Us Against You

Fredrik Backman, trans. from the Swedish by Neil Smith. Atria, $26.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5011-6079-0
Backman (A Man Called Ove) returns to the hockey-obsessed village of his previous novel Beartown to chronicle the passion, violence, resilience, and humanity of the people who live there in this engrossing tale of small-town Swedish life. As a new hockey season approaches, the Beartown team is in a precarious situation. The village was rocked after a junior team member was convicted of rape the previous spring, and the hockey club is in danger of being liquidated. General manager Peter Andersson is under intense scrutiny—particularly from one aggressive group of fans who call themselves “The Pack”—and enters into a questionable agreement with slippery local politician Richard Theo in order to save the team. When an unconventional new coach arrives, Beartown’s hopes fall on the shoulders of four untested (and possibly unreliable) teenagers. As tension between Beartown and its rival town, Hed, comes to a boiling point over hockey, jobs, and political squabbles, each member of the community confronts the same questions: “what would you do for your family? What wouldn’t you do?” Narrated by a collective “we,” Backman’s excellent novel has an atmosphere of both Scandinavian folktale and Greek tragedy. Darkness and grit exist alongside tenderness and levity, creating a blunt realism that brings the setting’s small-town atmosphere to vivid life. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/07/2018
Release date: 06/05/2018
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-5225-2
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-5082-5174-3
Ebook - 978-1-5011-6081-3
Paperback - 448 pages - 978-1-9821-0040-7
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-5173-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-5082-7763-7
Paperback - 978-1-4328-5092-0
Paperback - 448 pages
Library Binding - 978-1-4328-5091-3
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