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review 2019-01-13 02:49
BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman
Beartown: A Novel - Fredrik Backman
  Wow! What a read! Nothing like I expected. I was expecting something like A Man Called Ove or Britt-Marie Was Here but Beartown is the opposite of them. Told through multiple eyes with a narrator putting his comments in throughout the book, it is a very intense read. There are some good one-liners that made me laugh out loud but there is more about our humanness and how we fail to live up to that humanness in this book. It is the teens who do the teaching here. Some show loyalty by sticking by the offender. Others show loyalty by standing up to those who want them to chose the wrong/evil path. This book so clearly shows how often the female is judged and found wanting while the male is seen as the "poor" victim. No one reverses how the questions are asked or the comments made to show who was in the wrong.

I liked the teens. Too many of the adults were found wanting. Kevin's father is horrible. I loved Maya's solution. I was a little worried there. I appreciated her response to Kevin's mother. She shows so much compassion. Maya's parents, Peter and Kira, do the best they can but come to realize they can't protect their children. They are good complements for each other. I loved Benji and Amat and how they went against the others.

This is a keeper. I cannot wait to read the sequel, Us Against You.
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review 2018-12-30 23:38
THE DEAL OF A LIFETIME by Fredrik Backman
The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella - Fredrik Backman
A man is in the hospital with cancer.  He meets a 5-year-old who also has cancer.  He notices an emissary of the Grim Reaper hanging around.  He reflects on his past.  He also confronts the emissary who denies she has come for him.  He realizes who she is after and offers to take the child's place but the emissary is not there for a death for a death but rather a life for a life. 
This is an odd book.  It's short and a quick read but makes you question how far would you go for someone else?  I like the explanation she gives about the difference between a death for a death and a life for a life.  I think about this at odd times.  How far would I go?
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review 2018-12-08 01:58
Us Against You
Us Against You - Fredrik Backman

If you told me I would be crying while driving and listening to a book about hockey, I might not have believed you... but this is the second book from Backman about Beartown, and, honestly, though I am not a fan of series, I could listen to even more. I love these characters, the old and the new, because Backman has an extraordinary talent for making you care about every single one of them.

ps—I don't want to be a spoiler, but I had questions about Benji, and I am hoping now that there's a #3, and that those people who read the first one carefully are wrong...


pps—This is not as long a read as it looks by my dates, I was listening to another library book when I got this audio book, and so my time ran out before I finished. Had to get back on the very long hold line.


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text 2018-08-11 16:32
Beartown ★★☆☆☆
Beartown: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

I have a strong suspicion that this book is going to take a very dark turn at some point and probably get to be much more interesting, but I’ve been struggling to make myself keep on with it for several days now and have decided to give up. I keep yelling at the book: “Just get on with it!” I don’t care about hockey, and the characters and their motivations and this story of a dying town and the residents’ hopes and anger and despair have just not been very compelling so far.


DNF at 37% after almost 5 hours of listening time. Audiobook, borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Marin Ireland’s performance is not the problem.

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review 2018-05-11 00:00
Beartown - Fredrik Backman Beartown - Fredrik Backman "The easiest way to unite a group isn't through love, because love is hard. It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that's easier than holding two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe - comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal."
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