Beartown

Beartown

A Novel

Book - 2017
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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. 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.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Simon and Schuster, A Division of Simon and Schuster, Incorporated, 2017.
Edition: Simon & Schuster Canada edition.
ISBN: 9781501163104
1501163108
9781508260516
Characteristics: 418 pages ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil - Narrator
Alternative Title: Björnstad.

Opinion

From Library Staff

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.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage... Read More »


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j
jessejanmartin
Jan 17, 2020

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

t
toodles54
Jan 13, 2020

I'm not sure how Beartown can be considered a humorous read; the rape of a young girl and ensuing results, including her ostracism and attacks on her family, are not topics I'd consider humorous.
The author's works are poignant, resonating and engrossing, but this book is not what I'd consider humorous.

e
elyse0513
Dec 29, 2019

Sport

r
RosaReads2
Dec 27, 2019

5+ Stars!!

Phenomenal! Writing and storytelling perfection. From the foreboding opening to its escalating crescendo, this book held me captive.

Backman used multiple point of views, character interactions, and misguided motivations to tell this story. From the seemingly inconsequential to the most vital, the author laid a foundation and planted seeds to bring the story full circle and it was mesmerizing.

Beartown had everything in it's pages. It was heartrending, witty, inspirational, and at some of its best/worst moments, emotionally devastating. The nuances were smart and subtle. In the end, this book was a dichotomy - at times, maddening and difficult to read, but equally hard to put down. Perfection

w
weaveronthefarm
Dec 04, 2019

At first I was not sure whether I would finish reading this book as I was so angry at the community for being so sports captivated. However, I was soon caught up in the writing and the story. I could relate this book to real communities where the residents lives are lived around a single sport and those who play are idolized. When finished reading this I had to read the sequel to find out what happened next. Can fractured communities and families be healed?

s
suzski
Dec 04, 2019

This book has stuck with me for over two years. As the parent of athletes and a coach, I get angry when politics become involved in sports and bad behavior is excused as "boys will by boys." How about we are all humans? Beartown brings these issues to the reader and I'm glad that book clubs are taking this book on.

o
onepandella
Nov 30, 2019

In Beartown, a small community isolated in the cold woods, hockey means everything. Hockey is who they are, and the whole country will know that once their star junior teams makes it to the finals. However, the star player is accused of raping a young girl. Everyone in the town is effected, and it's how they handle it that determines the town's fate.

4.5/5: Read this book. It's VERY character based, and slow-burn, but... Backman's writing makes it worth it. Every person effected in the town gets a narrative, and the way their morals (or lack of morals) are presented is so intriguing. All the characters are well developed in a simple yet complex way. The book is about ~400 pages, but it was so immersive that I didn't mind.

I love all the characters, but by far my favorite is Benji. I would read a whole novel based off Benji. He's reckless and carefree, but he has a deep and raw love for the things that really matter in his life. That's a dangerous combination for anyone, but... dammit I fell for it. I also have a special place for Amat and Maya. Both characters went through a lot of growth, and overcame a lot of difficulties in their lives. But they pulled through and stood up for themselves while protecting their loved ones, even if they were rejected by others. All the characters are really well written, and I appreciate how they all stayed true to their character while doing brave things. It's easy for a character to do something different for the sake of the plot, which makes it feel like they broke character. But every character had a logical reasoning to their beliefs and actions (a great example is Kevin's dad, or David, or Amat, etc). The only thing that seemed out of place was when characters would start saying some deep-philosophical thought; for some scenes, it felt out of character. But anyway, the ending. The climax had me SHOOK, I was so scared. But I'm happy with the ending. It seems perfect for a stand alone, but I still want to read the novel. Also, there are a lot of quotable passages in this book. Many sentences either made me stop and think or lingered with me for the rest of the day. The story dragged occasionally, and it's VERY slow burn, but I liked it.

What I Take Away: Life is lived in moments. What we do now impacts tomorrow and everyone around us. Also, strength comes from being able to stand tall when faced with fear. A strong person isn't necessarily the most popular person, rather, it's usually the opposite. It's the person who's willing to go against the crowd and stand up for themselves that's the strongest.

v
vancouverville
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.

n
nalahblueberry5
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.

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Quotes

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j
jessejanmartin
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.

o
oeguitan
Sep 26, 2019

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

o
oeguitan
Sep 26, 2019

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

a
abbi_g
Dec 27, 2018

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

h
happinessz
Sep 02, 2018

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

h
happinessz
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

c
cknightkc
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

c
cknightkc
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

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JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape

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