It’s no secret that two of my great loves in life are hockey and books.
So when I first heard about Beartown, I was all in.
For those who don’t know, it’s the story of a middling Swedish junior team in an industrial town, both of which are slowly but surely dying out in favour of bigger and brighter markets.
This year’s Beartown team, however, is on the verge of contending for a national championship, thanks to a star talent, a tight supporting cast, a young and unexpected contributor, and a former NHLer who returned home to manage hometown club.
As we all know, hockey is a beautiful game that’s all too often sullied by the boys club culture that’s built up around it, and Beartown doesn’t escape the ugly effects. As a result, this book becomes less about the game and more about the people and their failures and successes, rights and wrongs, virtues and victimization both on and off the ice.
Author Frederick Backman weaves it all together with masterful storytelling and careful exposition, and I’m excited to read this book again and share some thoughts about it here as my part of my Beartown Book Club.
I grabbed my copy today and invite you to read along (both the book and my posts) and share your thoughts in the comments below and on Twitter.
I’ve got one book to finish, and will start later this week, so no rush picking up. Once you do, you won’t be able to put it down.