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Beartown (Beartown #1)

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4.3  ·  Rating details ·  70,647 Ratings  ·  10,579 Reviews
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 town. And that rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior hockey team is about to compete ...more
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Atria Books (first published September 2016)
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Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Chelsea by: Anne Bogel
I'm sure anyone who has either read this book or heard anything about it by now realizes this is a huge departure for Backman from his usual tale. About a month ago I was recording a podcast with the lovely Anne Bogel and one of the recommendations she gave me was to read Beartown. While we all know Backman for his uplifting fiction that is both touching and emotional, this was described to me as "a serious, heavy read that lacked his whimsical trademark". There are few things I love more than r ...more
Candace
Wow!--Just, wow! Every once in a while you stumble upon a book that takes you by surprise, becoming far more meaningful than you ever anticipated. 'Beartown' is precisely that type of book. Bravo, Mr. Backman!

When 'Beartown' first started showing up on so many of my friends' feeds, I was mildly curious. Not being a sports fan, by any stretch of the imagination, I filed it away in the back of my mind in the "maybe one day" category. Knowing only that it centered on a junior hockey team in a smal
...more
Elyse
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"For people who have never lived where darkness and cold are the norm, where else is the exception, it is hard to understand that it is possible to find someone who has frozen to death with their jacket open, or even naked. But when you get really cold your blood-vessels contract and your heart does all it can to stop blood reaching the frozen parts of your body and then coming back to your heart cold.
Not unlike a hockey team suffering a penalty and playing at a numerical disadvantage:
prioritiz
...more
Larry H
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Here's a little bit of a confession: while I really enjoyed Fredrik Backman's book A Man Called Ove , and the charming curmudgeon who was its main character, I have found in recent years that there seems to be a glut of charming yet misunderstood curmudgeons doddering their way through modern fiction.

So despite people's warm feelings about Backman's next two books, I passed, because I have enough to worry about becoming a (hopefully) charming curmudgeon someday soon. However, I did pounce on hi
...more
Matthew
"People round here don't always know the difference between right and wrong. But we know the difference between good and evil."

Fredrik Backman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. His characters and storytelling are practically perfect. I can easily recommend this book to anyone.

There are so many different facets to this book. Questions of morality and loyalty, passion over logic, and right vs wrong. No path through the story is easy and no solution obvious. The background story of ev
...more
James
4.5 out of 5 stars to Beartown, a 2016 contemporary novel by Fredrik Backman. Although the book had a bit of a difficult start for me, it developed into an emotionally-charged hot bed, triggering anger and frustration over so many things about the human race... and I'm quite glad I read it and enjoyed it. But wow... I haven't a visceral emotional reaction to words like this in a very long time.



Why This Book
Beartown began showing up on a few of my Goodreads' friends booklists earlier this yea
...more
Ninoska Goris
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favoritos, leido-2017
English - Español

Not always, although more in the last year, I buy over hyped books. They are not always as good as they seem. But I decided to give a try to Beartown and oh, blew me away.

I am not someone outside sports and I understand the sacrifices that have to be made to achieve goals. When I was a teenager I practiced swimming. We had a national preselection competition. I got the flu and I kept swimming even with fever, because that was demanded from me. I ended up with bronchopneumonia an
...more
Susanne Strong
5 Resounding Stars!
Fredrik Backman: You’ve left me drained, almost completely bereft of words. This is a novel, unlike any of your others, yet it’s so full of heart and emotion that we the readers know emphatically that it is yours. And after the last words have sunk into my soul, I can emphatically say, thank you! This one is to be treasured.

Now, what can I possibly say about this story, without giving it away?

Beartown is a town that eat, sleeps and goes to bed thinking about one thing: Hockey.
...more
Angela M
Feb 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Hockey. What did I care about hockey? I didn't. But the novel soon becomes about more than just the sport, about so much more than I can articulate in a review without giving too much away, but I'll try. Backman tells us early on what I was about to discover for myself.

"Why does anyone care about hockey?
...
Because it tells stories. "

Beartown is a small Swedish town in a forest that could be a small town anywhere. Maybe the sport in these towns is baseball or soccer or football. But here it is
...more
Carol
5 Big Fat Wonderful Stars!

Welcome to the poor side of town. BEARTOWN is way out yonder in the middle of a forest where winter temperatures reach sub-zero and hockey is the name of the game for its struggling residents.

You don't have to be a hockey fan, or sports fan for that matter, to read BEARTOWN, you only have to (once again) sit back and enjoy the superb and addictive story telling of Fredrik Backman.

So get ready.....there's a whole gang of characters who each have their own personal storie

...more
Jennifer Masterson
*This is an audio version review of Beartown.*

Holy cow! I never expected to love this book. I'm not a sports person let alone a hockey person. Thanks to my Goodreads friends I took a chance on it. I'm so glad I did! 5 Stars for Beartown! This book grabbed me from the very beginning and never let go. Bang bang bang is still in my head!

Beartown is about a declining small town in Sweden that revolves around it's hockey team. There are so many characters in this book, including current hockey playe
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own


Late one evening, toward the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barreled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead, and pulled the trigger.

This is the story of how we got there.




At first I wasn't really getting into this book. I don't know why because:

1) I love the author
2) I love hockey
3) I love coming of age stories
4) I love the cold
5) I love small towns. I was born in one.


It finally got to where I liked it enough to change stars from 3 to 4. Although,
...more
Esil
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Backman's A Man Called Ove. I really really liked My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. But when I read Backman's last full length novel -- Britt-Marie Was Here -- I wondered whether Backman was a one trick pony, the formula being to create a quirky difficult character and the people who come to love him/her because he/she has a good heart under that gruff exterior.

Well it turns out that Backman is no One Trick Pony, and he has a lot to write about besides quirky difficult cha
...more
Diane S ☔
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: lor
It is not just because I think this is an outstanding and insightful book. Nor because I like hockey, actually most sports, come from a sports mad family, because I do. No, my rating reflects the fact that this book engaged all my thoughts, all my emotions, in essence I identified with it in a big way. I come from a small town, like Beartown, which suffers from comparisons to the wealthier, little snobbery town to the North. Our sport is football, a sport four of my five sons played from youth o ...more
Annet
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Benji puts his weight down on his foot. The good one this time, not the broken one. "I just want to play." Peter laughs. "Okay but, God, Benji, with your talent and your passion, you could really be something. I mean, seriously. You could be playing at an elite level in a couple of years. Hed Hockey are going to have a fantastic team, financial resources, you'll have much better opportunities to develop there." Benji gives a nonchalant shrug. His answer is as short as it is uncompromising: "But ...more
Cheri
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
!! NOW AVAILABLE !!

Well I was born in a small town
And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that's prob'ly where they'll bury me

-- John Cougar Mellencamp

Beartown is a small town in Sweden, the kind of small town where people are born there, live there and die there, generation after generation. Beartown is, among other things, all about hockey. The lives of those who inhabit this small town are lived around the games, the practices, all the working out in-between. What l
...more
Arah-Lynda
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beartown is a small, dwindling northern community that is being slowly but surely consumed by the ever encroaching trees.    It is a hockey town and far too many of the residents financial futures are tied, directly or not,  to this sport.  Hockey is the business of Beartown and they are poised on the cusp of great success with their junior team this year.   Winning is everything.

But when a tragic event occurs the people of this small community are left reeling and suddenly at odds, unsure where
...more
Paromjit
The Scandal is the British title for Beartown, a remote northern town in Sweden, a place in a cycle of economic decline and a community with an unabashed primal tribal obsession with its junior ice hockey team. This is a dark and cold town where everyone knows everyone. A hockey team from whom much is expected and demanded, instrumental in defining the identity of a wide array of characters that inhabit this superlative novel, each providing their pivotal piece to the story. Backmann has truly o ...more
Julie
Beartown by Fredrik Backman is a 2017 Simon & Schuster publication.


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.


Fredrik Backman won me over with ‘Brit- Marie was Here”. I have since read most of his other books, or at least have them in my ‘to read’ list, which means I feel I have become accustomed to the author’s style of writ
...more
❄️Nani❄️
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
6/5 Stars

Every. Damn. Time.

’Culture is as much about what we encourage as what we permit.’


It’s taking every ounce of whatever self restraint I have left not to go back and start the cycle again.


This book will be the death of me!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last Read - 23/03/18

6/5 stars

Incredible. INCREDIBLE! I couldn’t give it (ME!) 5 stars fast enough.
I can’t remember the last time was this consumed by a book and its characters.

Right now I’m feeling too many emotions, my thoughts are
...more
Meredith
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On the surface, Beartown is a book about hockey, but it’s so much more!

Beartown is about friendship, loyalty, family, and, loss. It’s about a town that’s fighting to stay alive. It’s about a girl who is wronged, and the boy who commits the wrong. It’s about a town that becomes divided over what’s right and wrong, good vs. evil, and the blurred lines in between. It’s about those little things that people do, but aren’t always seen. It's about the bravest people who break away from the pack to do
...more
Sam
Feb 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Believe the hype. Beartown is one of those rare novels that leaves you swollen with feeling and utter satisfaction, and yet entirely sad and almost disappointed that the story had to end, even though you wouldn't have wanted the author to change or add a single thing. For me, that's the highest level of love I can have for a novel, and I was honestly stunned by my level of engagement with and adoration for this book. 5 stars, no halves or equivocation, a completely fulfilling reading experience ...more
Dianne
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm the outlier again, I guess. I DID like this but didn't love it as many readers clearly did. Backman certainly has a gift for developing characters that feel real and for creating atmosphere, but I didn't love the narrative structure he uses here. He has a large cast of rotating characters and each character has a brief mini story arc that often (too often for me) concludes with the equivalent of a Jack Handy "Deep Thought" or a grave pronouncement that is contrived to make you nod knowingly ...more
Candi
"… our entire species survived because we stuck together and cooperated, but on the other hand we developed because the strongest individuals always thrived at the expense of the weak. So we always end up arguing about where the boundaries should be drawn. How selfish are we allowed to be? How much are we obliged to care about each other?"

First of all, let me get this out of the way right off the bat since I know I’m in the minority here. I rated Beartown 3.5 stars and am rounding down rather th
...more
Erin
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
All the feels!

Well, I am going to be honest. I was terrified to read this book. A strange thing to say because if a person were to look at my "read" shelf, I have obviously highly enjoyed Fredrik Backman's books. I love his writing and his characters seem to connect with my soul. It was the plot- the fact that that this book would talk about a small town and its obsessive love for hockey. A game that I loved so much growing up but have slowly lost interest in as I have grown older. As I began
...more
Linda
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
For you that have read all of Fredrik Backman's books, prepare yourself for a different side of this author. His language and subject material get a bit colorful at times. However, found in between piles of hockey pucks and words that rhyme was a small paragraph that touched my heart like only Backman can do:

"Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes much easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, g
...more
PorshaJo
May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating 4.5

Wow! What happens in Beartown, unfortunately, happens in reality. Probably more times that we know. Just change the sport. I don't know if you can say the people of Beartown are obsessed with hockey. It's more that they live for it, they live and breath it every minute of the day.

Beartown is a story that grabs you from the beginning. We follow the local boys hockey team and their quest to win. We follow the coaches and their quest to win. We follow the town folk and their quest for th
...more
Kendall
Apr 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, favorites
I sit here and think about what I just read and it was utterly amazing and so profound.

Fredrick Backman thank you for writing such a powerful novel. This is truly a heart wrenching novel that leaves you crying at times, laughing at times, and angry at times. This is definitely a novel that will be treasured and I will always remember.

The characters are so amazingly sketched and Backman ever so brilliantly leaves your heart and soul wanting more and more!

I don't want to go into too much detail
...more
Jaline
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: xx2017-completed
It’s been some time since I cried so much at the end of a book. What an ending!

Right at the beginning we are told that a teenager goes into the forest, places a shotgun on someone’s forehead and pulls the trigger. This sets the tension and suspense rolling from the very first sentence.

We also find out that Beartown is a small town somewhere in Sweden where hockey rules, and the club’s uniforms are dark green, with white trim, and a brown emblem on the front – forest, ice, and earth. The theme of
...more
*TANYA*
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-of-2017
4.5 stars!! Believe the hype this book gets! It's fantastic. I would love to see this book made into a movie. Very good story.
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12,731 followers
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He liv ...more
More about Fredrik Backman

Other books in the series

Beartown (2 books)
  • Us Against You (Beartown, #2)
“Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that's easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe - comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.” 131 likes
“All adults have days when we feel completely drained. When we no longer know quite what we spend so much time 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 wonderful thing is that we can all live through far more days like that without breaking than we think. The terrible thing is that we never know exactly how many.” 115 likes
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