Us Against You

Us Against You

A Novel

Book - 2018
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"After everything that the citizens of Beartown have gone through, they are struck yet another blow when they learn their beloved local hockey team will soon be disbanded. Even more galling is the obvious pleasure that all the former Beartown players, who now play for the club in nearby Hed, feel about this news. As tensions between the two rivals rise, it falls to Peter, Beartown Hockey's general manager, to find a way to rescue the Bears. But even as Peter fights to delay the end of the club, someone else is already planning its rebirth. Elisabeth Zackell is a no-nonsense former pro-athlete, handpicked to be Beartown's new hockey coach. Shrugging off the ugly rumors about her, Zackell begins to build a new team around Amat, the fastest player you'll ever see; Benji, the crazed lone wolf; and Vidar, a born-to-be-bad troublemaker. Bringing the team together is a challenge, one that becomes even more difficult when Benji is outed, leaving his friends and teammates feeling betrayed by his having kept his sexuality a secret for years. Old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the rivalry with Hed grows ever more intense. As the big match approaches and winter darkness settles across both towns, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities grow more dangerous, and hatred grows deeper. When the last game is finally played, one of Beartown's key players will be dead, and residents of both towns will be forced to wonder whether, after all they've been through, the game they love can ever return to something simple: a hockey stick each, two goals, two teams; us against you, in its purest, most innocent form. Us Against You is a declaration of love for all the big and small, bright and dark stories that form and color our communities. Compelling and heart-breaking, it's a rollercoaster of emotions, and it is Fredrik Backman at his very best."--
Publisher: Toronto : Simon & Schuster, ©2018.
ISBN: 9781501163128
9781982115548
Characteristics: 435 pages ;,23 cm.
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew) - Translator

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One must read "Beartown" first to appreciate the developments in this story. Sensitive character development and reflections on life in small town Scandinavia.

k
Klimo1
Aug 02, 2019

I enjoyed reading this novel very much and was pulled into the lives of the people living in this small community. Well written!!!! :)

b
Blue_18
Jul 31, 2019

A book full of anger, hate and regret.

Hillsboro_RobP Jul 22, 2019

Building off the characters and emotional depth of the preceding novel, Backman's latest is a powerful read that compels its audience to keep turning the pages, and to keep hoping that goodness will prevail.
Backman gets away with overblown, almost egotistical exposition prose because, in the end, he's a great writer. I wouldn't advise anyone else to try this narrative style. Even so, by half-way that fuel has run out and you wish he'd just get on with it.

The characters grow a little less than the first time around. The reader needs a little bit more suspension of disbelief, and Backman uses narrative misdirection so often that it leaves the audience dizzy and irritated. Yet, Us Against You is still a wonderful novel that brings a cold little town to life.

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fangger
May 11, 2019

This was an amazing book, I have loved all the Frederick Bachman books but this one was simply the best.

d
dirtbag
May 04, 2019

Unlike Fox Larkin I can't help but think that this is a more natural depiction of people than when we are trying to be our more benevolent selves. Just look around at who leads many of the countries in the world and what they stand for as men. More and more it is about the win at any cost. Ethics and humanity are pretty much just words without real meaning.

Fredrik Backman just gets better and better.

9
9515
Apr 16, 2019

The agony within and amongst the characters and the suspense of the plot made it difficult for me to put this one down.

k
kimthayer
Apr 05, 2019

mom

s
sheba9898
Apr 04, 2019

While some may disagree, IMO, a tremendous author whose every word counts. Without a doubt, Beartown's characters are tortured souls whose worlds revolve around small town hockey whether they want them to or not and, yet, they somehow survive. Mr. Backman immerses the reader deeply into each character's mind and emotions and forces you to not only feel what each individual felt, but to understand and empathize as well. I will agree with some of the other reviewers that while the back and forth time sequences could be confusing, choppy, and hard to follow at times......that some of the passages were not too clear as to whom or what event he was referring, I still was moved beyond words at the raw emotions this book evoked. Even though the beginning of the book did rehash some of the events of Beartown, it was a good reminder for me of what had previously transpired.....but remember also that if someone reads this book before Beartown, they would not have the insight as to the where and why of the characters. Bottom line is that Mr. Backman is tops on my list of authors and his work is unbeatable.

f
FoxLarkin
Mar 23, 2019

I loved Beartown, the prequel to Us Against You: was looking forward to meeting the friends I made in the first novel: I was truly disappointed. My main objection: the intensity of the animosity between the town, between the characters themselves: the simplicity of the political corruption depicted. This novel simply just didn't work for me.

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a
abbi_g
Dec 27, 2018

It's so easy to get people to hate one another. That's what makes love so impossible to understand. Hate is so simple that it always ought to win. It's an uneven fight.

c
cknightkc
Jun 30, 2018

“Sometimes good people do terrible things in the belief that they’re trying to protect what they love.” - pp. 1 - 2

c
cknightkc
Jun 30, 2018

“What does it take to be a good parent? Not much. Just everything. Absolutely everything.” - p. 4

c
cknightkc
Jun 30, 2018

“Sports are only sports until someone who doesn’t give a damn about sports has something to gain from them; then sports suddenly become economics.” - p. 26

c
cknightkc
Jun 30, 2018

“At some point almost everyone makes a choice. Some of us don't even notice it happening, most don't get to plan it in advance, but there's always a moment when we take one path instead of another that has consequences for the rest of our lives. It determines the people we will become, in other people's eyes as well as your own.” - p.336

c
cknightkc
Jun 30, 2018

“The complicated thing about good and bad people alike is that most of us can be both at the same time.” - p. 368

c
cknightkc
Jun 30, 2018

“..communities are like ice, not water. They don’t suddenly flow in new directions because you ask them to, they change inch by inch, like glaciers. Sometimes they don’t move at all”.

p
Pigmama6
Jun 26, 2018

"Why does anyone love team sports? Because we want to be part of a group? For some people the answer is simply that a team is a family. For anyone who needs an extra one or never had one in the first place."

DBRL_ReginaF Jun 21, 2018

"He’s twelve years old, and this summer he learns that people will always choose a simple lie over a complicated truth, because the lie has one unbeatable advantage: the truth always has to stick to what actually happened, whereas the lie just has to be easy to believe."

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