The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove returns with a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream—and the price required to make it come true.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. Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.
It is always interesting to me to hear the answers given by authors when they are asked questions such as........how did you know you wanted to be a writer or author, or how do you begin to construct a new novel? There are many who try their hand at writing, but very few actually become successful authors. Swedish author, Fredrik Backman made a huge leap in changing careers when he became an author after earning a living as a fork lift driver. The two do not appear compatible, but having a blue collar job probably added a degree of realism to the books written by Backman.
Backman is a solid story teller, but does not consider himself to be a good technical writer. He gives credit to his wife and to his publisher and editors for assisting in that department. But, it is the storyline that sells books, not technical writing skills, and Backman has had much success along those lines. His books such as, A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here are published in many different countries, and several different languages. There seems to be a true, honest, humorous tone to each of his books.
Backman has a very easy way of structuring his novels, usually setting the beginning and the ending first, then he is free to fill in the middle with his storytelling ability. For example, Britt-Marie Was Here became a separate novel after she was a seven year old character in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. As he completed that book, he said that it seemed only natural to him that Britt-Marie have her own book. The book follows her as she goes on a quest, gets challenged, meets new friends, overcomes adversity, stands up to injustice, all to eventually learn important facts about herself. He says that writing about this character is like writing about hero types, minus the swords, lasers, and fire-breathing dragons. It is a very interesting way of explaining his concept.
In his newest book, the emphasis will be on ice hockey, for as he says.....I am Swedish, and that's what we do. It will be about a town....not one specific character......and ice hockey will be the center of the story. He says that is all he has as an idea about the book at this point. He sums up his future in writing in this way........ I plan to write until people tell me I can't anymore.