I had planned to publish my next book review last week, but I had a final project to finish, and I did not have time to finish the post until now. For my next review the focus will be on Beartown by Fredrik Backman.
I have several of Fredrik Backman’s books, but this was the first book of his I finished reading. This book revolves around Beartown, a dying town of unemployment where hockey is of the utmost importance. The plot of Beartown is focused on the junior ice hockey championship, which will determine the fate of the town. The story is told from the perspective of the residents of Beartown from the junior ice hockey team players and their parents to the team’s coaches and their families as well as other residents of the town from the bartender to the teacher. The book constantly switches perspective between these residents, but I did not find the constant switching confusing since the story is told in a linear format. Since Beartown includes diverse characters from the town, some are likable while others are not, but I found myself changing my view on some of the characters. For example at first a character may seem unlikable, but then due to their actions they become likable. Also some of the characters use offensive humor, which I did not enjoy, but it made the book more real to have a variety of characters representing the town. As far as the story itself, I found the beginning of Beartown a little slow and hard to get into, but the story picks up and becomes enjoyable. Even though the plot is revolved around hockey, which I have absolutely no interest in, the book itself is focused more on the residents of the town instead of the actual game of hockey. The ending of the book was also a good, hopeful ending. At the end as well as throughout the book, the story flash forwards to 10 years later and provides a brief summary of what happens to some of the characters in the future. The book also covers a variety of serious topics including bullying, rape, and violence, but some lighter topics as well including friendship and loyalty. I enjoyed reading Beartown, and I definitely recommend reading it even if you have no interest in hockey. I am also looking forward to reading Us Against You, which is the second book in the Beartown trilogy.
Overall, Beartown is a bit slow in the beginning, but the plot picks up, and it is interesting without being confusing when hearing the story told from the perspective of all the residents.
$12.95 at Book Depository