Us Against You: A Novel (Hardcover)
"Backman again takes us to Beartown in his latest installment exploring all the dark things that lurk beneath the surface in small towns. Ostensibly, this is a book about hockey rivalry, and all the tensions that arise in the wake of the buildup to an important game. But as sports are often held up as being about 'more than sports,' so it is here, as those tensions reveal fault lines in both towns, and we see the way people deal with what is exposed. You have here a full gamut of characters and situations; corrupt local politicians, gender (female hockey coach), sexuality (coming out as gay), chasing one’s dreams, and true strength the face of adversity. With his signature dry humor and provocative writing style, we are treated to a contemporary tale that does, in fact, leave us satified in the end, but also with many questions that challenge us to examine ourselves and our communities, and what more could one ask of a novel?"--Reviewed by Andrew— From Andrew Recommends
Instant New York Times Bestseller! The author of A Man Called Ove returns with “a lyrical look at how a community heals, how families recover, and how individuals grow” (The Washington Post).
“Fans of Backman will not be disappointed. His work continues to amaze and captivate, enlighten and thrill.” —Shelf Awareness
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 their town’s ice hockey club 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. But the arrival of a newcomer gives Beartown hockey 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 huge challenge, especially as the town’s enmity with Hed grows more and more acute as the big game approaches.
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 reveals how loyalty, friendship, and kindness can carry a town through its most challenging days.
About the Author
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.
PRAISE FOR US AGAINST YOU
“What you get in a Fredrik Backman work is wonderful writing and brilliant insights into things that truly matter—right vs. wrong, fear vs. courage, love vs. hate, the importance and limits of friendship and loyalty, and more. Fredrik Backman is one of the world’s best and most interesting novelists. He is a giant among the world’s great novelists—and this literary giant is still growing.”
"[Backman] creates an astute emotional world much bigger than a small Swedish town...A novel you can sink into."
"Deftly explores recovery and rebirth."
“If Alexander McCall Smith’s and Maeve Binchy’s novels had a love child, the result would be the work of Swedish writer Fredrik Backman...With his wry acceptance of foible and failure, Backman combines a singular style with a large and compassionate perspective for his characters...[His] novels have wide appeal, and for good reason. Us Against You takes a lyrical look at how a community heals, how families recover and how individuals grow.”
“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... 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.”
“Evident in all [Backman] novels is an apparent ability to state a truth about humanity with breathtaking elegance.”
"A light hearted, deeply moving novel about a grumpy but loveable curmudgeon who finds his solitary world."