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I don’t generally highlight much while I read. But with Backman it’s a compulsion.
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.
Soon a new team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. But bringing this team together proves to be a challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.
As the big match approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt grows deeper. By the time the last game is finally played, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and 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.
Author : Fredrik Backman
Title : Us Against You
Series : Beartown #2
Number of pages : 448
Publisher : Atria Books
Release Date : June 5th, 2018
Genre : Contemporary, lgbtq
So I’m having this argument with myself – about comparing this book with Beartown. Because I know that’s not fair. Owen Meany was the book that spoke to me in my 20’s. Encapsulated all those feelings rushing through me like a river gone over its banks. And Beartown did that for me in my 30’s – it felt like every word came from my heart.
Which means I loved and hated Us Against You for not being Beartown. UAY didn’t have the same magic. The same cadence. The same pull. But…it did have a different magic, a different cadence, a different pull.
I thought characters became fully flushed out – they got the story they deserved. But some characters got things they didn’t deserve – the story felt harder than it had to be in parts. Too much wringing of emotions. Too much always shooting for the fences.
In Bull Durham Crash tells us “Throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic.”
I don’t generally highlight much while I read. But with Backman it’s a compulsion. 19 highlights when truly I could have highlighted the entire book. This one felt a little jerkier. Too much foreshadowing. A little heavy on the promise of the story to come rather than the story in front of us. But even then it was brilliant. Backman can write a damn book.
Oh yeah – and the ending? Crushed it.
Perhaps because there are both good and bad people living here, and that makes us complicated, because it isn’t always so damn easy to see the difference. Sometimes we’re both at the same time.
Fredrik Backman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer —a novella, Beartown, and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are being published around the world in more than thirty-five languages. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.
His new novel, Us Against You, will be published in June 2018.