the next good book


By Fredrik Backman


415 pages

What’s it about? Beartown is a dying community in the woods of Sweden.  The town has pinned its last hopes on its Junior Hockey Team winning a championship and putting the town back on the map.  With a large cast of characters this book examines the idea of what makes a community from lots of different perspectives.
What did it make me think about? This book asks so many questions.   What is loyalty?  What makes a leader?  What are the consequences of our obsession with athletes?  What does this obsession do to young star athletes?  What is required of a friend?  What does it take to be a good parent?  And it goes on and on….  I felt like there were so many ideas to explore in this book.
Should I read it? I thoroughly enjoyed the book.   The plot really picked up in the second half- but the characters were engaging from the first page.   Frederik Beckman    seems to write in platitudes, but they are all good and do not thwart the plot so how do you fault him for that?  Their were so many pearls of wisdom in this story thatI had trouble picking out which quote to include.One of my favorite themes in the novel was the power of our early friendships ,“You never have the sort of friends you have when you’re fifteen ever again. Even if you keep them for the rest of your life, it’s never the same as it was then.”If I had included all the quotes I found memorable- my review would have been WAY too long!
Quote- “Hate can be a deeply stimulating emotion.  The world becomes much easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil.  The easiest way to unite a group isn’t through love, because love is hard.  It makes demands.  Hate is simple.”

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