The #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown returns with an unforgettable novel “about people—about strength and tribal loyalty and what we unwittingly do when trying to show our boys how to be men” (Jojo Moyes).
Have you ever seen a town fall? Ours did.
Have you ever seen a town rise? Ours did that, too.
A small community tucked deep in the forest, Beartown is home to tough, hardworking people who don’t expect life to be easy or fair. No matter how difficult times get, they’ve always been able to take pride in their local ice hockey team. So it’s a cruel blow when they hear that Beartown ice hockey might 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 the neighboring town of Hed, take in that fact. As the tension mounts between the two adversaries, a newcomer arrives who gives Beartown hockey a surprising new coach and a chance at a comeback.
Soon a team starts to take shape around Amat, the fastest player you’ll ever see; Benji, the intense lone wolf; always dutiful and eager-to-please Bobo; 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 town’s enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.
As the big game approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt intensifies. By the time the last goal is scored, a resident of Beartown will be dead, and the people of both towns will be forced to wonder if, after everything, the game they love can ever return to something as simple and innocent as a field of ice, two nets, and two teams. Us against you.
Here is a declaration of love for all the big and small, bright and dark stories that give form and color to our communities. With immense compassion and insight, Fredrik Backman—“the Dickens of our age” (Green Valley News)—reveals how loyalty, friendship, and kindness can carry a town through its most challenging days.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Us Against You reaffirms Swedish novelist Fredrik Backman’s place as one of contemporary fiction’s most consistently interesting and insightful voices. The sequel to 2017’s Beartown—which introduced us to Backman's quirky, hockey-obsessed community—is a joy from start to finish. This time, Beartown’s club verges on collapse, setting off a chain reaction of rivalries, hijinks, failures, and soul-searching. It’s a delightful, slyly funny story that makes you care about what happens on the ice rink more than you probably thought possible.
Backman (A Man Called Ove) returns to the hockey-obsessed village of his previous novel Beartown to chronicle the passion, violence, resilience, and humanity of the people who live there in this engrossing tale of small-town Swedish life. As a new hockey season approaches, the Beartown team is in a precarious situation. The village was rocked after a junior team member was convicted of rape the previous spring, and the hockey club is in danger of being liquidated. General manager Peter Andersson is under intense scrutiny particularly from one aggressive group of fans who call themselves "The Pack" and enters into a questionable agreement with slippery local politician Richard Theo in order to save the team. When an unconventional new coach arrives, Beartown's hopes fall on the shoulders of four untested (and possibly unreliable) teenagers. As tension between Beartown and its rival town, Hed, comes to a boiling point over hockey, jobs, and political squabbles, each member of the community confronts the same questions: "what would you do for your family? What wouldn't you do?" Narrated by a collective "we," Backman's excellent novel has an atmosphere of both Scandinavian folktale and Greek tragedy. Darkness and grit exist alongside tenderness and levity, creating a blunt realism that brings the setting's small-town atmosphere to vivid life.
A great sequel to BEAR TOWN (which should be read first). Backman doesn’t disappoint with spectacular character development and a story of life, love, relationships, courage and redemption. I will miss picking up this book and visiting Bear Town and it’s incredibly interesting people.
This book is everything.
If you haven’t read Beartown, start there...
this is the 3rd book I’ve read of his and I think I’ve a new favorite. To give that statement perspective I’ll tell you I love Stephen King, Ann Patchett, David Sedaris, Poe and Sarah Pinborough....
I felt every emotion and cared for every character... I may still be crying.
Thank you Mr. Backman ❤️
Us against You
Enjoyed reading the follow up to Beartown.
More character development and more moral decisions that were made.