Vinnarna The Winners

Beartown #3

This is a small story about big questions: What is a family? What is a hockey team? What is a community? And what are we ready to sacrifice in order to protect them?

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 part of the woods that never really lets you. We are a town with sorrow in our heart and violence in the air, we love fairytales with happy endings, but deep down we probably knew this never was one. It begins with a storm, this time, and ends in fire. Someone who’s been gone a long time is coming home. Someone is laid to rest. Someone falls in love, someone dreams of the NHL, and someone dreams of revenge. Someone sleeps back-to-back with their best friend, someone tries to fix their marriage, and someone tries to save their children. Someone hates, someone fights, someone grabs a gun and walks towards the ice rink. All that we fought for won’t make it, all those we love won’t grow old.

So what is a family? A hockey team? A community? They are the sums of our choices. What are we willing to sacrifice in order to protect them?

Everything. Just that.

This is the final installment in Fredrik Backman’s beloved trilogy about Beartown. The Winners is a powerful, violent, and deeply loving end to the story of the small hockey town and its people.


  • “[Fredrik Backman] is at his best in the small movements; almost silent scenes that identifies the most emotional subjects. /…/ Backman is great at writing about love – and at always paying attention to the child, in all contexts. /…/ When summarizing this trilogy, what is most impressive is the way Backman approaches sport. He conveys the beauty of it, while at the same time bringing every ugly thing into the light, forcing us to see. When he is finished, we have seen the worst but are still convinced of the beauty.”

    Göteborgs-Posten, Sweden

  • “[Backman] once again presents us with a rich gallery of characters, and his strength lies in making you care about every single one. /…/ Tears are inevitable during the final scenes.”

    Sveriges Radio Kulturnytt, Sweden

  • “Fredrik Backman’s writing is poignant, beautiful, funny, tender. Above all he is keen to bring a spotlight upon pressing issues. /…/ I read the final installment of [Backman’s] Beartown trilogy with tears streaming down my face. (…) It’s all so incredibly moving. People who are broken, alcoholics, traumatized, abused, vulnerable and repressed come and go and Backman shows solidarity with them all. /…/ The Winners is a masterpiece. There’s nothing else I can say about a book that evidently discomposes me to this extent. (…) This is a book that hits you like a slapshot in the solar plexus. /…/ I genuinely believe this is a book capable of saving lives.”

    Sydsvenskan, Sweden

  • “With a lot of emotion and wit, Backman intertwines several minor storylines and gives the reader hope for better days.”

    Emotion, Germany

  • “Heartwarming, funny and full of wisdom.”

    Hörzu, Germany

  • “The prose radiates genuine joy of storytelling. /…/ [The Winners] is truly brimming with suspense.”


    BTJ, Sweden

  • “Fredrik Backman’s Beartown trilogy is a heartfelt declaration of love to sports. /…/ There are plenty of houses, institutions, homes, and infrastructure [in The Winners] but somehow it is still nature and the vast landscape that holds everything in its hand. This is enhanced by Backman’s writing style. /…/ [Backman] employs a narrative style not unlike the one used by John Steinbeck in The Grapes of Wrath, where every other chapter places all events in a context whereby the characters become figures in a much larger tale about a country’s transformation. In a similar way, Backman seems to want to pin down characters and their driving forces as an element of a society and its transformative process, as if they’re trapped within larger movements over which they have no control, yet need to deal with. /…/ One needs to search high and low for another novel whose heart beats as hard for what common ground such as sports can mean for a society where mistrust and demonization constantly lure.”

    Expressen, Sweden

Photo: Linnéa Jonasson Bernholm Fredrik Backman
  • Literary
Reading material

Swedish edition

Rights sold

Bulgaria, Ciela

China, Beijing Xiron (Simplified Chinese)

Croatia, Fokus

Czech Republic, Host

Denmark, People’sPress

Estonia, Varrak

Finland, Johnny Kniga

Germany, Goldmann

Greece, Kedros

Hungary, Animus

Italy, Mondadori

Korea, Dasan

Lithuania, Alma littera

Macedonia, Antolog

Netherlands, Volt

Norway, Cappelen Damm

Poland, Marginesy

Romania, Editura Art

Russia, Sindbad

Serbia, Laguna

Slovakia, Ikar

Slovenia, Mladinska

Spain, HarperCollins Español

Sweden, Forum

UK, Simon & Schuster

Ukraine, Knigolove

US, Atria

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