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Search tags: Fredrik-Backman
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text 2017-11-29 13:01
"Beartown" by Frederik Backman - beautifully written but too painful for me to finish
Beartown: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

I read the first half of "Beartown" in about three days back in May, some seven months ago now. I was delighted. Here's what I said about it after the first day:

    Beartown” is the latest book from Fredrik Backman ( “A Man Called Ove” and “My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry”).

    It’s about a remote, slowly dying, small town in the middle of the woods where the success of the Junior Hockey Team is the last hope for the town to grow rather than continue its slow decline

    I’ve barely started the book and it's already holding my imagination hostage. The language is simple and undramatic yet it gets to the heart of the things that shapes lives.

    Here’s how it starts:

    “Late one evening, towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there”.

As I read more, I was carried along by the rhythm of the sparse language, which beat into me, like the smack of a puck against a fence, how much a hockey team and a hockey game can mean to a small, failing town in need of hope and pride. It drew me into the lives of people I could see as clearly as if I'd lived with them for years and let me see the world through their eyes

And with each page, as we journeyed towards that shotgun in the woods, my sense of dread grew.

Then I reached the rape.

I saw the damage it did. I imagined the damage it would do. I understood how the ordinary, everyday nature of the act intensified its evil at the same time that it made it credible. This is how life is. I know that. But I couldn't bring myself to read more of it.

I set it aside for a while. I didn't want to abandon something so well written and so true. I was sure I'd pick it up again and savour it.

Today, I tried, not for the first time, to go back to it.

I can't, or, more honestly, I won't.

It's painful to see the world that clearly and then focus on how we do each other harm and how the harm is amplified by poverty, desperation, and a culture where the right of the powerful to do wrong is accepted with sad resignation rather than challenged with righteous anger.

I'll move on to Backman's next book and leave this one closed.

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review 2017-11-28 22:01
THE DEAL OF A LIFETIME Review
The Deal of a Lifetime: A Novella - Fredrik Backman

I don’t think Fredrik Backman and his translators can do wrong. I’ve read all but one of his published works and at least liked all of them . . . and most of them I loved. Published just in time for Christmas, The Deal of a Lifetime is a short story (though it is being marketed as a novella, with an $18 price tag to boot) about a successful father and his estranged son. The story is a letter written on Christmas Eve from the father to his son, in which he reveals all about himself: his triumphs and failures, both as a businessman and a parent.

 

Like most other Backman stories, this is a beautiful, heart-wrenching, and honest look at humanity and relationships. Written in sterling prose, this whole damn book is quotable. I found myself gasping in shock at least once a page at just how spot-on Backman’s writing is, and how real his characters feel. Though this story clocks in at a scant 66 pages, it has the depth and pay-off of a long novella, at least.

 

I am usually skeptical of purchasing such little books for hefty prices, but I feel I got my ten bucks’ worth and then some out of this. Backman never disappoints, and this has moved me to read Britt-Marie Was Here before the end of the year. A delightful and melancholy Christmas fairy tale, I suspect I will be reading The Deal of a Lifetime annually. My highest recommendation.

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review 2017-11-28 17:57
I Am Too Tired to Type the Title
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry: A Novel - Fredrik Backman,Joan Hustace Walker

Hey, another non-review from me. Imagine that!

 

I've been waiting for weeks (six of them, to be exact) for my turn in line at Overdrive to read this book. My number was finally called yesterday, just in time for my book meeting last night! Imagine the luck?! Grrrr. Guess that's what I get for being cheap but cheap I am and I'm glad of it because I would've wasted 11+ bucks on a boring book. I listened to about 2 hours of it before my meeting and was not thrilled with any of it and all of my friends who read it (3 of them, the rest were cheap like me) said it was boring and disappointing and that I will miss nothing by calling it quits now. So that's what I'm doing because

 

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review 2017-10-30 17:22
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
A Man Called Ove: A Novel - Fredrik Backman

I read this for my real life book group which met and talked about this book two Monday's ago. Yep, I'm always with the program.

 

There is no point in writing a review for this book since I am still lazy and there are currently 37211 reviews on Goodreads and 141 of them written by my friends alone. This sounds like as good an excuse as any to duck out of a real review and just tell you that I loved it. I loved Ove, I loved his Aggravation Cat and I loved his relationship with sassy Parvenah (sp?) and her family. And mostly I loved that the old grump found a purpose to keep on living which is something so many people never find. It’s just a lovely story. You should read it if you haven’t already.

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text 2017-10-25 16:39
75% Done & no one will let me finish this book!
A Man Called Ove - Fredrik Backman

But I wouldn't have it any other way. 

 

 

 

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