9781797144924
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The Winners audiobook

  • By: Fredrik Backman
  • Narrator: Marin Ireland
  • Category: Fiction, Literary
  • Length: 21 hours 22 minutes
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • Publish date: January 01, 2022
  • Language: English
  • (31510 ratings)
(31510 ratings)
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The Winners Audiobook Summary

A breathtaking new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Anxious People and A Man Called Ove, The Winners returns to the close-knit, resilient community of Beartown for a story about first loves, second chances, and last goodbyes.

Over the course of two weeks, everything in Beartown will change.

Maya Andersson and Benji Ovich, two young people who left in search of a life far from the forest town, come home and joyfully reunite with their closest childhood friends. There is a new sense of optimism and purpose in the town, embodied in the impressive new ice rink that has been built down by the lake.

Two years have passed since the events that no one wants to think about. Everyone has tried to move on, but there’s something about this place that prevents it. The destruction caused by a ferocious late-summer storm reignites the old rivalry between Beartown and the neighboring town of Hed, a rivalry which has always been fought through their ice hockey teams.

Maya’s parents, Peter and Kira, are caught up in an investigation of the hockey club’s murky finances, and Amat–once the star of the Beartown team–has lost his way after an injury and a failed attempt to get drafted into the NHL. Simmering tensions between the two towns turn into acts of intimidation and then violence. All the while, a fourteen-year-old boy grows increasingly alienated from this hockey-obsessed community and is determined to take revenge on the people he holds responsible for his beloved sister’s death. He has a pistol and a plan that will leave Beartown with a loss that is almost more that it can stand.

As it beautifully captures all the complexities of daily life and explores questions of friendship, loyalty, loss, and identity, this emotion-packed novel asks us to reconsider what it means to win, what it means to lose, and what it means to forgive.

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The Winners Audiobook Narrator

Marin Ireland is the narrator of The Winners audiobook that was written by Fredrik Backman

About the Author(s) of The Winners

Fredrik Backman is the author of The Winners

The Winners Full Details

Narrator Marin Ireland
Length 21 hours 22 minutes
Author Fredrik Backman
Category
Publisher Simon & Schuster Audio
Release date May 26, 2024
ISBN 9781797144924

Subjects

The publisher of the The Winners is Simon & Schuster Audio. includes the following subjects: The BISAC Subject Code is Fiction, Literary

Additional info

The publisher of the The Winners is Simon & Schuster Audio. The imprint is Simon & Schuster Audio. It is supplied by Simon & Schuster Audio. The ISBN-13 is 9781797144924.

Global Availability

This book is only available in the United States.

Goodreads Reviews

Nilufer

February 11, 2023

Happy pub day! 🥳🥂🍾This book is ALL TIME WINNER! Fredrik Backman ruined every book for me by creating this extraordinary masterpiece that left me speechless ! This is dreamy reading journey for the bookworms who get used to lose themselves inside a well written story. This book shattered me. It woken so many different feelings of me that I didn’t know I had them. But one thing I’m so sure: I haven’t cried so hard for a long time! Those characters Backman created will hold a special place in my heart forever! Now I’ll compare the other books with “We are winners”and hardly enjoy any of them! I don’t have enough words to tell how much I love this book! I was surprised when I found out third book of Beartown series was coming up! I thought all my favorite characters’ stories concluded including Peter, Ramona, Maya, Anna, Benji, Amat, Bobo, Kira… I couldn’t get so wrong! There was more to tell! Especially that ominous opening informing us something extremely ominous will rip our hearts apart ! I just read the words ! And I started to scream: “No!!!” Those words are about the fate of one of my favorite characters in this book. Tears already started to drip down! My fists clenched! This is shocking! This is sad! But I couldn’t stop reading! I owed to my favorite characters to go on! I kept reading because this book is not only about losses, grief, it’s about power of darkness! How it takes control of ordinary people, how the grudge, anger force people do things beyond their control. It’s about: good people can be capable of great evil and evil people can be capable of great good.This book is about corruption, abuse, rape, politics, power, money, hypocrisy, pure rage! It’s also about eternal flame of friendship. It’s about doing wrong things to do the right thing. It’s about love. It’s about parenthood. It’s about the community. It’s about hockey. It’s about second chances. But mostly this book is about forgiveness, paying your dues, embracing your community, your family, your loved ones! We think it was chivalry move that Peter has made by leaving his position at hockey club to work with his wife Kira. We couldn’t be so wrong! Peter struggles. Peter bakes breads to feed the emptiness growing inside of him. Peter misses to be someone. He misses the plays. He misses to be the manager. He even misses to be a father after Maya left the house.Kira struggles, too… She works more, she has financial problems, she keeps secrets from her husband.We thought Maya saved her soul with her music. Yes, she left the town two years ago. Just like her rapist left. Leaving town and memories behind to find a new home, studying music don’t fix Maya! She still suffers, she still lives that haunted night, she feels the pain Kevin gave her over and over again. We thought Amat was over the moon after being the star of hockey team. Nope! He’s suffering. There are rumors that he failed at NFL meetings, he’s faking his injury and he is not gonna be a member of team any more. He’s an useless drunk who is hating himself.And Benji… he left the town for good like Maya did. But is he having time of his life? He escaped to Asia because Asian people weren’t interested in hockey. So he aimed to be a nobody, getting skinnier, running away from attachments, drifting apart. Bobo became assistant coach, still get his hopes up for Amat’s returning to the rinks, trying to allure a Hed girl with his cooking skills. There are new characters we’re introduced :midwife Hannah, her idiot, emotional fireman husband Johnny, their daughter Tess, their hockey player sons Ted, Tobias, Ture. We also meet trash bandit Lev: a con man dancing in the thin line between good and evil, Matteo: 14 years old broken boy, who is missing his sister. And seven years old Alicia is taken away from her abusive parents, dreaming of being an aspiring hockey player. All of those new characters are extremely important for the entire execution of the story. So you just go with the flow and read their stories slowly, concentrating on the details and empathize with their predicaments just like you did for your favorite characters you’ve known from the previous books.So many things have changed during two years. Only thing didn’t change is lifelong rivalry and hostility between Beartown and Hed. The main thing that has changed is the financial balance between the teams. Beartown is the winner now! It was on the brink of collapse when a stubborn local business tried to save it with more money and new sponsors with the help of an opportunist politician. And Hed’s coach signed for a larger club, taking his best players with him. Now Beartown is stronger with the unconventional methods of Coach Zackell. As Beartown rises from its ashes, Hed is on the brink of financial collapse. Then the storm came…Anna; crazy, relentless, brave forest girl drives her father’s car to help a midwife from Hed to save a woman who is giving birth, stuck in the forest in the middle of the storm that terrorized the townies! But this is just the beginning of the chaos! After the storm, a funeral changes entire balances in Beartown. The council wants to close both teams and merge them into new one! A reporter snicks around to write about the corruption of Beartown Hockey! And she already chose her scapegoat! Someone we love. Someone who doesn’t deserve it! The tension builds… The animosity between Hed and Beartown escalates as hooliganism and violence beat the fair game. Trash bandits are all set to fight with black jackets! But those problems are least of both of townies’ worries. Because the darkness is coming out to threaten the peace they’d hardly built over the years. When the tragedy hit their homes, nothing will ever be the same! Dear Backman saved the best for last! I tried to read as slow as possible because I didn’t want to say goodbye to those amazing characters! I think it’s not only the best book of the series, it’s also his best work and it’s also guaranteed its place at my all time top five reads! It’s not fair to rate this book with five stars! It deserves at least fifteen gazillion stars! Millions of thanks to Ariele Fredman, NetGalley and Atria Books for sharing this AMAZING digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest thoughts.bloginstagramfacebooktwitter

jessica

October 17, 2022

there are stories that make you feel everything. and then there are stories that leave you empty. this story is both.and its all because of benji. if you have read the previous two books in the beartown series, your heart will already belong to him. you will know the boy with the sad eyes and the wild heart. you will know the kind of person he is. i really wish this book had kept its original title ‘those who run towards fire,’ because thats benji. hes the sort of person who runs toward a fire. no hesitation, no questions, he just runs. people like that are rare, but you know who they are when you see them. and those of you who know benji probably knew deep down that he was never the sort of person who would get a happy ending. obviously we still hoped. oh, how we hoped.this final book, this ending, benjis ending, hurts too much to touch with words. but thank you, fredrik backman, for giving it to us all the same. my endless gratitude for the ARC, atria books.↠ 5 stars

Angela M

April 24, 2022

It took me a while to catch my breath in the end, to absorb all that happened in this third and final book of the Beartown series. If you are a fan of the first two books, I suspect you will want to know what happened now that two years have passed since what happened to Maya, what happened in this town, to these families, to these characters - Benji, Ana, Ramona, Maya, Bobo, Peter, Amat, Sune and others and you will welcome the new characters. I had to know and for me this is the best of the three. I lived in the Swedish forest towns of Beartown and Hed once again. These are hockey towns and I’m not even a hockey fan, but these stories are about so much more than hockey . These stories are about family, friendships, community, about people’s flaws and strengths. They are about tragedies, about loss, about the ties that bind people during hard times, about tough politics, about some bad actors, too . They are a slice of life in small Swedish towns, near the forest, where hockey reigns and shapes daily life. But the things that happen here can happen anywhere - drugs, alcohol , deaths, rape and sexual violence, dysfunctional families, troubled marriages. This is not an easy book to read. I was gutted at times. Thankfully, there are genuine friendships, and love and even though that doesn’t erase the pain, it somehow makes it a little easier to bear.I can’t say that the book was perfect. The parts about the corruption, the politics, the sponsors, the schemes to save the teams, the towns was a bit much at times and honestly confusing. Having said that, the strength of this story lies in Backman’s keen observation of human nature, his empathy for the human condition and in creating characters that I loved. I was grateful to know what happens to them and how their lives will be in the future. I didn’t realize how much I missed these characters until I started reading this book . Now that the Beartown trilogy has ended I miss them even more. It’s hard to say goodbye to characters that you love, but it won’t be goodbye because they will be with me for a long time. That in itself is worthy of all the stars.I received an advanced copy of this book from Atria Books through NetGalley.

Meredith (Slowly Catching Up)

September 28, 2022

5 stars for the characters, 3 stars for the plot “This hurts too much to touch with words.”The Winners is the conclusion to the Beartown saga. In this installment, someone dies, a celebrated hero returns, and a little girl becomes the symbol of hope for a town devastated by a violent act.There is no point in reading The Winners if you haven’t read Beartownand Us Against You.This wasn’t a lovefest for me. Coming in at a little under 700 pages, this book was too long-- parts were repetitive, and some of the storylines were dragged out, whereas others were not given enough attention. It is an understatement to say that the narrative was uneven. Similar to books one and two, the narrative alternated between characters, with many allusions to the past and future. Backman likes to highlight connections, from the obvious to the minute, which made this a slow and tedious read. I didn’t love the first half, and there were even times that I had to force myself to continue reading. While I loved reuniting with the characters, it was a long ride to get to the end.But my love for the characters kept me reading. They are the best part of this series. I think I love them a little too much! The last 20% filled me with dread. I knew what was coming, but I refused to believe it. This part of the book is also the heart of the book, as readers have to say goodbye. After finishing this book, I am an emotional mess. Saying goodbye to these characters was harder than I thought. The journey to get there was long and harrowing but worth it in the end. This series has touched my heart, and the characters have made a mark. As hard as the ending was to read, it was, in essence, perfect. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Atria Books in exchange for an honest review.

Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

September 24, 2022

"Live on" "What is life, other than moments? What is laughter, other than a small victory over sorrow? A single moment, just one, when everything inside us isn't broken."I'm not sure what I can say that will adequately express my feelings about this book. Backman's writing isn't for everyone, but it sure resonates with me. If you would have told me when I first picked up Beartown that I would love a book about hockey, I would have looked at you like you had a hole in your head. But this trilogy has wormed its way into my heart and is about so much more than hockey. This is a series about family, friendship, belonging, fighting for yourself and what is right, learning how to compromise, loving and leaving and losing. And ultimately winning.This book is long, and it is like sitting back and listening to someone tell you a story. You aren't right in the middle of the action most of the time, but that's Backman's writing style. The characters will annoy you and you will also love them. And they will break your heart.I spent the last 15% of this book mostly in tears. And I knew I would because the story was leading up to it. I approached it with a sense of dread that I've never felt while reading. That's how much these characters mean to me. I read this one in print because I didn't get access to an early audiobook, but if you get the chance, you should listen to it because Marin Ireland's voice was the one I heard in my head while I was reading. I had listened to the previous two novels as audiobooks and they are amazing that way. Just go read this series, but prepare yourself equally for tragedy and triumph. "We are a people who tell stories, who try to use stories to put what we have experienced into some sort of context, to explain what we have been fighting about in the hope that it will excuse what we have done. But stories reveal both the very best of us and the very worst, and can one ever outweigh the other? "I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

Susanne

October 01, 2022

I am verklempt. Having now read The Winners twice in the last few months, I am overcome. First and foremost, I am and always have been astounded by how incredibly well Fredrick Backman understands people, family, friendships, relationships, human emotions, human nature, tragedy, and loss and can fictionalize life through his characters so brilliantly. How he innately understands human nature so intimately and can make me feel it through every fiber of my being such that I am left crying hysterically like a puddle on the floor. What he shows and describes so well are the realities of marriage. The good and bad, the immense love and the intense anger. How all of it is wrapped up together and sometimes you can’t tell one from the other. The deep and abiding love for family and friends and how heartbreaking and heartwarming both can be at the same time. The choices we make, and the decisions that are made for us, some of which are little, some big, all of which have ramifications. Some of which are huge, and entirely unknown until they are too late.The trials and tribulations we all go through. Some of which we have to go through alone and some of which you can’t survive without those to get you through.How sometimes you will protect those you love above all else, no matter the consequence. How sometimes you have to realize that though you might have differences, they don’t have to drive you apart. How sometimes, spending time with your friends and family is all there is and sometimes, laughing, joking, smiling and playing hockey is all that matters. What else is there besides friendship, two towns, two nets, two teams, everyone gets a stick? Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. The characters I love most in this novel (and the entire trilogy) are the ones that make me feel every single one of these emotions (and more). They broke my heart and yet I love them desperately. To Benji, Bobo, Ana, Ann Katrin, Ramona, Teemu, Sune, Alicia, Peter, Kira, Maya, Leo, Zackell, Hannah, Johnny & Tess: I Stand Tall, If You Stand Tall.To Benji Ovich - I love you with my whole heart and more. **So glad I got to re-read this with you Kaceey. Glad you loved this series too. ***Oh, My Heart. Do I still have one? I’m not exactly sure. It has been wrenched out of my chest more than once reading the Beartown trilogy by Fredrik Backman and it happened once again reading The Winners, the last book in this series. To know this story is over is devastating. The only consolation I have is knowing that I can go back and re-read these books over and over again and re-visit the characters whenever I want. The Winners is a brilliant end to this series and I loved every minute.Admittedly, while reading this novel, laughter, tears, and hysterical crying ensued. Though I read this book as soon as I got my hands on a copy, putting my thoughts down “on paper” has taken quite some time.I love so much about the characters and the storyline, that it’s hard to get it all out, and frankly, I don’t want to give anything away.So what can I say? This is a story about two towns, two nets, two teams, everyone gets a stick, us against you. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. But you know that already, and there’s more, of course. There’s dysfunction, family, friendship, love, loss, tragedy, human nature, the human spirit, grave mistakes, apologies, fists flying, and tears, lots of tears. Many wept by me.*So with that out of the way, let me talk about what I love most. Hands down, it’s the characters. First, last and always: Benji Ovich: I love you. I just freaking love you and think of you every single day (and yes, I know that you are a fictional character). I love the fact that you have the biggest heart on the planet. That you, Benji, love with every fiber of your being, often to your detriment. That you are the most loyal of friends, and that you love your sisters desperately and would do anything for them. That you love Beartown, its residents, and Ramona so very much. Your struggles have torn me apart, and yet you, you persevere. Just like Beartown.Bobo: What an amazing son and brother you are! Ann-Katrin raised you so well and would be very proud. Your ability to make people laugh is one of your best traits. As soon as you pose a question to your friends, I admit to smiling, then laughing out loud, and then immediately crying like a fool. There is just something so special about you, your ability to make light of dark times and your ability to make people laugh. You’re the best friend and son anyone could ask for!Ana: Oh Ana. You do beat all girl! You’re wild, you say the darndest things, and sometimes, frankly, you do the darndest things, but your heart - it has always been in the right place. Ramona: My oh my. I adore your snark, your wisdom, and your loyalty for everything you hold dear. Your love for Holger, Peter, Teemu, the Bearskin Pub, and of course Hockey (who could forget Hockey?) brought tears to my eyes more than once. Teemu: Your love and loyalty for those you keep close, including Ramona, Vidar, the Pack, and Beartown were crystal clear. While I didn’t always approve of your tactics, I truly appreciate you and how much you love those around you.Sune: Oh how lucky Peter, Alicia, and Beartown have been. You're a gift.Alicia: Small, but mighty, I love your perseverance and your heart. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.*I love all of you and so many other characters more than I can begin to exclaim (in case it wasn’t obvious), and will miss you all very much.While I loved The Winners, and am truly amazed at what Fredrik Backman accomplished, I wish it wasn’t over. These characters are near and dear to my heart and always will be. To Fredrik Backman, thank you for writing these incredible novels and sharing so much of yourself with us. Huge thanks to Ariele Friedman at Atria for the e-arc via NetGalley. Thanks also to Goodreads for the galley.

elle

September 18, 2022

i finally finished. i am a fucking wreck. literally actually just a WRECK.full review to come.a beautiful, beautiful finale to my most beloved series. backman is back pulling heart strings. i laughed, i cried. i spaced out my reading for three months because i didn't want this to end. while i absolutely sobbed and felt broken and hollow (the way you do after a good book), i am so so grateful that i found this series. this series is so insanely special to me.beartown is the first book i recommend anyone when they ask for a recommendation, and i am so so glad this book did not disappoint. one of my favorite books this entire year.—————————————i've been reading this book for three months because i don't want it to end—————————————GUESS WHO GOT THE ARC GUESS WHO GOT THE ARCscreaming AND crying I DON'T HAVE TO LEARN SWEDISH————————————september 2022? guess it's time to learn swedish! totally manageable.

Jen CAN

November 17, 2022

Gut punched and heart hurting in this finale of the Beartown triology.Backman is back!What I adore most about him is his knack for making you feel like you are just as much a part of the community as those who live there.We feel the excitement of the wins, the anxiety of the losses; the strong connections that pull people together; and the vastness of space that push people apart: Right down the centre of the rink; right between Beartown & Hed.It’s a “hopelessly simple but horribly complicated” story of a forest town of people who love hockey and a community that comes together despite their differences. This comes full circle. Bang. Bang. Bang. 4.5⭐️ It did lag in the middle but that ending brought forgiveness.

Rosh

August 10, 2022

In a Nutshell: A fitting finale to one of the best series of recent years. Slow paced, thought-provoking, exhilarating, depressing, brilliant. This is literary fiction at its finest. Take a bow, Mr. Backman. “All communities are the sum of their choices and all that holds us together in the end are our stories.” You know the communities this quote refers to – Beartown and Hed. You know the stories of their residents – the famous and the not-so-famous, the achievers and the strugglers, the hockey fanatics and the uninterested. You know the choices they made and the sides they took so far. But you also know that when there are two aspects to a coin, more often than not, only one side can be the winner. If there is a winner at all. Two years have passed since the incidents of ‘Beartown.’ Most of the characters we met in that story are still here, trying their best to put those dark days behind them and focus on what matters most in their lives – hockey, family, community. But we all know of the butterfly effect. Someone a long time ago made a wrong choice, and the repercussions of that tiny flutter will be seen now, in Beartown and in Hed, in the stormy chaos (both natural and manmade) that will drive the communities apart as strongly as will bring them together again. Will the result of these proceedings function as a stopgap arrangement or like a more permanent kintsugi? Only time will tell.The book is written in typical Backman style. After completing this volume, I reread my reviews of ‘Beartown’ and ‘Us Against You’ (UAY) and was stunned to find how much of my feedback applies to ‘The Winners’ too. (That ought to prove how consistent Backman has been with this series.) It begins just as slowly. Even until the halfway mark, I was not sure where Backman was going with the multitude of tracks. But once the book crosses the 60% mark, the jigsaw picture starts making an appearance, and was I blown away or what! There are so many moments when I felt like yelling, "C'mon Backman! Blurt it out already!" There were also moments when I simply stared at the screen, not wanting to go ahead, too scared to confirm what I knew was coming. I found it tough to remember that this mammoth-sized tome covers just a fortnight, but it’s a fortnight that changes things forever.For a 688 page book, having a slow first half means you are reading more than 300 pages of build-up. But even this build-up is so beautifully written. Backman inserts his literary flourishes and his musings in such a way that you can’t help but pause and ponder over them. If I were highlighting my favourite quotes, I am sure I would have noted more than a hundred. There are some dragged scenes, but that is inevitable in a book of this length. As always, there is plenty of foreshadowing, so you get a fair cue of what’s yet to unfurl. Let me forewarn you, not all the presages in the world can help prepare you for the outcome. The very first foreshadowing is right on page one, and it is going to shock you into disbelief.I am sure you remember the key players – Peter, Kira, Maya and Leo; Ana; Benji and his sisters; Bobo and his family; Amat and his mom; Sune; Elizabeth Zackell; Ramona; Teemu and the Pack; and dare I forget little Alicia. The characters are etched so well that more than a year after I read UAY, I still remember all of them well and didn't need any refresher before beginning this final installment of the series. Every single one of them not just appears in this book but is also given an equal focus and a fitting send-off. Whether deserving or not, I won’t tell you, but Backman makes them all “the winners” in the way only he can. At the same time, we do meet new characters. Some of them stay nameless throughout, just like in the first two books. Of the new entrants, Johnny, Hannah and their family entrenched themselves strongly in my heart. What an amazing family!One cannot forget the two non-human characters that created the right atmosphere throughout this series – the towns of Beartown and Hed. With the first book being named after the former, we all unwittingly aligned ourselves with the bears from Beartown. But it is through this book that we acknowledge Hed not as the villain but as the other side of the same coin. (India-Pakistan vibes, anyone?) I loved how Backman strengthened the Beartown-Hed bond without compromising on the rivalry between them. I could have done with a little less of the political elements (which were also present in UAY), but where there is money, fame, and rivalry, there is politics; wishing it away doesn’t make it disappear.This book simply can't be read as a standalone. It is meant to be the last of a linked series, and only therein lies its purpose. If you haven't read Beartown AND Us Against You, this book won't make any sense to you. Better begin with book 1 and proceed sequentially through this amazing literary opus.In short (hahaha, calling this review "short" has to be a joke!), this ALMOST gave me the finale I wanted for this beloved series. I am not happy with a couple of the subtracks, but I also acknowledge that they were the best possible outcomes for those characters/situations. The Backman Brain is unparalleled in plotting, and this entire trilogy proves it. 4.5 stars. Book one remains my favourite, but this is as fabulous (and ponderous) as UAY.My heartfelt thanks to Simon and Schuster UK and NetGalley for the DRC of “The Winners”. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.———————————————Connect with me through: My Blog | The StoryGraph | Facebook | Twitter

Darla

October 07, 2022

Phenomenal! This last visit to Beartown was the very best yet. A big storm is the catalyst for escalating the tensions between Beartown and Hed. This third book is the biggest of them all -- nearly 450 pages. The trilogy is just over 1300 pages in total. If you haven't started yet, just start with Beartown. Trust me, I am not a hockey fan--hardly understand it. It is worth it! This series is not about hockey. It is about relationships, power structures, local economies, racial diversity, family dynamics, and so much more. Backman's writing will take you into this frosty forest world and you will want to stay until the very end.

Carolyn

September 28, 2022

A big thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the ARC of this wonderful book. I was so excited when my request was accepted that I let out a scream. Thinking I had suffered an injury, my son came rushing in from the next room. Backman presents a vivid sense of place with his atmospheric descriptions of two rival hockey-obsessed towns, Beartown and Hed, located deep in the Swedish forest. Although hockey games resonate throughout the book, the greatest emphasis is on its compelling and believable characters. Their stories are told with compassion. We understand their feelings. Even the most likeable ones have flaws, and the ones we regard as villains reveal hidden glimpses of goodness, or we can perceive reasons they became so damaged and cruel. Having loved the previous two Beartown books, I wondered if there was any more to add to the character's stories or to the toxic rivalry between Beartown and Hed, cumulating in acts of violence. I found this to be the most enthralling, moving book in the series and an emotional rollercoaster. Two years have passed since the conclusion of the previous book, and we are brought up to date on what has happened to our favourite characters in the intervening time. Some are struggling with painful memories, secrets, despair, a sense of failing to reach their potential, deplorable home lives, and guilt. Even with a charming love story and joyous occasions, there was a sense of ominous foreboding throughout. I faced a whole gamut of emotions throughout the book. I rejoiced at their happy times, gasped in surprise at some startling turn of events, was spellbound by some unlikely friendships and alliances, and was in tears near the end. It is a story of parenthood, the growing independence of young people, difficult marriages, death, tragedies, personal challenges, rape, murder, the mourning for departed loved ones. It is the stories of families, the ones we are born into, or the ones we choose through friendship, trust, need, and kindness. It asks vital questions such as is forgiveness possible, and can there be redemption for wrongdoings and mistakes? When the book was first announced, its original title was to be "Those Who Rush Towards a Fire." This was quite fitting as it describes people who hurry to save others without concern for their own safety. We observe some valiant examples of such acts. Among the intriguing new characters are a family in Hed, the father a fireman and the mother a midwife. Two sons are aspiring hockey players and a daughter in love with a Beartown boy. We meet two new Beartown hockey players, Mumbles and Big City, and learn the tragic story of Ruth. My favourite new character was a man named Teemu, a Beartown hoodlum, the leader of a gang of Beartown black-jacketed toughs. Beyond his fearsome exterior, he displayed acts of kindness, trust, and compassion. I won't summarize the story but will mention that it starts out with a raging, early winter storm causing human and property damage. It showed how the people in the two communities helped each other in a spirit of brotherhood. Unfortunately, the roof was blown off the hockey rink in Hed. Financial resources went into improving the Beartown rink, resulting in Hed's home games being moved to Beartown. This further inflamed the hatred between hockey fans, easily manipulated to anger. A local newspaper uncovered years of embezzlement, political corruption, and fraudulent, complex financial activities favouring Beartown. Would this scandal be revealed? This was a lengthy book of 688 pages, but time passed quickly. Highly recommended for its story-telling, emotional impact, location, and splendid character development.

Debra

October 07, 2022

"This hurts too much to touch with words." You're telling me. Whew! Fredrik Backman is such a talented and beautiful writer. I savor his words and observations of life, people, and human emotion. For some silly reason, I always forget what a brilliant writer he is and then I pick up one of his books and I am blown away. Over the course of these books, he has given us characters to fall in love with, to shake our heads at, to cry for and with, to be upset with and to root for both on the ice and off. There are some characters we feel for more than others. The characters are flawed, they are raw, they are beautiful, they feel real, and they all evoke emotion both positive and negative.Talk about wanting a book to end and wanting a book to end so you learn all that you can. This book picks up two years after Us Against You. The town is still coming to grips with all that has happened in the last two books. People are trying to move on, some have moved on, but the one constant is hockey. The two teams are still rivals and emotions still run hot. This one left me gutted. My only issue with the book is its length. It did feel long at times. Having said that, I see myself reading this again - heck I might just start at the beginning with Beartown and read all of the books over again because it's hard to say goodbye. 4.5 StarsThank you to Atria Books and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.Read more of my reviews at www.openbookposts.com

Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)

June 30, 2022

QUICK TAKE: You really have to be a BIG fan of Beartown and Backman to prioritize this 600-page slog. The first 200 pages is just Backman meandering around town during a windstorm and introducing the reader to a bunch of new characters. That's right, no Benji for a veeeery long time. But I adore Beartown, and at this point Backman is an auto-buy author, so even though this beast took me a month to read, I absolutely loved it. I laughed, I cried, I cheered my favorite characters on, and I am sad this is the final book of the trilogy. I will recommend this series to friends and family for years to come. Bravo.

Christine

August 05, 2022

5 starsThe Winners is book 3 of the Beartown Trilogy, and what a fitting end it is. The Beartown Trilogy takes its rightful and permanent place on my all-time Top 10 best-books-ever-read list. I could write a 20-page review for this novel and its two companion books, but I will keep this short. Fredrik Backman has earned a place in my heart as my favorite author. I have loved all his novels and novellas, but the Beartown Trilogy is his crown jewel. I have never read another author who has such a grasp on the human spirit, who is able to tell a story of common people in such a powerful way, who can create characters whom a reader will never ever forget. These books are quiet books, yet they made a sledge-hammer-like impression on this reader.The themes are vast and include violence, corruption, revenge, hate, death, healing, integrity, redemption, survival, and love. And through these themes the author evokes a rainbow of feelings in his readers, not the least of which is heartbreak. I became so invested in these true-to-life characters that I found myself reacting to them as if they were my own best friends. I felt grief-stricken many times throughout my reading of The Winners, yet I didn’t want the book to end. I felt I could not say goodbye forever to these people of Beartown and Hed, and I feel I will not, as they have given me much to think about over the rest of my life.Where will Mr. Backman go from here? Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part, but there are words at the end of the novel that make me wonder if there will be a book about Alicia’s subsequent life. If so, I’m all in. Wait. Who am I kidding? I am all in on whatever novel Mr. Backman writes next. I just hope we don’t have to wait long.I would like to thank Net Galley, Atria Books, and Fredrik Backman for granting me an ARC of The Winners. My opinions are my own, and they are not biased in any way.

Frequently asked questions

Listening to audiobooks not only easy, it is also very convenient. You can listen to audiobooks on almost every device. From your laptop to your smart phone or even a smart speaker like Apple HomePod or even Alexa. Here’s how you can get started listening to audiobooks.

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  • 5. Open the Speechify audiobook app and select the audiobook you want to listen to.
  • 6. Adjust the playback speed and other settings to your preference.
  • 7. Press play and enjoy!

While you can listen to the bestsellers on almost any device, and preferences may vary, generally smart phones are offer the most convenience factor. You could be working out, grocery shopping, or even watching your dog in the dog park on a Saturday morning.
However, most audiobook apps work across multiple devices so you can pick up that riveting new Stephen King book you started at the dog park, back on your laptop when you get back home.

Speechify is one of the best apps for audiobooks. The pricing structure is the most competitive in the market and the app is easy to use. It features the best sellers and award winning authors. Listen to your favorite books or discover new ones and listen to real voice actors read to you. Getting started is easy, the first book is free.

Research showcasing the brain health benefits of reading on a regular basis is wide-ranging and undeniable. However, research comparing the benefits of reading vs listening is much more sparse. According to professor of psychology and author Dr. Kristen Willeumier, though, there is good reason to believe that the reading experience provided by audiobooks offers many of the same brain benefits as reading a physical book.

Audiobooks are recordings of books that are read aloud by a professional voice actor. The recordings are typically available for purchase and download in digital formats such as MP3, WMA, or AAC. They can also be streamed from online services like Speechify, Audible, AppleBooks, or Spotify.
You simply download the app onto your smart phone, create your account, and in Speechify, you can choose your first book, from our vast library of best-sellers and classics, to read for free.

Audiobooks, like real books can add up over time. Here’s where you can listen to audiobooks for free. Speechify let’s you read your first best seller for free. Apart from that, we have a vast selection of free audiobooks that you can enjoy. Get the same rich experience no matter if the book was free or not.

It depends. Yes, there are free audiobooks and paid audiobooks. Speechify offers a blend of both!

It varies. The easiest way depends on a few things. The app and service you use, which device, and platform. Speechify is the easiest way to listen to audiobooks. Downloading the app is quick. It is not a large app and does not eat up space on your iPhone or Android device.
Listening to audiobooks on your smart phone, with Speechify, is the easiest way to listen to audiobooks.

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