) and there are many parallels, the power of a huge sports team of teenagers, the establishment backing a rapist from a successful and powerful family over the victim, all of that. It’s terrifying to read and watch as a mother of sons who are approaching their teen years. But then I remember that I’ve brought them up not to feel entitled, to respect other people and that their sports coaches instil a team ethic yes but they also expect them to be helpful, respectful and empathetic.
A fascinating topic for a story and one I was engaged with. However I often felt like the book was trying to do too much at once without fully exploring all the aspects included in the story e.g. there is a subplot with a gay hockey player who was hiding their sexuality from their teammates which was a fantastic inclusion to the story but felt underdeveloped in the limited amount of his story we got.
I don’t think there was enough focus on the emotional and physical impact on the victim of rape either. We largely see the fallout of the incident on everyone else except her which was problematic and strange in its absence.
Also there was far too many descriptions of ice hockey for my liking!
Overall I did enjoy much of this book. The characters were well written and believable and I found the writing very easy to read, although there were some parts which read a bit strangely. That may have been a translation issue though.
I am not sure if I liked this enough to continue with the series though unfortunately.