As I mentioned in a previous post, I like Fredrik Backman. Beartown was recommended to me though an online reading group. Naturally, I expected a similar style to previous writings I had read by Backman- dark humour, pathos, zany characters etc. This book is a whole different ball game however- no pun intended.
The modern setting of a small, Scandinavian town that exists on ice hockey may be familiar to many of us. Swop out ice hockey for football, baseball, camogie or whatever your local town lives for and you can imagine how deeply the history of the game can run. If you recognise this type of world, ask yourself some questions. Can sporting prowess bring extra privileges to the victors? Are certain behaviours therefore overlooked? How far do you think this may go? This fictional tale looks at exactly this topic.
This book took about 100 pages to get fully engrossed by but when in, it is worth it. 100 pages is a lot of set up, but when action comes, it really packs a punch. This is a tough story but an excellent book.
I thoroughly recommend it to those of you who enjoy small town dramas. However, this book is more than entertainment and hits themes that might make a reader rethink their own situations. If you read important novels such as Asking for it and felt the questions posed by a novel like this need to be asked louder and longer, then try this too. Let me know what you think.