Wednesday 5 September 2018

Us Against You by Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is possibly not as well known (yet) as Ove - from "A Man called...". Yet he has written Britt-Marie was here, Beartown (released initially as The Scandal) and also My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She's Sorry.

Backman is "..hailed as “a writer of astonishing depth [with] the remarkable ability to make you understand the feelings of each of a dozen different characters” (The Washington Times).

If you haven't read Beartown/The Scandal yet, what are you doing here, reading this? Go straight to the bookstore and get yourself a copy. Seriously though, this is one that is a uncompromising sequel, and you'll spoil Beartown if you read Us Against You first.

Ok, that's out of the way, what is the book about? Well, it's Beartown II. The town lost a lot back then - its hockey stars have moved on to nearby rivals Hed, and now the team may be disbanded. All the characters  are still living here, but there's a new coach. And guess what? No, I'm not saying. But the bar, the rink, all the hangouts for the troubled teens and their aging relatives attract the usual crowd, with the unusual tension.

The small-town atmosphere amplifies the emotions, the fears, the prejudices. And then there are the mistakes, the slip-ups, the evil lurking in each of us. In a locker room after a hockey game, our favourite team mates are less attractive before their showers - the same can be said about our humanity sometimes. And there are moments when you can't breathe.

This is so not Ove or Britt-Marie, but it's Beartown again, and Backman excels here too.

Loved it.

5 stars


You may also enjoy Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

More books.

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