• by Fredrik Backman
  • Narrated by Marin Ireland
  • 13 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The number-one New York Times best-selling 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 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 semifinals, 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 semifinal 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.
Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Barrel To The Head, A Slug To The Gut--

This is the story of one young person putting the barrel of a shotgun to the head of another young person. It's the story of how big dreams die hard and little, more tender dreams die even harder. This is not your usual Fredrik Backman book; it has none of the fanciful tenderness, the sentimentality. It's a hard-hitting look at what a town, what its people, what its children will do when the worst happens and you realize you are alone, just you and your ability to look your children in the face saying, "I couldn't protect you", you and your ability to look in the mirror saying, "What does it mean to be human?"
I expected more of a "Miracle on Ice" component but I was sorely wrong and quite happy about it. Backman takes the love of parents, friends, siblings and piles it on; takes the tension and ratchets it up, notch by painful notch until you have nothing to do but look inside yourself and wonder if you can stand any more pain, any more human frailty, any more doubt when there are so many, many shades of gray.
Marin Ireland has a brittle tone, and I wondered why a male narrator wasn't gotten until I realized that the many female characters wouldn't have been done justice to. Ireland gets it right, plus she does male characters quite well. What's more: She doesn't stilt on the passion, and this is a passionate story.
If you're ready for a journey into the heart, mind, soul of a teenager get ready and dive in. If you're ready for a slap in the face, the realization that you'll do anything, anything for your children but be able to keep them safe, tip your toes in and go gently, inhaling as much as possible.
Backman's prose, his story, his style are breathtaking.
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- Gillian


A superbly wrought small town portrait complete w/ requisite dichotomies and truths... The novel starts w/ a bang, literally... The story grabs you, then takes you on a stroll through village life/lives on the edge... It's not a fast moving book, rather it's like typical small town life, leisurely and thoughtful... Lightness balanced against subtle and insinuating darkness, The marginalized vs glorified, team and town, things hidden/revealed, etc... The peer pressure is real and frightening, for both kids and adults... Betrayals actual and perceived... Some powerful and emotional subject matter that is both uncomfortable and provocative, yet simultaneously uplifting and restorative... The setting is believable, and the tone sucks you in w/o your realizing it until you're in deep... It shows us our shortcomings, specifically pride, and isn't bashful about shining the spotlight down... It's also a story of friendship, and what that really means... Love, and agree, w/ the concept of our best friends being those we meet when we're 15... Rich and multi-dimensional characters... You'll love many, hate a few, and flip back and forth on some as the plot thickens... The last third of the book is full of choke up happenings, and admittedly points where the room gets a bit dusty;). This book is right up there w/ A Man Called Ove, and that's one of my all time faves of mainstream fiction... If you can't like this story I'd go on a scavenger hunt for a heart and soul;).
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- DobieChuck

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-25-2017
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio