Book Review Of Beartown: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

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Fredrik Backman has been a hit or miss author for me. I could not get enough of his book My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry.  On the other hand I couldn’t bring myself to continue more than ¼ of the way through A Man Called Ove. Beartown falls on the side of “couldn’t get enough’.  I would absolutely recommend this book to my friends.

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Beartown takes place in rural Sweden, but I honestly pictured it to be in North Dakota or Minnesota.  It is a story of a small hockey town struggling to stay afloat as the modern world moves forward and makes jobs scarce and families move away.   A crime shatters the whole town and the reader gets to observe how the actions of one person can affect everyone in a town.

When I say Beartown is a hockey town think Friday Night Lights but for hockey instead of football.  In Beartown, kids start playing hockey as soon as they can skate. Peewee teams are considered to be farm teams for the town’s adult team. Hockey players are the celebrities of the town and they get all of the perks and privileges that come with that.

The star player of the team is involved in a crime and everyone’s loyalties are questioned.  Are the players people? Are they commodities? What is more important, money or people? How does treating children like they are more important than others shape how they treat people?

This book plays into all of my favorite things.  I have this strange idea that I want to live in a small town. I also love sports books and movies.  But in a book, I love a complex story, characters that are real and well developed, and a realistic resolution.  This book delivers all of this. I can honestly see this being made into a movie, so I suggest reading it to be ahead of the game.

On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the lowest, 5 being the highest it rated the following:

Laughs: 2

Tears: 3

Cheese: 1

Predictability: 2

Overall: 5/5

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? It kept me up late because I couldn’t put it down.  

Currently reading: Turtles all the Way Down by John Green

Currently Listening to the podcast: My Favorite Murder

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30 COMMENTS

  1. I like your 5 point rating system. That is a great way to share a book review. It is an easy way for me to glance and see if I would be interested in reading it. I have not read anything by this author.

  2. Sounds like a good book. I haven’t read a book in awhile and I’ve been wanting to this summer. I’ll have to give this one a try.

  3. This is a book I would read. I loved the Friday Night Lights series and movie! I like a little action with a great story. I have been looking for new reads for the summer. Great review that makes me want to read without giving it away.

  4. I haven’t heard of this book or this author before. I typically read modern fantasy books, but this one sounds really interesting! I’ll have to add it to my forever-long list of books to read one day.

  5. I just adored the book A Man Called Ove so this author’s books are high on my list of must-reads. I like the idea of this small town and the hockey tie-in too. Sounds like a terrific read. Thanks!

  6. This sounds like a good book. I’m weird because I read mostly history and paranormal books. For most people this would be a great book to read.

  7. This definitely sounds like a read that I would have picked up. I love that you shared the laughs and tears meter!

  8. This book, Bear town sounds like it would be a good lifetime movie. I have never read it before, but it sounds like a good mystery book to read and I’m going to add it to my reading list.

  9. There hasn’t been much time to read for pure enjoyment these last few weeks. I miss it! I am adding this one to my wishlist and hope to be reading it before the summer is over.

  10. No, I haven’t read the book, but I’m not a book reader either. I do like to read short stories and magazine though. I like the name of this book as well as where it took place. I’d love to visit Sweden someday.

  11. You had me at hockey town! This sounds like the kind of summer read I’d be into ,but probably won’t get to until winter. Thanks for the recommendation.

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