Review: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Bear Town by Fredrick Backman

I was glad to read my book club’s selection, Beartown by Fredrik Backman, narrated by Marin Ireland.

So many people, recently, have been talking about “A Man Called Ove” and “My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry: A Novel.”  However, I have not, until now, had the chance to read/listen to one of this author’s novels.

(Purchase from Amazon)
  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 13 hours and 11 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Release Date: April 25, 2017

Beartown is a story about a small town, who’s existence revolves around ice hockey. The junior team, this particular year, is headed for the semi-finals with a good chance at winning the finals.

In essence we see, when bad things happen and controversy strikes, the heavily ingrained ‘ice-hockey’ culture affects the overall views and culture of the town-folk.  People begin to take sides.

It seems the entire town is explored from players to coaches, teachers, parents, students, local factory workers, the local pub owner, hockey club board members, sponsors …  We learn who is on the right side and who is on the wrong side.

One observation (not a complaint) is that the author, seems to be vested in all of his characters as, in addition to the main story, many tidbits of information about the various character’s past, present and futures are included.  The over development of characters works well in this small-town story.

Reading Group Guide


Book Excerpt

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What Other’s Are Saying

From My First Book Of The Year Post:

Beartown is an awesome audio! Enjoy! – Beth Fish from Beth Fish Reads

I loved Bear Town, I hope you do too! – Vicki from I’d Rather Be At The Beach

I also listened to this one on audio and loved it. In fact it is my favorite I have read by this author. Enjoy Pat! – Sheila from Book Journey

Us Against You

The in-depth look at characters in Beartown makes sense as there is a second novel to be released in June of this year.

Us Against You: A Novel (Beartown)

  • Series: Beartown (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books (June 5, 2018)

About The Author (from the author’s website)

Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, as well as a novella, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

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  1. I know this author is beloved by many and I’ve yet to pick up one of his books. I’m sure I will at some point, though I venture out of the crime/mystery/thriller genre rarely. This one sounds good. Perhaps I should try his book on audio.

  2. Oh me! I didn’t know this was going to be a series! Thanks for leting us know! I checked and Us Against You comes out June 5. I want it on audio but may decide to buy it and Beartown in hardcover since I love Backman so much.

  3. I’d love to read or listen to this one. I enjoyed the movie version of A Man Called Ove. It was funny and touching and I loved the setting. Terrific review, Pat! 🙂

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