Vi mot er

Vi mot er Us Against You

Beartown #2

Have you ever seen a town fall? Ours did.

Have you ever seen a town rise? Ours did that, too.

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 Beartown ice hockey 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. As the tension mounts between the two adversaries, a newcomer arrives and Beartown hockey gets a surprising new coach and 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 challenge as old bonds are broken, new ones are formed, and the town’s enmity with Hed grows more and more acute.

As the big game approaches, the not-so-innocent pranks and incidents between the communities pile up and their mutual contempt intensifies. By the time the last goal is scored, a resident of Beartown till 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 as a field of ice, two nets, and two teams. Us against you.

Us Against You 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.


LiveLib Readers’ Choice Awards (Most Anticipated Novel) Russia 2019
Shortlisted for the Goodreads Choice Awards (Best Fiction) US 2018
Close award list


  • “Backman’s ability to tell stories in pictures is one of his strongest merits, not least how he describes relationships. /…/ It’s rare that one cares about so many characters in a book, and seldom that one comes so close to a whole community. But the leading role in Backman’s novels about Beartown is, after all, played by the sports community. It’s a love declaration of the highest order.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “A brilliant sequel. /…/ Backman writes about loyalty and love, but also captures the feelings of athletes in a vibrant way.”

    Skaraborgs Allehanda, Sweden

  • “Backman knows how to construct a thrilling plot, and what he writes engages. /…/ And when he hits his stride among the emotions, the sentimental turns into an asset – like a hockey puck straight to the heart.”

    Landskrona Posten, Sweden

  • “Fredrik Backman writes wonderfully about men, with a love and understanding for the ones who would rather solve conflicts with their fists. It’s hard not to love it.”

    Dagens Nyheter, Sweden

  • “It’s obvious that Fredrik Backman loves sports and no one is as good at evoking feelings as he is. You are thrown between laughter and tears in the space of one sentence to the next. At the same time, this might be his most earnest and serious, if you can understand what I mean, novel to date. It takes an even bigger grip on the world than the previous novel in the series did. Now we can only wait for the next chapter.”

    Värmlands Folkblad, Sweden

  • “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.”

    Publishers Weekly, US

  • “Evident in all his novels is an apparent ability to state a truth about humanity with breathtaking elegance.”

    Kirkus Reviews, US

  • “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. /…/ Backman’s 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.”

    Washington Post, US

  • “Readers, take a break from the heat this summer to visit the icy streets of Beartown. Immerse yourself in Us Against You, for once you open this book, you won't be able to resist falling into the hockey town out in the woods. Live among the residents for a few days. I guarantee that it will be tough to say goodbye when you turn the last page. Fredrik Backman has a rare talent for reaching inside his readers and coaxing out their deepest emotions while weaving a riveting tale that stays with you for a long time. Don't miss out on this phenomenal novel.”

    The Book Reporter, US

  • “There is even more potential for book group discussion here as Backman explores violence, political maneuvering, communities, feminism, sexuality, criminality, the role of sports in society, and what makes us all tick.”

    Library Journal *Starred Review*, US

  • “Through Backman’s astute examination of humanity, Us Against You will elicit snickers and full-blown belly laughs. It will rip out hearts, then replace them stronger than before. Most of all, it is sure to prompt readers to examine their lives in order to be better people, if only in microscopic ways.”

    Shelf Awareness, US

  • “The sequel to Beartown is finally here, and it does not disappoint.”

    Hello Giggles, US

  • “Dark and gritty, but peppered with moments of breath-catching hope.”

    Modern Mrs. Darcy, US

  • “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.”

    Washington Times, US

  • “In his dark but warmhearted way, Backman is a psychologist, and his insights are on display again in Us Against You. /…/ He creates an astute emotional world much bigger than a small Swedish town. It’s a novel you can sink into.”

    Chicago Tribune, US

  • “Deftly explores recovery and rebirth.”

    US Weekly, US

  • “This is a tale of the pitfalls of group mentality as well as the loss of an innocence we all take for granted – and it will grip you from start to finish.”

    Canadian Living, Canada

  • “Just as the cult TV hit Friday Night Lights wasn’t just about high-school football, this sequel to Beartown is about more than small-town hockey. Us Against You is a story of hopes, dreams, loyalty, friendship, and – after someone is left for dead – the lengths people will go to for the love of the game.”

    Hello! Canada, Canada

  • Us Against You is an excellent novel that’s easy to read and skillfully handles great themes. /…/ The world created by Backman lives and breathes and the characters are both human and complex.”

    Aamuset, Finland

  • “Backman uses an abundance of thrilling hints about upcoming events, and it works. You simply have to continue reading. The story is wonderful, deeply touching and very thought-provoking, and hats off again to the author’s ability to portray people and trends in society. The novel plays on your entire register of emotions, and you live and breathe alongside the many different characters, all of which are precisely and empathetically depicted.”

    Litteratursiden, Denmark

  • “A beautiful and brutal drama.”


    Kristeligt Dagblad, Denmark

  • “Fredrik Backman is one of Sweden’s best authors. He’s mastered how to depict a village and its citizens so that you both love and hate them. /…/ Backman writes with emotion, and it goes straight to your heart. /…/ As always with Backman, there’s still hope for humanity, because where there is violence and hatred, there is also forgiveness and love.”

    Bogblogger, Denmark

  • “We have a rare book for you. [Us Against You] is not only about hockey and sports. It’s about everything that makes a man a man.”

    Pravo, Czech Republic

  • “Backman is a natural-born storyteller.”

    De Limburger, Netherlands

  • “Backman keeps you hooked from the first to the last page. For all Beartown fans, Us Against You feels like coming home.”

    Hebban, Netherlands

  • “A gripping novel.”

    Lebensart im Norden, Germany

  • “The Swedish author Fredrik Backman is addictive. /…/ As exciting as he is poignant – the tone is distanced, but possesses an extraordinary emotional force.”

    Westfalen-Blatt, Germany

Photo: Linnéa Jonasson Bernholm Fredrik Backman
  • Literary
Reading material

Swedish edition

English edition

Rights sold

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sarajevo Publishing

Bulgaria, Ciela

Canada, Simon & Schuster

China, Beijing Xiron (Simplified Chinese)

Croatia, Fokus

Czech Republic, Host

Denmark, People’s

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Otava

France, Fayard

Germany, Fischer

Greece, Kedros

Hungary, Animus

Israel, Yediot

Italy, Mondadori

Korea, Dasan

Lithuania, Alma littera

Montenegro, Nova knjiga

Netherlands, Volt

North Macedonia, Antolog

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Poland, Sonia Draga

Portugal, Porto

Romania, Editura Art

Russia, Sindbad

Serbia, Laguna

Slovakia, Ikar

Slovenia, Mladinska

Spain, Harper Collins Espanol

Sweden, Forum

Taiwan, Ten Points (Complex Chinese)

UK, Michael Joseph

Ukraine, Knigolove

US, Atria

Vietnam, Tre Publishing

Film rights sold

Sweden, Filmlance International

More From Fredrik Backman