August 10, 2017
The Scandal is published in America as BEARTOWN . . . AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The Scandal tells of a terrible crime that fractures a town and all of the people in it. When the worst happens, who will have the courage to stand against everyone else? 'As popular Swedish exports go, Backman is up there with ABBA and Stieg Larsson.' The New York Times Book Review ________ 'Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shotgun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else's forehead and pulled the trigger. This is the story of how we got there.' For most of the year it is under a thick blanket of snow, experiencing the kind of cold and dark that brings people closer together - or pulls them apart. Its isolation means that Beartown has been slowly shrinking with each passing year. But now the town is on the verge of an astonishing revival. Everyone can feel the excitement. A bright new future is just around the corner. Until the day it is all put in jeopardy by a single, brutal act. It divides the town into those who think it should be hushed up and forgotten, and those who'll risk the future to see justice done. At last, it falls to one young man to find the courage to speak the truth that it seems no one else wants to hear. With the town's future at stake, no one can stand by or stay silent. Everyone is on one side or the other. Which side would you be on?
This is not that Book. It is another one.
This is not that story – it is another one.
A different story. A story of of passion and compassion. A story of communal mind-sets and beliefs.
A story full of characters, scenes, emotions, descriptions. Full but very readable. Slow paced yet still full.
I knew from very early on just what the scandal was going to be – roughly anyway. I knew what it would be about, when it would happen, where it would happen and who would be the main protagonists. But still I was entranced by the story of how we got there and how people reacted.
The writing for me was very powerful – the use of repeated phrases and sentences was very effective.
And the story of just how brutal hockey and the life in a very small and isolated dying town can be, and the need to conform to these small minds, was chilling.