Winners ~ by Fredrik Backman

Oh my -this book has it all from hairpin plot twists and some steep foreshadowing to almost schmaltzy sentiment (but I said “almost”), and very contemporary themes this book also veers from heart-breaking to  -warming exuberance. 

By Fredrik Bachman 
Translated by Neil Smith 
2022 / 
Read by Marin Ireland 21h 22m 
Rating: 8.5 / 21st Century fiction 

(3rd in the Beartown series)

The series takes place in a small Swedish village named Bear Town which is situated way north of Stockholm. The thing to do in Beartown is play hockey – it’s the town’s passion.  And their arch-rival is just up the road in Hed 

Winners is the third book in the Beartown series by Fredrik Backman.  Backman is Swedish author who gained some fame, in the US anyway, for A Man Called Ove back in 2013.  Since then he’s produced 7 more novels, 6 available in the US, plus 2 novellas.  I’ve read most of them.  This series opened with Beartown which was followed by Us Against Them and now Winners.   I think it’s important to read these books in order as there’s a main plot which moves sequentially through all three which are both heart-breaking and -warming in equal measure. I think I’d almost rather call it a trilogy  

Many of the characters from the first book have stuck around in Beartown, which featured the violent rape of a lovely and promising high school junior by the hero of the hockey team but because relationships in very small towns can get complex, that gets very twisty. In the second book, Us Against Them, the towns become quite divided (and mean-spirited) while the young people have to grow up anyway- many have serious problems.  There are all kinds and it really feels like a bunch of “homies.”

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2 Responses to Winners ~ by Fredrik Backman

  1. Keith says:

    Becky, I loved “Ove” but not so much “Anxious People.” Is this more toward the former? Keith


    • This is kind of between the two book. It’s got the heartwarming like Ove but with more contemporary problems – nobody quite as quirky as that. Ove was a kind of masterpiece on its own. This is a trilogy and it has some really VERY serious parts.


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