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اثر فردریک بکمن از انتشارات نشر نون - مترجم: الهام رعایی-ادبیات داستانی

After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they hear that their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. What makes it worse is the obvious satisfaction that all the former Beartown players, who now play for a rival team in Hed, take in that fact. Amidst the mounting tension between the two rivals, a surprising newcomer is handpicked to be Beartown’s new hockey coach. As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. The people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after all they’ve been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple and innocent.


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At first before writing this review, I thought I should let my thoughts settle and mull things over a bit. However, after thinking about it, I decided to take the plunge and write of my feelings for the extremely popular book. Looking at the ratings, there seems to be very few who do not believe in the validity of this tale and although I have many misgivings about this book, I do feel there was merit in its telling.

What I liked most were the people who stood by one another. Through thick and thin, through turmoil and crisis, through fear and destruction, these characters were together, one with each other. They were tough as nails, hard as the ice they so loved, resilient and unbendable and made of ice both literally and figuratively. There was no wishy washy with them. You were either with us or against us and woe to those who were against us. They were the people we want for friends for to be their enemy could be catastrophic for us. Could one bear the onslaught of feelings that being their enemy would entail? Can any of us hate that much? Do any of us want to? They were the ones who felt deeply, who reacted without care or concern for their own well being, and who were always standing tall. They were oftentimes wounded but didnt let that drag them into a miasma of feeling sorry for themselves. Tough, stalwart and some might say having ice water running through their veins. They were the hockey players, their families, and their community who lived and breathe this sport as if their very souls depended on it an perhaps indeed they did.

What I disliked in this tale, was the violence and the anger. It was so present in everything. It was so pervasive that many times, I thought I would have to cast this book aside for it seemed to constantly show that there was no forgiveness, no sorrow, no hurt for causing someones destruction. There didnt seem to be any shame for the hurt, any kind of mental anguish for the pain, or ever any kind of asking for forgiveness. It all seemed so rote to hate those on the opposing team, in the opposing town. Was there any way to stomp on that hate, to quell that fire that seemed to burn in all of them? Was the ultimate goal to allow that hate to consume you body and soul? Was the ice rink a stand in always for the contempt that seemed to be so ingrained in the people who inhabited both the arena and the towns?

So why didnt I quit? I would have to say that the second half of the book held sway with me. I think I was looking for the rescue, that something that might, if not make the hate go away, alleviate it somewhat. Yes, that indeed did happen and for a brief moment in time, those teams, those towns did come together and become one. It was brief that moment, but it did offer that faint hope that in all things we can as a people come together as one. The moment might be a split second but sometimes a split second is just what one needs to restore your faith in we humans.

As always, I am indebted to my library for providing a copy of this book to me. I know there is a line up of people waiting for me to finish and I hope they too find the worthwhile in the story that Mr Backman has told us. I had to truly search for that sense of the worthwhile and am happy to say that indeed I did find it.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
5 fantastically wild bear chants to raise the rink roof

Beartown was one of my favorite books of 2017 and so it comes as no surprise that book two in the Swedish hockey town trilogy was highly anticipated and it didnt disappoint. Like its predecessor, I was hooked from the very beginning. The little town thought that the worst had already happened but it seems fate isnt done with them yet. For maximum enjoyment I would encourage future readers to read Beartown first to fully understand the characters.

People we love will die. We will bury our children beneath our most beautiful trees


As I returned again to Beartown I felt different emotions as Fredrik Backmans tale unfolded. So many times in this book I gasped whenever I felt danger coming for one character or another. I think my two favorite players are Benji and Bobo who both had storylines that made my heart ache. I also appreciated Backmans allotment of growth for Peters children, Leo and Maya, and his wife Kira. In fact, Peter is probably my least favorite character. Mostly because his relationships with people highlight how incredibly selfish he can really is. But that is just my opinion.


Its always the aggressors feelings we have to defend. As if they are the ones who need our understanding.


One of the reasons that I absolutely adore F.Bs books is because hes a reader of people, bringing both beautiful and ugly parts of that person to the surface. As many of my fellow reviewers have stated, this particular trilogy isnt about curmudgeonly men and women, but ALL people. Its about bullies, victims, and bystanders. In particular, Us Against Them is about hockey politics in two small towns. Let me tell you, some of the children in this series are more mature than adults in the town.

Finally, I am as sure as I was when reading Beartown that towns like this one do exist. Some of my fellow reviewers have raised the plausibility of a hockey team having this much power in this day and age. While I grew up in a town much like Beartown, I am happy to say nowadays sports has diversified and many of my family and friends are able to give their sons and daughters much more choice. However, the hockey gods still do rain supreme in many communities still. I would also want to say a sincere thanks to the author for opening the doors wide open on hockey and lack of acceptance of the gay community. For those who dont follow hockey, the NHL(National Hockey League) remains the only professional sports organization in North America that remains silent on representation in the gay community. Imagine, its 2018 and dont ask, dont tell is still the locker room code!

Thanks to Netgalley&Simon &Shuster for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This is the sixth Fredrik Backman book I read. He’s become one of my favourite writers, so it’s always exciting to read something new from him.

Us Against You continues to delve into the lives of some of Beartown’s inhabitants. We are acquainted with many of them from his previous novel, Beartown (also known as Scandal in other countries).

Again, at the centre of this novel we have the Beartown Hockey Team manager – Peter Andersson, his lawyer wife, Kira, their kids, Maya, 16 and Leo, 12. What happened to Maya in the past year still affects her, her family and, to a certain extent, the entire town. The only thing that makes Beartown tick is hockey, but they’re about to lose that as well. Many players had moved to the bigger neighbouring town, Hed. There’s conflict between the two towns stemming from hockey rivalry but also due to socio-economic issues. Add a sociopathic, master manipulator politician to the mix and we’ve got yourself an explosive mixture.

We reacquaint ourselves with some of the hockey players we met in Beartown : Benji, the excellent hockey player, who’s in the closet; Amat – the immigrant, very talented player and his best friend, Bobo, hardworking, less talented but with a heart of gold. Benji gets more play time on the pages of this novel, I personally didn’t mind, as he was intriguing in so many ways. There are some new characters, who are given more or less air-time.

I loved the pacing of the book and how Backman kept adding layer, upon layer, upon layer, creating a tower of tension about to topple.

This is another ambitious novel that deals with trauma, parenting, friendship, small town mentalities, homophobia, sexism, and politics. Oh, and some hockey.

While I agree with every single message of the book, I did find this novel a bit too sanctimonious – it pains me to say that, but that’s how I felt. Also, I would have preferred he’d dialled-down the melodrama. In saying all that, I adore the guy - Backman is a Renaissance man – I don’t say that lightly.

As always, I cannot wait to see what he comes up with next. His writing is a treat I hope to indulge in for many years to come.

I’ve received this book via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Atria Books allowing me to read this novel. I truly appreciate it.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Us Against You is a difficult book. Maybe because of the inflated egos reaching for power and not concerned who they step on. Or maybe it’s because of the powerless who can’t help themselves. Or perhaps it’s due to the repetition of themes that hammers in the points. It is, admittedly, an effective story of two towns in conflict, ostensibly over hockey, but actually over so much more.

I think my sadness on reading this book is not only from the book but from the life of the world around me that it represents, where emotions are manipulated by those in a position to do so, communities are set artificially against one another so they won’t notice that the powers that be are plotting against both. If real life were not so difficult at the moment, would I have tolerated the harsh realities of this world better? Would the moments of redemption worked better? I don’t know. And I’m not sure Backman intends them to. Life is often unjust. We learn that throughout our lives.

Other than the relentless emotional pull, my quibble with this novel has to do with style: there is a repetitive technique used throughout that at times seemed very effective and at others, annoying. I like all that I have read from Backman. His ability to capture the variety of human emotions, behaviors and rationales is spot on for all age groups. This is the sequel that Beartown needed. But I wonder if it could have been better. Or perhaps I wish for something merely different, nicer, more pleasing.

Another thought I had since I finished reading is to wonder if I might have liked the style of the book better if I had read it more quickly. Would what I found to be repetitive be instead flowing connections between sections of the story? Would they read like a chorus, a Greek chorus observing all that is happening just as the narrator is both of and separate from Beartown? This thought is causing me to rethink some of my concerns mentioned above. Oh the world of books. It keeps us pondering even when we finish reading.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an honest review.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

“Sometimes people have to be allowed to have something to live for in order to survive everything else.”


🌟 Fredrik Backman is easily now among my favorite authors. My favorite authors are mostly fantasy authors and I am happy that Fredrik claimed the title “My favorite contemporary author”.

🌟 I finished this and immediately checked all his other books and I want to read them all. If you take a quick glance at them, they feature an Old man, A Grandma story, An ice hockey town, a grandfather. Andy you may ask how the hell we’re supposed to like these stories? you have to read to find out because these books have all the magic!

🌟 This takes place after the ending of book 1 and it started a bit slow and I was not liking it as much as book 1, I continued because it was not bad and then it kept getting better and better!

🌟 This book may have the most realistic characters ever, there are both adults and teenagers (12-18 years) in this. And they act according to their ages, adults drink and work and have daily problems to face while the teenagers talk about girls and sex and sports, they go to school, they have their own worlds that they live in. I can’t explain about each character alone because there is a whole town, but I like them all!!

🌟 And as the author keeps saying “This is not a fairy tale”, there are no miracles happening for the sake of entertaining readers, this was as real as it could be and many things ended up being satisfying without me ever knowing that!

🌟 The writing style is beautiful too. I may have highlighted more sentences in book 1 but this had a good share of great quotes too, and I couldn’t help myself crying in all the 3 books that I read by Backman!

@description@

“He learns that people will always choose a simple lie over a complicated truth, because the lie has one unbeatable advantage: the truth always has to stick to what actually happened, whereas the lie just has to be easy to believe.”


🌟 Summary: If you are looking for an emotional contemporary that is quite unusual and away from all the tropes, then I can’t recommend Fredrik’s books enough.

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