Penguin presents the audiobook edition of The Scandal by Fredrik Backman, read by John Sackville.
'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.'
Beartown is a small town in a large Swedish forest.
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. Change is in the air and 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?
A story about families, about friendship and loyalty, inequality, female vulnerability, male back-slapping, and parenthood ... No person's story is too little to be told, Backman includes them all. A novel with a big heart
A kind of problem play that moves extremely skilfully near the melodramatic without derailing. Its originality is substantial and the book credibly conveys the dual faces of everyday life. An impressive novel, like no other
As popular Swedish exports go, Backman is up there with Abba and Stieg Larsson.
Backman is a masterful writer, his characters familiar yet distinct, flawed yet heroic. . . There are scenes that bring tears, scenes of gut-wrenching despair, and moments of sly humor. . .Like Friday Night Lights, this is about more than youth sports; it's part coming-of-age novel, part study of moral failure, and finally a chronicle of groupthink in which an unlikely hero steps forward to save more than one person from self-destruction. A thoroughly empathetic examination of the fragile human spirit, Backman's latest will resonate a long time.
Praise for A Man Called Ove
It's warm, funny, and ultimately almost unbearably moving
Delightful ... the perfect holiday read
A warm and tender story about love, loss and second chances, peppered with memorable characters, wonderful set pieces and some beautifully black humour. Ove is a joy from start to finish
An uplifting, life-affirming and often comic tale of how kindness, love and happiness can be found in the most unlikely places