The Winners Review

E-Book, 688 Pages
Adult/ Contemporary/ Sports
By: Fredrik Backman
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

β€œThis hurts too much to touch with words.”

Beartown β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 1/2
Us Against You β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 1/2
The Winners β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

I simply love Backman’s books. I have read all of them and enjoyed almost everything I read by him. I am always looking forward to his next book and when I knew Beartown was getting another book I was very excited and a bit on the fence because I did not know if that series needed any extensions and because I haven’t read many contemporary series.

Another thing that shocked me is the size of this book. 677 Pages for a contemporary story is very unusual and it makes it one of the biggest contemporary books I read besides A Little Life & The Heart’s Invisible Furies. I ended up loving the book and I understand the size after finishing the story but I still think it could have been a bit shorter.

When it comes to the prose there are two things that comes to my mind: First is that the translator did a superb job in capturing Backman’s unique storytelling and second is that there is a lot of telling and sometimes not many conversations between the characters and for some very weird reason it works well for me and I love it. I haven’t noticed it in his previous books and it may just be more observable in this book.

β€œIf nobody knows who you are, you can be whoever you want to be.”

It is tricky to explain what the story is about and Backman actually does that in the last chapter so I am not gonna spoil it but for me it is a community story and I adore these stories, it is a story about two hockey clubs, about a midwife and a fireman, two young boys with different upbringing, about a dog and a bar owner, it is about the best lawyer in town and her husband and a group of “Hooligans” and there are politics and it will make you laugh and it will make you cry (The only series that made me cry with each and every book and specially the last few chapters in this entry which made me tear up multiple times.)

The chapters are short and there are plenty of them, the story is told through 105 chapters which helped keeping the flow going and the pace fast preventing the story from becoming dull.

The characters in this book are some of the best I have ever read and it is just impossible to make the reader care about every single character in the book but Backman just did that which is my main reason for giving this 5 stars. The plot is intriguing and there are many threads running simultaneously and everything is connected at the end and sometimes we get a sudden revelation from the future then we’re just eager to see how the present will lead to that and I think that is some brilliant story telling. The ending is bittersweet and the author tells you that from chapter one but it still made me cry.

β€œYou have to make the most of the happy endings whenever you get the chance.”

Summary: Although this was one of my most anticipated books of the year, I was a bit worried it will ruin the two books that I already read and loved but it just took the story for a whole new level for me. I loved everything about this one with my only criticism being the length which I can forgive after finishing the story and seeing how each part was crucial to land the ending. Of course whatever Backman comes up with next will be my most anticipated read.

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