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(Beartown #1)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  249,103 ratings  ·  29,231 reviews
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 generat
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published April 25th 2017 by Simon & Schuster (first published September 15th 2016)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  249,103 ratings  ·  29,231 reviews

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Chelsea Humphrey
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Anne Bogel
Shelves: favorites
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
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
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
i still have yet to read a book that so beautifully and realistically captures what it means to be human better than this story.
and i will forever have love for the boy with sad eyes and a wild heart. <3

now THIS is how you tell a story.

the writing is definitely the strength of this book and it makes me wish i was fluent in swedish, because i know it would be an even more remarkable story in its native/original language (if thats even possible).

reading this book feels
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
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 Handey "Deep Thought" or a grave pronouncement that is contrived to make you nod knowingly ...more
Miranda Reads
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Read this one for TCE Book Club!

Everyone has a thousand wishes before a tragedy, but just one afterward.
Beartown, a small town in the middle of the forest, has been on its way out for years.

Businesses are leaving, layoffs are happening and people are fleeing for anywhere but there.

But, there is one thing that holds everyone together - the junior ice hockey team. People may say that it's crazy to pin all your hopes and dreams on a hockey team, but they don't understand.
Never trust peop
Elyse  Walters
"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:
Susanne  Strong
Update Re-Read: Nov 2020 - Because sometimes, your favorite characters give you everything you need and in case it's not obvious, I bleed Bear. Benji: You have my heart.

Update FIVE STAR Feb 2019 Review (re-read):
Because it’s LOVE, plain and simple.

Have you ever had a book stay with you? Has it ever just lived inside of you every single day, day in day out, since the moment you first read it? You take a breath and a character comes to mind and you feel what he feels? For me, “Beartown” is that
"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
Larry H
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
”Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled 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.”


It’s been two weeks since I finished this book (or did the book finish me?!) and I still haven’t managed to get over the experience of “Beartown”. Truth be told, I think I never will. This is a book that stays with you. It buries itself into yo
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
Muhtasin Oyshik
Beartown(Beartown,#1) by Fredrik Backman
Parenting, friendships, prejudices, love, cruelty.From gender prejudices to parental love, from teenage fears to ethnic differences, this novel has it all, revolving around a dark tragedy which very few but the brave will confront. A story that has it all and yet described in such a simple way that is truly amazing. A great story about humanity and survival.
Everyone has a thousand wishes before a tragedy, but just one afterward.

Ninoska Goris
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Always Pouting
Beartown is a small town in the forest with a dwindling population and ever decreasing resources. Beartown is also a hockey town where the sport's importance only increases when it begins to become tied into the financial future of the town. When the junior team is actually poised to win the finals this year the whole town starts to become hopeful about the future. Things become tense in this environment when a violent act is perpetrated by one of the boys on the team the night of the semi-final ...more
Angela M
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
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

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. Althoug
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I am going to be all up in my feels over this one for a LONG time. Fuck 😭

TW: rape, victim blaming, homophobia
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

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
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

It’s Blemished
It’s Edgy
It’s Awestricken
It’s Resolute
It’s Tragic
It’s Otherworldly
It’s Worrisome
It’s Nightmarish

In Beartown, one thing, and only one thing is important ... their hockey team. The players are obsessed! The parents are obsessed! The residents are obsessed! Lives revolve around hockey, and if you don’t tow the line, there are plenty of buses to be thrown under. Only one result matters no matter what the cost, “WIN!!!”

The town is unfortunately a depressed, forgotten, in the m
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
Diane S ☔
Mar 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
“All your best qualities come from the fact that you’ve been raised in a house full of women.”

After the constant battering my heart and soul received, and the injustice of the story enveloped my mind, and the bleakness of it all was brought forth, woven in with moments of heartwarming tenderness and laughter, it was that above quote that finally broke me and I couldn’t stop crying.

I don’t know whether to expand on the synopsis or let readers discover its impact on their own.
There isn’t muc
Feb 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Nilufer Ozmekik
Oct 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A small Swedish town in a forest maybe in the middle of nowhere or anywhere you can imagine because it doesn’t exist till the hockey rejuvenates the town, puts the spotlights to enlighten the place, and gives the joy, encouragement, reasons to live for to its people… (Families, kids, residents gather together to a common purpose)

Hockey games are not just the games for town’s people regardless race, age, gender, culture, beliefs, classes help them to feel the joy and togetherness by chanting, sc
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
Charlotte May
"Like they say in Beartown: some people have the bear in them."

I had very high expectations going into this one, and while they were met, I was completely surprised by the way this story went.
Turns out I really didn't know what was going to happen, which meant I was constantly shocked.

Beartown is a hockey town first and foremost. If you don't like hockey, don't live here. Or at the very least keep your mouth shut about disliking it. Full of colourful characters, ones I loved (Kira, Peter, Maya
"… 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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Jun 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Éimhear (A Little Haze) by: Rosh
So I finally got around to reading this. It's Beartown by another name. Personally I prefer the original name and am scratching my head as to why either the publishers or author (or both) felt the need to change it as The Scandal sounds tackier and is only really relevant to half the book whereas the title Beartown is more apt for as it focuses on the community theme of this book. This has an average rating of 4.47 among my Goodreads friends and therefore I was expecting great things...

So I have
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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. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World, his first work ...more

Other books in the series

Beartown (3 books)
  • Us Against You (Beartown, #2)
  • The Winners (Beartown, #3)

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