A Novel

Book - 2017
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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.
Publisher: Toronto : Simon & Schuster, c2017
ISBN: 9781501163104
Branch Call Number: BAC
Characteristics: 418 p. ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)
Alternative Title: Bear town


From the critics

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May 27, 2021

on hockey, eye on puck?
not a book I'd pluck.
in Beartown I were stuck,
of the world awestruck.

Sturm und Drang.
Slick craft, dualities heap;
Stock characters go deep.
Social issues grew steep;
Culture sway, values keep.
Bears sleep, wolf on sheep,
Who weep...Maya can sweep.
Bang, bang, bang!

Feb 20, 2021

I have read 5 books by Fredrik Backman and loved every one of them until Beartown. I do not like the culture of sports with winning as the ultimate goal as opposed to learning teamwork and personal growth. Until the violent event that drives the second half of the novel, I really disliked the book intensely. I especially hated the ostracism, prejudice, and homophobic attitudes that characterized the players without constraint. Mr. Backman's novels have always been ones of hope or humor, but this one had not humor for me. I don't want to give away the ending, so I will not say more. I still recommend the author heartily! Kristi & Abby Tabby

Jan 08, 2021

Beartown is a fictional novel that centers around a small town whose citizens live for hockey. The story follows the perspective of different people throughout the town, and their thoughts and actions when a shockingly tragic event strikes their community. I would highly recommend this book, as it carries many different themes and stories within it. It addresses hard topics in an honest and insightful way. It has a bit of a slow start, but ends up completely captivating and gripping you. This is an incredible read, but it does include descriptive depictions of sexual assault, which can be triggering to some.

Dec 31, 2020

What I love about this book is that the community feels like a character who has an active impact on the plot. There are so many secondary characters that make the city feel real, like a place you could find yourself in by chance during a road trip. A thrilling exploration of how private trauma can become distorted and manipulated by public drama.

Nov 09, 2020


ArapahoeKarenQB Oct 01, 2020

I loved A Man Called Ove, so I had high expectations for this book. It's very different. In many ways, it's a tough read (sexual assault), and the misogyny of some of the characters is pretty hard to stomach. I thought it was pretty good, but I wasn't crazy about it. I did like the ending.

Sep 08, 2020

I really liked this a lot.
The way Backman unfolded the ending, I've never experienced an unpacking like that (novice reader).
The character development at the start was worrying me a bit, was getting overwhelmed by nearly meeting the whole town.
I am picking up the sequel this afternoon. Back to back Backman!

Aug 23, 2020

I am definitely not a fan of hockey, but I enjoyed this book very much. I finally understand how wrapped up people become in a sport. This book crosses all generations. It's about love and hatred and loneliness and pride and character and parenting and being a teenager and LIFE. Terrific book.

May 31, 2020

“The very worst events in life have that effect on a family: we always remember, more sharply than anything else, the last happy moments before everything fell apart.”

This book was a very nice surprise and it wouldn’t have been under my “reading radar” if it wasn’t a recommendation from my friend. So, thank you KB! Definitively book was much more than a hockey story....Time well spent.... I loved it!

May 27, 2020

This at times heart-wrenching novel that asks readers to consider morality, honesty, belonging, the role of heroes and how our silence can empower the wrong people. Many Canadians will feel drawn to the story as it centers around hockey and some of the well drawn characters feel familiar. The prose has moments of sentimentality and at times plot details veer into common tropes, but overall it is worth a read. This is the first in a series of books.

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Another morning comes. It always does. Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with.

Jan 27, 2020

"there are few words that are harder to explain then "loyalty".Its always regarded as a positive characteristic, because a lot of people would say that many of the best things people do for earth other occur precisely because of loyalty. The only problem is that many of the very worst things we do to each other occur because of the same thing. " One of the many, many thoughts I loved in this book.

Sep 26, 2019

"The only time I'm not moving forward is when I'm taking aim."

Sep 26, 2019

We become what we are told we are. Ana has always been told that she's wrong.

Dec 27, 2018

You've never been alone. You just need to be better at choosing the company you keep.

Aug 02, 2017

“She’s fifteen, above the age of consent, and he’s seventeen, but he’s still “the boy” in every conversation. She’s “the young woman”.

Words are not small things.”
― Fredrik Backman, Beartown

letstakeashelfie Jun 22, 2017

"There's a thin line between living and surviving, but there's one positive side effect of being both romantic and very competitive: you never give up." -p.123

Jun 02, 2017

“Community is the fact that we work toward the same goal, that we accept our respective roles in order to reach it. Values is the fact that we trust each other. That we love each other…. For me, culture is as much about what we encourage as what we actually permit.” - p. 210

Jun 02, 2017

“People sometimes say that sorrow is mental but longing is physical. One is a wound, the other an amputated limb, a withered petal compared to a snapped stem. Anything that grows closely enough to what it loves will eventually share the same roots. We can talk about loss, we can treat it and give it time, but biology still forces us to live according to certain rules: plants that are split down the middle don’t heal, they die.” - p. 138

Jun 02, 2017

“One of the plainest truths about towns and individuals is that they usually don’t turn into what we tell them to be, but what they are told they are.” - p. 73

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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape

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