کتاب ما در برابر شما

اثر فردریک بکمن از انتشارات نشر نون - مترجم: الهام رعایی-پرفروش های نیویورک تایمز

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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You come out at night
Thats when the energy comes
And the dark sides light
And the vampires roam
You strut your rasta wear
And your suicide poem
And a cross from a faith
That died before Jesus came
Youre building a mystery

Sarah McLachlan

Take a look around. It is easy to see that this story is a big hit with readers. And it is easy to see why. It is after all, a great human interest tale that is very well told.

So why the middle of the road rating? Perhaps the fault is mine. I mean I loved Beartown, but this one failed to resonate with me. I caught a sense, early on, of being preached to. I did not like that but I also could not shake it and the stain spread.

As evidenced by an average rating of 4.44 from over three thousand readers, there can be no doubt that the vast majority of readers loved this. No doubt I missed out.

My sincere thanks to Simon & Schuster, NetGalley and Fredrik Backman for an opportunity to read this.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
4.5 stars Dare I say that I enjoyed this even more than Beartown??? I just love the characters so much, so getting to spend more time with them and see them develop even more was fantastic. Backman knows how to throw a gut punch too and this book had me gasping, laughing and tearing up. I cant say much more because it is a sequel and it doesnt come out until June, but I really loved it and will continue to read anything he publishes! Thanks again to Atria Books for sending an early copy my way!

مشاهده لینک اصلی
“It’s hard to care about people. Exhausting, in fact, because empathy is a complicated thing. It requires us to accept that everyone else’s lives are also going on the whole time. We have no pause button for when everything gets too much for us to deal with, but then neither does anyone else.”
― Fredrik Backman, Us Against You

It feels as if it took me FOREVER to finish this book, but it wasnt because I didnt like it. Its just a heavy sort of book, and though it is written in the same vein as Backmans other books (all of which I loved), I somehow felt this was so melancholy that I couldnt read too much of it at a time. At the same time, Backman imbues the book with a sense of undying hopefulness and it is this and his beautiful observations about human nature which make it another memorable read for me. Recommended!

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com

مشاهده لینک اصلی
I admit to being late for the Fredrik Backman love-in, but readily accepted the challenge to try Beartown . In doing so, I determined that the piece is much more than a story about hockey, but the way small towns take their sporting teams as seriously as a rise in taxes. Backman takes the reader back to Beartown in this sequel, as the town seeks to dig itself out of the quandary that all but decimated the junior hockey team. Buried in the forested part of Sweden, Beartown is isolated enough, but the fallout of Maya Andersson’s rape has deeply divided the locals. Many players and fans have turned to Hed, the next community over, where hockey is also a religion and whose team can surely vie for victory with greater ease. Yet, there are those who remain firmly rooted in Beartown and will do all they can to resurrect the team and its reputation. With new sponsors and a local politician injecting some new life into the team, Beartown hires a somewhat controversial coach to take the reins and work with those left to send a decent team onto the ice. In a novel that creates a competition out of most every aspect of small towns and their love of sports, Backman fuels the inner passion each person has to win when faced with adversity. He touches on so many social issues, from abuse victimhood to sexual orientation and even the politics of competing small towns, all in hopes of showing just how easily we seek to divide ourselves, rather than come together. With so much baggage from the opening novel, there is little chance for the reader to find anything uplifting and humorous in this piece, though there are sure to be moments of pride peppered amongst emotional angst and harsh realities. Fans of Beartown will likely want to get their hands on this piece, which serves as an elongated epilogue to the tragedies of the series opener, if not to enjoy more wonderful writing by Fredrik Backman. Recommended for all who love more character exploration and the presentation of a societal microcosm of many controversial topics.

I received a few private comments from people who felt that would not like this series—even though they loved some of Backman’s other work—because of its focus on hockey. I must say that I, too, was worried that the book would be hockey-centric and only really pique the interest of a small group of readers. After reading both books, I can assure those who sit on the fence that the story is one that transcends Backman’s native Sweden and could easily be supplanted here to small-town Canada, or anywhere for that matter. Any community that relies on a single sport to create its fabric is sure to see the parallels, as well as how its stars are more than people, perhaps even time-limited gods. The deification begins in Beartown , but continues throughout the narrative here, as the fallout of the rape and its quashing remains a stain on the community. Backman offers up a slew of new and interesting characters, alongside many names that return in this second novel. All these characters bring their own perspectives to the many struggles that face Beartown. Just as in the opening novel, there are so many characters who work together to create a clash of ideas, the central premise of the novel. The story transcends the ‘puck in the net’ mentality of a hockey novel, but creates strong divides for the reader to choose a side, as many of the characters navigate through the clashes inherent with trying to bring Beartown out of the ashes. Backman offers up more social commentary on sports, small towns, and the blinders people put on when things go wrong. He also seeks to add new areas of contention to show that polarised opinions can destroy the central fabric of a community, or make it stronger by a great deal of self-reflection. I hope a larger cross-section of the population can enjoy this book as they look past hockey and explore the social issues embedded within the narrative. There is so much going on within the pages of this novel, though much is spoiled if I say any more. An eventful story, Backman forces the reader to think outside the rink and turn inside themselves to find their personal labels.

Kudos, Mr. Backman, for another interesting exploration of society. You pull on heartstrings while pushing a strong message we all need to hear!

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...

مشاهده لینک اصلی

This book is the sequel to Fredrik Backmans best seller @[email protected] For maximum comprehension and pleasure, the books should be read in order.


Beartown is a cloistered village in the Swedish forest, where hockey is the local obsession. In the first book, Beartowns junior hockey team is on the cusp of winning a national championship when an allegation of rape scandalizes the town and rips the hockey team apart. People take sides, theres a great deal of victim-blaming, and some former friends become bitter enemies. Everyone in Beartown is anguished after the incident, partly because they lament the disruption to hockey, and partly because they have empathy for either the perpetrator or the victim.

The second book, @Us Against [email protected], picks up where the first book left off. Beartowns junior hockey team is in tatters, and most of its members are now playing for the rival town of Hed. The Beartown Bears 🐻 and the Hed Bulls 🐮 have always been bitter rivals, so this change in loyalties causes much strife. Moreover, many people blame the girl who was raped for the unhappy situation and frequently text her slurs like @Whore, Liar, [email protected] 😫

Angry fans want the rape victims family to leave town, and start a campaign of harassment - getting moving companies to call the house and deliver packing boxes to the front door. It seems like very few people, except for the victims family and her best friend, understand (or care) that the girl was severely traumatized by the assault. Her younger brother, however, is furious and rebellious - always on the brink of starting a fight or a conflagration (literally).

To make matters worse, Beartowns city council has decided to withdraw financial support for hockey. The leagues General Manager, Peter Andersson - whos devoted his life to the sport - doesnt know what to do. The remainder of the townsfolk also start to despair. The five old men - who used to spend every day in the Bearskin Pub arguing about hockey - are emblematic of the towns misery. The elderly codgers now stay home, sad and talking to no one.

Enter the towns savior, self-serving politician Richard Theo. Theo - whose every waking moment is spent scheming to gain power - has a plan to save Beartown hockey. The program involves getting foreign investors to salvage the towns failing factory AND sponsor the hockey league. Theo constantly lies and manipulates people to get what he wants, but he does manage to keep the hockey league in business.

A female hockey coach named Elisabeth Zackell is hired, which is a shock to the men in town. Nevertheless, Zackell is a talented woman, and she assembles a team around several popular players who didnt defect to Hed: Amat - whos fast; Bobo - whos big; and Benji - whos tough. Zackell also wants teenager Vidar Rinnius -brother of Beartown hooligan Teemu Rinnius - to be the goalie. The problem is that Vidar, who has severe anger management problems, is in juvie jail. Against all odds, Vidar gets sprung - courtesy of Richard Theo - just so he can join the Bears.

The Bears and the Bulls have some very contentious encounters, both on and off the rink. The result is that several people get beat up; a building burns down; and theres a deadly car accident. Also on the downside, an unhappy girl outs a gay hockey player - which has terrible consequences for the young man. Hateful townsfolk send the boy cutting texts, like @Fag, Queer, Homo, and [email protected] rival fans shout, @Fags. Whores. [email protected] at hockey games.

The hockey situation also adversely affects the marriage of General Manager Peter Andersson and his lawyer wife Kira. For twenty years, Kira has put her ambitions on hold for Peters career, and even now - when Peters job is shaky - he once again asks his wife to wait until next year to follow her dreams. (I was irritated with Peter, whos obtuse and selfish.)

The situation plays out as it will and some lessons are learned.

One of my favorite characters is little 4 ½ -year-old Alicia, who practices hockey all day long and regularly runs away from preschool to practice her shots. This girl is a determined cutie. 🌺

Like the first book, this story demonstrates the cruel tendency to blame the victim. Backman also exposes hypocrites who have nothing against homosexuals but worry about the children. These phonies also have a habit of pointing out that not everyone is as open-minded as they are. Yeah right!! 😕👎

@Us Against [email protected] has garnered very high praise from many readers but for me, its just okay. I find it hard to believe that hockey is SO important to Beartown and Hed that almost every waking thought and action revolves around the game. In addition, the author does a lot of philosophizing, using hockey as a metaphor for life, and I found this to be overdone.

Still, people who enjoyed the first book will probably like this one, and Id recommend it to those readers.

Thanks to Netgalley, the author (Fredrik Backman), and the publisher (Atria Books) for a copy of the book.

You can follow my reviews at https://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot....

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