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Beartown
Cover of Beartown
Beartown
A Novel
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Now an HBO Limited Series "You'll love this engrossing novel." —People Named a Best Book of the Year by LibraryReads, BookBrowse, and Goodreads From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of...
Now an HBO Limited Series "You'll love this engrossing novel." —People Named a Best Book of the Year by LibraryReads, BookBrowse, and Goodreads From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of...
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Description-

  • Now an HBO Limited Series

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

    Named a Best Book of the Year by LibraryReads, BookBrowse, and Goodreads

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People, a dazzling and profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.
    By the lake in Beartown is an old ice rink, and in that ice rink Kevin, Amat, Benji, and the rest of the town's junior ice hockey team are 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.

    Under that heavy burden, the match becomes 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.

    This is a story about a town and a game, but even more about loyalty, commitment, and the responsibilities of friendship; the people we disappoint even though we love them; and the decisions we make every day that come to define us. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

About the Author-

  • 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.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 27, 2017
    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.

  • Kirkus

    March 1, 2017
    In Beartown, where the people are as "tough as the forest, as hard as the ice," the star player on the beloved hockey team is accused of rape, and the town turns upon itself.Swedish novelist Backman's (A Man Called Ove, 2014, etc.) story quickly becomes a rich exploration of the culture of hockey, a sport whose acolytes see it as a violent liturgy on ice. Beartown explodes after rape charges are brought against the talented Kevin, son of privilege and influence, who's nearly untouchable because of his transcendent talent. The victim is Maya, the teenage daughter of the hockey club's much-admired general manager, Peter, another Beartown golden boy, a hockey star who made it to the NHL. Peter was lured home to bring winning hockey back to Beartown. Now, after years of despair, the local club is on the cusp of a championship, but not without Kevin. Backman is a masterful writer, his characters familiar yet distinct, flawed yet heroic. Despite his love for hockey, where fights are part of the game, Peter hates violence. Kira, his wife, is an attorney with an aggressive, take-no-prisoners demeanor. Minor characters include Sune, "the man who has been coach of Beartown's A-team since Peter was a boy," whom the sponsors now want fired. There are scenes that bring tears, scenes of gut-wrenching despair, and moments of sly humor: the club president's table manners are so crude "you can't help wondering if he's actually misunderstood the whole concept of eating." 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.

    COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    September 1, 2017

    In rural Sweden, a team of junior hockey players are on the cusp of changing everything for Beartown. If the players can win the championship, the small town may attract new businesses, improve its ailing economy, and recover its dignity. Everyone, from the local bar owner to the mother who cleans the rink, is linked to the boys and has a stake in whether they win or lose, making the teammates demigods within the community. After a night of celebrating a memorable semifinals win, the star player is accused of raping the general manager's daughter. The community must decide between holding the alleged rapist accountable, and thereby forfeiting their chances at success, and overlooking the crime. While this book has Backman's deep character development, it has none of the lightheartedness or mysticism of his previous best sellers, such as A Man Called Ove. This is a serious look at how the actions of one or two people can affect an entire town. VERDICT This title deserves a place on high school shelves for its complex characters and tight narrative. Schools with avid hockey fans won't want to miss it.-Krystina Kelley, Belle Valley School, Belleville, IL

    Copyright 2017 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2017
    Everyone knows Beartown is a hockey town. And everyone in Beartown knows someone who is connected to hockey, from the lonely owner of the local bar to the former athlete now managing the supermarket. In a town dying from economic decay and isolated by the surrounding wilderness, Beartown needs its junior hockey team to bring home the championship and bring in tourism and sponsorship dollars to keep the town alive. The son of a wealthy businessman and team patron, Kevin is the squad's superstar. Amat is an immigrant whose speed and skill on the ice may be his ticket to popularity. Maya is the daughter of the team's beloved general manager. When the paths of these three collide in the supercharged aftermath of a decisive game, the town's financial survival rests on the moral convictions of its most vulnerable citizens. The sentimentally savvy Backman (A Man Called Ove, 2014) takes a sobering and solemn look at the ways alienation and acceptance, ethics and emotions nearly destroy a small town.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

  • Library Journal

    December 1, 2016

    The isolated Bjornstad (that's Beartown, non-Swedish speakers) is collapsing under the burden of unemployment and desperately needs its amateur hockey team to win the junior ice hockey championship. Then, during a boisterous celebration after an important win, something happens between star player Kevin and the coach's daughter that threatens everyone's dreams. Clearly echoing the New York Times best-selling Backman's No. 1 LibraryReads pick, Britt-Marie Was Here.

    Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    April 1, 2017

    Backman (Britt Marie Was Here) expands his quirky character base in his latest novel, which once again takes place in a remote Swedish town. Bjornstad, or Beartown, is an ice hockey town like many small American communities are football towns: no bigger event occurs than home games, where the good cheer of the supporting fans, former players, and sponsors, known as "The Pack," sometimes flares into violence against rivals. As the local youth team snags a possible chance at winning a junior championship, the narrative follows a cross-section of citizens. In their struggles with modern life, these dozen or so individuals face challenges, make decisions, and frequently surprise the reader. Backman's sketchy style always leaves his audience wanting more explanation, but he successfully draws a community portrait that manages to be both unique and universal. There is enough hockey action to satisfy sports fans and plenty of material for group discussion. VERDICT Another solid offering from best-selling Swedish author Backman, with many parallels for American readers and small towns everywhere. [See Prepub Alert, 11/7/16.]--Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, Chicago

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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