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Publisher's Summary

Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.

Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest. For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together - or pulls them apart. Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year.

But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. Change is in the air, and a bright new future is just around the corner. Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten and those who'll risk the future to see justice done.

At last it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear. With the town's future at stake, no one can stand by or stay silent. Everyone is on one side or the other. Which side would you be on?

©2017 Fredrik Backman (P)2017 Penguin AudioBooks

Critic Reviews

"As popular Swedish exports go, Backman is up there with ABBA and Stieg Larsson." ( The New York Times Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Backman delivers another beautiful story

Riveting story, detailed and credible characterisation., and searing emotion.
John Sackville reads it with the exact pitch of a sympathetic observer, drawing you in to Beartown in all its strength and frailty.
I loved this book.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elaine
  • 09-01-17

Learnt a lot about ice hockey!

I really enjoyed this book, a great story but also loved the context, as it's a setting I knew nothing about. The characters were extremely well developed and you can empathize with them all. It was also great to listen to a story set in ice and snow in the middle of a Madrid 40 degree summer.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • carol
  • 12-18-17

excellent

OMG this book was brilliant. I couldn't stop listening it was fantastic. I loved this book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • HeilanBling
  • 10-01-17

Great story, terrible voices!

I absolutely love Fredrik Backman so was really looking forwards to this book. it's very different to his others but still totally gripping and brilliant.
I did however have a seriously hard time getting used to the narration; nearly returned the download at first to swap to my kindle but stuck with it as it meant I could listen to it while I work. It's fine for the narrator type tracts but the kids voices were just awful! Like some bad Nickelodeon cartoon where adults are obviously trying to sound like kids. I dunno, it just sounded off...I'd be interested to see what other people thought of it!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • John Bullard
  • 09-20-17

Also published as Beartown

Disappointing in every way. Poor story and bizarre narration. Where did those accents come from?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miss
  • 01-16-18

I love this author

Fredrik Backman has an incredible insite into the human psyche, he has a talent that will push you to tears and to laughter in the Dane sentence and this book is no exception

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • C. Long
  • 12-04-17

Another beautiful book by Fredrik Bachman.

I have loved all of Bachman’s previous books. I love his gentle humor and his social observations so I was a bit reticent when I saw his latest book was about ice hockey.

I shouldn’t have worried. This is a beautifully written and performed book that is about community, human nature, teams oh and ice hockey and it is wonderful.

This book covers a lot of serious issues but it manages to do it in a way that gets the reader thinking about different perspectives and why people are how they are and it dies this in a manner which somehow keeps the book light and interesting.

I don’t want to spoil it for you but outlining the plot so all I will say is that I am so sad that I have finished the book and I am looking eagerly online to see if Fredrik Bachman has anything else planned.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Darkstomper
  • 11-06-17

Slow to build but in the end strong

This took awhile to get into. I’m not sure if it was the narrator or the content. Very strong end and enjoyed. Nothing at all wrong with the narrator per se but it just didn’t seem to fit the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MARY-ANNE
  • 10-26-17

I want to read this again

This was the most amazing story of love, hate and emotion it made me cry then laugh. What a talented author, I have loved all the books I have read so far and I’m hungry for more!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Carsten
  • 09-14-17

Amazing book!

.... like all his other ones ;-) great story and very sensitive observations on the human condition.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Me Vale
  • 04-28-18

Poor

I expected to enjoy this so much more, the authors stereotypical depiction of teenagers, bar owners, sponsors and lawyers combined with very basic vocabulary didn't do justice to the seriousness of the issues covered. The homophobic jokes and simplistic views on women, homosexuality and rape were clumsily expressed.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-25-17

I guess I had high expectations

Well written, enjoyable - but I was always waiting for the climax which I felt never real came.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-05-18

Sound check

Loud volume from guest voice-overs which varies greatly from the narrator. Very off-putting.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-16-18

Great writing, really needs a better editor.

Backman writes really well and Sackville narrates beautifully. Unfortunately the story tends to over-explain and reiterate itself repeatedly. If I were reading I would probably skim all the "yeah yeah you said this before" paragraphs and really enjoy this, but in audio format it got quite frustrating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Skye
  • 12-27-17

excellent

Great narrator, brilliant story. I couldn't put it down and listened to the whole thing in less than 3days.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kaye
  • 12-14-17

Intriguing unfolding story - real characters

If you could sum up The Scandal in three words, what would they be?

couldn't stop listening - that's sort of 3

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Scandal?

There were so many moments as each character's story was told

What about John Sackville’s performance did you like?

he kept me riveted with his story telling

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, I loved it - there were no dull or slow parts - just a fabulous story unfolding with great characters

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • DeniseHC
  • 12-07-17

Loved it!

Loved the way all the characters unfolded and was sad when it finished. Great performances also.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Deb
  • 11-24-17

Layers

Ostensibly a story about a hockey team but soon you find yourself caught up in a complex community.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • the art of learning
  • 11-15-17

Bit of a boring story.

At times, you lose interest due to the story being dragged out. The story goes back over it’s self a few to many times.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Claire
  • 11-08-17

Compelling

Touched on so many aspects of life and how society behaves and responds.
I would recommend this book to everyone and think it should be on school book lists because it addresses such a wide range of behaviours and would encourage discussion.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Janet
  • 10-13-17

Very disssapointing

If you absolutely love ice hockey read this book
Very long winded and repetitive throughout.