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The Winners
Cover of The Winners
The Winners
A Novel
A breathtaking new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People and A Man Called Ove, The Winners returns to the close-knit, resilient community of Beartown for a story about...
A breathtaking new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People and A Man Called Ove, The Winners returns to the close-knit, resilient community of Beartown for a story about...
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Description-

  • A breathtaking new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People and A Man Called Ove, The Winners returns to the close-knit, resilient community of Beartown for a story about first loves, second chances, and last goodbyes.
    Over the course of two weeks, everything in Beartown will change.

    Maya Andersson and Benji Ovich, two young people who left in search of a life far from the forest town, come home and joyfully reunite with their closest childhood friends. There is a new sense of optimism and purpose in the town, embodied in the impressive new ice rink that has been built down by the lake.

    Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there's something about this place that prevents it. The destruction caused by a ferocious late-summer storm reignites the old rivalry between Beartown and the neighboring town of Hed, a rivalry which has always been fought through their ice hockey teams.

    Maya's parents, Peter and Kira, are caught up in an investigation of the hockey club's murky finances, and Amat—once the star of the Beartown team—has lost his way after an injury and a failed attempt to get drafted into the NHL. Simmering tensions between the two towns turn into acts of intimidation and then violence. All the while, a fourteen-year-old boy grows increasingly alienated from this hockey-obsessed community and is determined to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for his beloved sister's death. He has a pistol and a plan that will leave Beartown with a loss that is almost more that it can stand.

    As it beautifully captures all the complexities of daily life and explores questions of friendship, loyalty, loss, and identity, this emotion-packed novel asks us to reconsider what it means to win, what it means to lose, and what it means to forgive.

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-

  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2022

    Backman's The Winners revisits the small but tough rural community first seen in the multi-best-booked Beartown, inspiration for the HBO original. From Cousens (This Times Next Year), Before I Do features Audrey, who's about to marry dependable Josh when his sister turns up with the guy Audrey always wanted. With Thief of Fate, Deveraux and Sheets wrap up a trilogy about an 1840s Irish thief in contemporary Providence Falls, NC, who is tasked by the angels with righting the wrong of having lured away Cora from her intended (75,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). Hilderbrand's Endless Summer offers nine stories serving as prequels, sequels, and interim chapters illuminating her beloved novels (375,000-copy first printing). In Edgar-nominated Kennedy's Billie Starr's Book of Sorries, down-on-her-luck Jenny Newberg (mother of the eponymous Billie) unwisely accepts money to seduce the so-called Candidate (75,000-copy first printing). Macomber gets us in The Christmas Spirit with the story of two friends, a bartender and a pastor, and what they learn when they trade places for the holidays. Second in a series set in Wishing Tree, WA, Mallery's Home Sweet Christmas features two women--one a town newbie, another home temporarily--with Christmas surprises in store (250,000-copy paperback and 10,000-copy hardcover first printing). Bringing together stay-at-home witch Lucy Caraway and merman Alex, out of his element in Freya Grove, NJ, Martin's Witchful Thinking launches a series featuring Black characters with books already slated for publication in 2023 and 2024 (45,000-copy first printing). Nigerian British Nwabineli debuts with Someday, Maybe, about a young woman struggling to recover from her husband' suicide (75,000-copy first printing). Thanks to Patterson and coauthor Safran, lonely widower Henry Sullivan and children Will and Ella end up welcoming a raucous bunch of animals and houseguests to their Harlem brownstone during The Twelve Long, Hard, Topsy-Turvy, Very Messy Days of Christmas (125,000-copy first printing). Picoult and Boylan's Mad Honey stars a wealthy wife returning to her New Hampshire hometown after discovering her husband's ugly side. In Steel's latest, a sensational young singer who hits all The High Notes must wrestle freedom from those who would exploit her, including her father.

    Copyright 2022 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    August 1, 2022
    Life continues haltingly for the inhabitants of Beartown and its rival borough, Hed. As in the two earlier books in this series (Beartown, 2017; Us Against You, 2018), things are never settled between these two hockey-obsessed towns in the forests of Sweden. Only one can seemingly do well at a time--resourcewise or hockeywise; the two are interchangeable--and their residents share a mutual, pathological hatred. Beloved characters return, new ones are introduced, tragedy is promised. Backman repeatedly tells the reader about his characters' overwhelming love for each other, but their ability to actually care for one another comes and goes with the demands of the unwieldy plot. He wants to assure readers that this makes his characters complex, but it really renders them pawns. To stoke the conflict between the towns, he includes not only the pregnancy-ending factory accident of a nameless woman (ushering in a suspiciously out-of-place anti-abortion sentiment), but also the murder of a beloved dog. These machinations are not alone in being soppy and unearned. The book is almost 700 pages long and covers only a two-week span. Backman writes with wit and sincerity and is a talented web-spinner, but with a tale this long, the lack of nuance becomes grating. There's also a brief "not all men" message that, given the toxic nature of the narrative, is hard to ignore. A moralistic noir masquerading as a heart-warmer.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Booklist

    September 1, 2022
    Billed as the conclusion of the Beartown series, the new novel by the award-winning Swedish author Backman (A Man Called Ove, 2014) is set two-and-a-half years after the town of Bjornstad was torn apart by the rape of a teenage girl by a junior hockey player. Readers unfamiliar with Beartown (2016) and its sequel Us against You (2017) need to know one thing: Bjornstad and the nearby Hed are, above all, hockey towns. After the tragic events recounted in the first book, Bjornstad's hockey team faltered, allowing Hed's to rise to prominence. Now, as the town still struggles to put itself back together, things happen that will force each resident to confront his or her darkest thoughts. This is a dramatic and highly satisfying novel, building on themes introduced in the first two books and brilliantly drawing the reader deeply into the story. The translation by Neil Smith (who has also translated novels by Lars Kepler and Liza Marklund) is nimble and idiomatic, perfectly conveying Backman's love of language and his wonderful sense of humor. If this really is the last Beartown novel, it's a hell of a conclusion to an outstanding series.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 12, 2022
    Backman (Anxious People) wraps up his Beartown trilogy with the satisfying if overlong tale of two small towns and their inhabitants’ traumas and rivalries. After a storm collapses the roof of the hockey rink in Hed, the town’s club must share the rink in Beartown, stoking long-held resentments between the clubs. To make matters worse, the editor of Beartown’s newspaper discovers someone from Beartown’s club is embezzling tax revenue. Meanwhile, after 14-year-old Matteo’s older sister dies from a drug overdose, Matteo grows increasingly bitter toward the people from the two towns, who show little regard for his family’s problems, and he eventually becomes violent. Backman’s narration often feels heavy-handed, and his aphorisms alternate from opaque to obvious (“Guilt is stronger than logic”; “In hockey we know who the winners are, because winners win”). Moreover, many of the chapter-length asides are entirely too aside and lead nowhere. The tension, however, remains palpable after a former hockey player returns to Beartown and everyone assumes he’s out to settle a score, and a series of threats escalate into explosive violence and a painful resolution. This will do the trick for insatiable Beartown fans, though others can take a pass.

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