A Novel

Large Print - 2017
Average Rating:
Rate this:
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 semi-finals, 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 semi-final 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.
Publisher: Waterville, ME : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2017
ISBN: 9781410498120
Characteristics: 689 p. (large print) ; 23 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)
Alternative Title: Bear town


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 15, 2018

This is a book I will never forget. His writing is beautiful, though the story is heartbreaking. Well worth the read!

Feb 08, 2018

Backman's style takes a bit of getting used to. This is a portrayal of political manoeuvring to take a currently winning team and bring a hockey training facility to a dying town. But the star player raped a young girl and the book details the fallout of when this happens. Including how the town turns against the family, the mother's complicity, how the boy escapes all charges and even takes a small step to peak into the future. Not entirely grim, but definitely gripping. Worth reading.

Jan 11, 2018

Wow what a book. I found it hard to get into but once there it was gripping. This story is multi-layered. It's about a small town that's dying, it's about a sport, it's about parenting it's about teenage angst & it's about good & evil. Mostly it's about a culture that involves men & women & I have to admit to being a woman but regardless of that fact it seems very clear to me that men need to make a lot of changes. It's also a story about rape & lying that's called loyalty & the violence that follows this culture if you tell the truth. It's deep.

Jan 03, 2018

This is the best book I read in 2017. ALL YEAR. It almost had a feel of John Green meets Harper Lee. It took me awhile to figure out that it as not set in the northernmost United States, the monetary unit is the kroner, a smarter person would have caught on right away! But the story is gripping, Just when you think this is a story abut small town hockey, think again. Great plot,unexpected twists. LOVED IT.

Dec 27, 2017

This is a must read! Backman handles the complexity of a small town, a sport (hockey), teenage years, adults raising teens, women in sport, women in the work place, bullying by kids, bullying by adults, post athletic career and the power of group hate, extremely well. This is not a book to gloss over. The story line could take place in any small town in America whether it be football in Texas, basketball in Indiana, or baseball int the Midwest. The message of the story is powerful beyond belief. Each line and each word carries a punch and a meaning that can be missed and should not be. I would put this at the very top of my 2017 list of already great books. The story line may be dark, but it is something America needs to read!

Nov 24, 2017

It's alright as an examination of rape culture, but the narrative itself is a cliché riddled and maudlin mess of 2 dimensional characters.

Nov 09, 2017

Backman is unerring in his capacity for giving an honest read on the state of society generally and the stories we as individuals tell ourselves in order to stay with the herd.

Oct 01, 2017

Well written but a GRAPHIC RAPE SCENE, and the consequences of the rape are explored in the second half of the book. For anyone with potential triggers, I would suggest being careful when you read this book.

Sep 16, 2017

I loved backman's previous books, but beartown was a whole nother level of intensity and emotion.a rare book I'm tempted to read all over again, it was that good.

Sep 15, 2017

I loved this book. Definitely worth the read. It took a little while to get into the story but after that I couldn't put it down. The story and the characters are well developed. I found it a very emotional, powerful read. It makes you think about some deeper issues and I found that it stuck with me after I was done. Would definitely recommend it.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

JanieHH Aug 02, 2017

“She’s fifteen, above the age of consent, and he’s seventeen, but he’s still “the boy” in every conversation. She’s “the young woman”.

Words are not small things.”
― Fredrik Backman, Beartown

Jun 22, 2017

"There's a thin line between living and surviving, but there's one positive side effect of being both romantic and very competitive: you never give up." -p.123

Jun 02, 2017

“Community is the fact that we work toward the same goal, that we accept our respective roles in order to reach it. Values is the fact that we trust each other. That we love each other…. For me, culture is as much about what we encourage as what we actually permit.” - p. 210

Jun 02, 2017

“People sometimes say that sorrow is mental but longing is physical. One is a wound, the other an amputated limb, a withered petal compared to a snapped stem. Anything that grows closely enough to what it loves will eventually share the same roots. We can talk about loss, we can treat it and give it time, but biology still forces us to live according to certain rules: plants that are split down the middle don’t heal, they die.” - p. 138

Jun 02, 2017

“One of the plainest truths about towns and individuals is that they usually don’t turn into what we tell them to be, but what they are told they are.” - p. 73

Jun 02, 2017

“Culture is as much about what we encourage as what we permit” - p. 66

Jun 02, 2017

“Sports creates complicated men, proud enough to refuse to admit their mistakes, but humble enough always to put their team first.” - p. 58

Jun 02, 2017

“It’s only a game. It only resolves tiny, insignificant things. Such as who gets validation. Who gets listened to. It allocates power and draws boundaries and turns some people into stars and others into spectators. Thats all.” - p. 53


Add Notices

JCLEmilyD Sep 09, 2017

Violence: rape


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CALS

To Top