It looks like it could finally happen ... Beartown's junior ice hockey team might just make the big-time, and that would make all the difference to the fortunes of this isolated Scandinavian forest town. But on the cusp of this optimistic future, the celebrations get out of hand and a single act of violence and entitlement calls it all into question.
Engrossing and suspenseful, this is the story of a community obsessed with sport, compassionately played out through its credible and well-drawn characters. [Larger font]
A great book with very relevant issues tackled in an understanding and insightful way. Clever characterisations made them very human and relatable.
Loved this book. Hard to believe a man wrote it. Emotive and thought provoking.
We all liked this book but it took a lot to get into and work out all the characters - probably half way into the story. But once we got to there, it was brilliant and so well-written. Lots of discussion so if readers persevere, it's a great book. Loved it..
Too crowded with characters and difficult to sort out who was who. Good literary techniques and characters. Gave good insight into sports parents and the problems with a small town. Hard to get into it, but then it was good reading.
An interesting read.
We loved this book! We love Benji!!
We loved 'Beartown' - could have been non-fiction we thought as so true to life and real occurrences.
A great read. Some found it a bit lengthy, but all agreed that the detail was integral to create such a well woven tale. Struck lots of chords - lots to ponder.
Mixed reviews with this book. Some readers liked it, some didn't. We felt there were too many characters and nothing much happened for the first half of the book. Needed to persevere.
If you like that kind of Scandinavian suspenseful writing, you'll like this. We enjoyed reading about a different 'place'. It's about families really though. We really liked it, some more than others.
Consensus was a slow start, but the plot progressed as you moved into the second half. Writing was of a high standard.
Those who read this liked it a lot, and read the sequel too. Others couldn't get into it and didn't persevere.
Very well-written and translated. Insightful. All thought it very good.
Some of us loved this book, some of us were bored by it - great discussion ensued!
Several members didnt finish this one and a few said they ploughed on through to the end even though they didnt particularly enjoy it. Repetitive, as subtle as a sledgehammer, it took till about the last quarter to actually get engaging, were some of the disparaging comments. Others found an interesting description of a sports-obsessed town, where winning is placed above all else, and saw parallels with some communities in New Zealand.
Our first book and much enjoyed by all. A slow burn, which became a compelling page turner. The author skillfully developed multiple characters with empathy in this sociological study of a small town. Lots to discuss - including levels of discomfort that the stories within provoked.
A most engrossing read. A believable portrayal of a declining town and its inhabitants. There was a sense of foreboding from the first page. A glimpse into the lives of teenagers, the haves and the have nots, and the immense pressure that can be put on them. Sensitively written, descriptions of place, the cold, longing etc. were well done.
We all found this book bleak and distressing as would be expected given the topic. It generated a large amount of discussion. Some found they could not finish it, while others appreciated the lighter moments. Well translated in most parts.
Well-written book which promoted much discussion.
Soooo many questions that we all got a bit fed up! However, we all really enjoyed the book. Great.
This book was a big read! It created lots of discussion afterwards. Very topical at present.
Universally enjoyed by the group.
Our group mostly agreed that it was quite hard to get into. Mostly due to the range of characters. However once started we all agreed it was very thought provoking and an interesting read.
One of the highest scoring books we have had. Lively discussion. Really enjoyed by members.
Those who finished the book loved it once they got in to it. Members thought it a great book for parents of boys and girls alike to read.
A member who lived in a similar ice-bound town in Canada, says the book doesn't exaggerate.
Mixed feelings. Some are going to hunt down the sequel, others didn't finish it. Accurate portrayal of 'small town' attitudes etc.
We didn't have a meeting, but members seemed to really enjoy this book.
Favourite book in Covid 19!!
Generated a lot of discussion - mixed reviews. Group split - 1/2 loved it, 1/2 struggled. The positives: writing style, characterisation, message, and the focus on different parenting styles. Negatives: ice hockey theme (unfamiliarity), trauma of the events, violence, and the introduction of so many characters at the start (hard to keep up with). Overall those who persevered found the small town life commentary fascinating and compelling.
Three of us felt the book was in need of a good edit. It was a good story but took too long to tell its tale. Two of us disagreed, and loved it from start to finish.
We loved this book and look forward to its sequel.
Really enjoyed the book. Discussion at our meeting was interesting. We only had the generic book notes , so initiated our own discussion. It was hard not to want to take sides with the characters at times, you felt you knew them well. Appreciated the writing style a lot.