Bear Town ~ by Fredrik Backman

My sister recommended this and she rarely does that, but when she does the books are usually pretty good.  When we were in elementary school we recommended books to each other regularly.  Then we went our different ways, with turning me to Nancy Drew and sci-fi and her to animal stories, but we always knew the other was a reader.  So over the years there have been some clicks, but not always. 

Bear Town 
By Fredrik Backman 2020 /
Read by Marin Ireland 13h 11m
Rating: 7.5 / contemp. fiction –

Backman is versatile – I read A Man Called Ove (my blog entry) first, that was a comedy of sorts.  The next one I read was the My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry but I wasn’t too fond of that one. Now his latest, Bear Town is more like a general family drama I guess. It’s okay but somewhere between those other two ratings – 

It’s very slow to start with lots of characters to introduce and give backgrounds on. I know nothing at all about hockey. I saw what I took to be a spoiler and was a bit peeved (spoilers don’t totally ruin a book for me) until I got to the event which was only at about the 1/2 mark.  

Okay fine.  So I thought I knew what would happen but that’s not the only reason to read a book (imo). The tension is pretty good and there are plenty of threads.

This concerns a very small town in rural Sweden and all their rivalries and jealousies and old scandals etc. That’s the same anywhere – it’s Sweden but it certainly could be Canada or northern Minnesota. This complete character list is helpful:

It’s about a town where a teen ice hockey club becomes way too important. Townspeople generally think it’s vital to the town’s economic well-being and progress. The kids, their parents, the investors, and even general residents all feel the pressure of needing to win for their own reasons and they all act accordingly.  In the eyes of the town, “winners can do anything.”  And Kevin never loses. 

I don’t mind books about teens at all – some of the ones I’ve read have been wonderful.  I suppose this could be a very good YA book (ages 16-24). I don’t know if a teen reader could identify with the feelings of the coaches and parents as well as those of his own age group.  The adult club sponsors are obviously the bad guys – or quite a number of them are, anyway. 

And then, half-way though, something happens which reverberates through the rest of the book.   It’s all very interesting, but not my usual fare.  I think if you like Where the Crawdads Sing you might like this one.

This entry was posted in 2023 Fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Bear Town ~ by Fredrik Backman

  1. Keith says:

    Becky, since we both loved “A Man called Ove” this one is worth the visit. Thanks, Keith


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