A book that is so much more than the sport it is centered on. BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman

A book that is so much more than the sport it is centered on. BEARTOWN by Fredrik Backman


BeartownBeartown by Fredrik Backman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What can I say about this book that won’t sound like an understatement.
I would give it 10 stars if that was an option.

I thought I wouldn’t enjoy a book about a sport much, and that too one on ice-hockey, which I know nothing about and have no interest in. But it was so much more than a book about a sport. It took me by surprise. Backman’s writing is beautiful – some of his lines are statements that hit home like a bullet and some are questions that make you pause and think about your own perspectives.
When a story has more than 20 characters and you end up feeling like you completely understand all of those 20 people, and even really start to deeply care about a few, it speaks volumes about the writer’s abilities. I finished the book under an hour ago and I already miss Beartown, I did not want to leave.

This is a ‘human’ story about friendship, loyalty, family, community, ambition, loss and love, about the emotions, and secrets that people carry around in their hearts, about suppressed silences, the things they say and everything they don’t and the extent to which they find themselves go to take a stand when a community’s ethics are tested. I marked endless passages in the book, re-reading them over and over.
There were many wow moments.

Some quotes that gave me pause,

There are damn few things in life that are harder than admitting to yourself that you’re a hypocrite.

Hate can be a a deeply stimulating emotion. The world becomes easier to understand and much less terrifying if you divide everything and everyone into friends and enemies, we and they, good and evil. The easiest way to unite a group isn’t through love, because love is hard, It makes demands. Hate is simple. So the first thing that happens in a conflict is that we choose a side, because that’s easier than trying to hold two thoughts in our heads at the same time. The second thing that happens is that we seek out facts that confirm what we want to believe – comforting facts, ones that permit life to go on as normal. The third is that we dehumanize our enemy.

There are few words that are harder to explain than “loyalty“. It’s always regarded as a positive characteristic, because a lot of people would say that many of the best things people do for each other occur precisely because of loyalty. The only problem is that many of the very worst things we do to each other occur because of the same thing.

Having gone through such brilliant writing, I am at a loss of being able to properly articulate what made this book so awesome, but the one thing that really made this book shine was the excellent translation by Neil Smith. Its so good that it feels like it was written in English.
This is not one to miss!

View all my reviews

Advertisements
Ek Main Aur Ek Tu……Romantic Comedy well done :)

Ek Main Aur Ek Tu……Romantic Comedy well done :)


True romantic comedy that’s light and crisp. I don’t think there was a dull moment in the film and so glad that it lasted for just two hours. Cute story line with the whole parent category angle – I think one we can all relate to 😉

Imran Khan absolutely suited his part of the “tight-ass” guy who is so caught up with pleasing his parents that he has completely lost himself. He plays the part of the nervous, fumbly, stuttering guy very well. His parents, Boman Irani and Ratna Pathak Shah couldn’t have been a colder set of parents, but that completed reflected on why their son had such an identity crisis.

And Kareena Kapoor also does well as the bubbly, chirpy, girl next door who finds happiness and a light moment in everything, even if it was something like being thrown out on the street for not paying rent and spending the night in a hotel rest room cubicle. But, she reminded me too much of Geet from Jab We Met. The overly happy go lucky gal for whom no problem is too big or too much to solve – and life’s a party. I know I wish I were like that 😉

The people who played her family were fun too – especially the Dad with his typical pointers to Rahul about how to control the dog…haha….very spontaneous – good direction then 🙂

Also it was refreshing to see that the movie doesn’t have a conventional happily ever after. I think we are so used to / conditioned to seeing the movie culminating in a final love story and not a friendship story – and so that was a nice change 🙂

Why wasn’t I surprised that the music was by Amit Trivedi. Very refreshing – the songs other than the title track are very nice and soulful – esp the one that plays in the last moments of the movie…. Kar Chalna Shuru tu…. 🙂

And of course “Auntyji” was surprisingly not a cheesy number at all…..I enjoyed it so much – plus it was shot very well again..Fun!

So over all a great movie experience when you want to go for a light film – but not a senseless one – this is the Jen Aniston kind for me. A thumbs up and smile for Shakun Batra on this one…keep em coming – just don’t be repetitive 🙂