Book Review: Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Another morning comes. It always does. Time always moves at the same rate, only feelings have different speeds. Every day can mark a whole lifetime or a single heartbeat, depending on who you spend it with.

Book Rating

3.5/5

Book Review

I love Backman’s A Man Called Ove. It was outstanding; everything about that book I absolutely loved. Beartown got more hype than A Man Called Ove, and with the same author, I was so excited to read it. I’m about to say something that may be considered an “unpopular opinion”, but Beartown just may not have been my cup of tea. I liked the characters, although I felt there may have been too many. I liked the plot because I think it is very relevant today, not to mention an important message.

But, I didn’t like the style in Beartown as much as A Man Called Ove. I felt as if Backman interjected very profound quotes where they didn’t belong. It was like he just wanted to fit as many great quotes in the book as he could instead of focusing on the story. This sounds bad, and maybe I just didn’t get the further meaning behind them, but it was almost like an author’s version of when a student is writing a paper and uses the thesaurus to replace words here and there.

The quotes were beautiful, don’t get me wrong. Profound, at times. Backman definitely has an insight on the human life and a way of putting those into words… but what happened to the “show, don’t tell” philosophy behind writing? These quotes were riddled throughout the book in their own paragraphs. I am a sucker for great quotes, but I love them even more when it flows with the story. Maybe I’m missing something here.

Also, this book took me extremely long to get through for some reason. I’m not sure if it had to do with the style of writing or the story, but it didn’t grip me until the very end. Again, my opinion is in the minority, so please don’t take my word for it and try this book out for yourself. I honestly still think it was a really good read (obviously as it still got almost 4 stars from me!)–I just didn’t resonate with the characters as much, or think it was nearly as good as this author’s other books that I have read.

Don’t worry, I’ll still be reading the sequel.

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