Book - 2017 | First Atria Books hardcover edition
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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
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2017
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501160769
Branch Call Number: FIC Backman, F 100.1 2017
Characteristics: 418 pages ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew), - Translator
Alternative Title: Bear town
Bjornstad. English


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Aug 14, 2019

Buried under thick layers of philosophical talk about hockey is a pretty good story. I had to struggle through the first third of the book before it picked up. The end also dragged. I stuck with it because I enjoyed "A man called Ove," but Beartown was totally missing the dark humour that made AMCO so likable.

Aug 06, 2019

I really loved this novel about a town and it's hockey obsession. It's about a lot of things and although the hockey was in your face every page, it did what it was supposed to do on many levels: interest you, put you in the place and time, and keep you reading hoping for certain characters to prevail. Loved it.

It took me 150 pages to get into this book but when the story of the real character of Beartown finally percolates through, i realize why I needed to know so much about the boys on the team and the instinct to put team before everything else ( including morality). So for the non-hockey readers, stick with it; there is a very provocative novel waiting once you have ploughed through the hockey culture backdrop.

Jun 24, 2019

Read this while the Stanley Cup was commencing. While it is a great read about ice hockey, it is also a meaningful read about the culture of sports and how communities function within that. Good character development.

Jun 19, 2019

DNF - About a hockey crazy town

Jun 16, 2019

Overly dramatic, preachy, slow read.

Jun 12, 2019

Fabulous book. I don't care for hockey, but this book is about hockey in the same way The Boys in the Boat is about rowing.

Great character development, great storytelling. The tale is told by leading out a little rope at a time.

Fabulous first VERY SHORT chapter that lets you know upfront how it will end, but takes a fascinating journey getting to the predicted end.

_McGeek_ Jun 04, 2019

I was recommended this book by many people and it did not disappoint. It was written in such an interesting and captivating way I hadn't expected and was pleasantly surprised. I honestly don't think it matters that I grew up in Canada raised around hockey and hockey rinks, and currently live in a mountain town, I don't think it makes this book any more enjoyable for me than it would for someone with no hockey knowledge who grew up on a beach. It's about the people, the culture, and the dangers of sports idolization in general, no previous hockey knowledge required.

VaughanPLDavidB Mar 12, 2019

Understanding that this is is trilogy has radically altered my initial dim view of this book. It is actually the excellent opening act of the story of the death of Beartown. I'm more than half way though Part 2, Us Against You, and loving it.

Feb 27, 2019

This was my first novel by Mr. Backman. I absolutely loved it. I am not a hockey or sports fan, and, when reading the synopsis, it echoed common story lines (13 Reasons Why), so I was intrigued to see how it was going to be different. After the first few chapters, it was apparent why it has such high ratings. He is very detailed in character development and foreshadowing. By the time I reached the climax of the novel, I felt close with the characters and felt an emotional connection with each. I'm looking forward to reading Us Against Them, as well as A Man Called Ove and his other books.

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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.

Sep 02, 2018

"Sometimes life doesn't let you choose your battles. Just the company you keep."

Sep 02, 2018

"Staying silent in return for being allowed to join in."

Sep 02, 2018

"Sune has always been more interested in the length of the string than the size of the balloon."

Sep 02, 2018

"That was the morning the boy realized that the only way to become better than the bears at their own game was to stop playing it their way."

JanieHH 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

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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape


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