Beartown

Amat is almost 16. He has always been small for his age. He isn’t as strong as other hockey players, but he’s one of the fastest skaters anyone has ever seen. Besides being athletically talented, he is kind and perceptive. Amat lives with his mother, Fatima, to whom he’s devoted. They emigrated from an unnamed country not long after Amat was born. Amat dreams of freeing his mom from her physically demanding job by becoming a professional hockey player. His best friends are Zacharias and Lifa. After Amat gets a chance to move up from the boys’ team to the junior team just before the semifinal, he and Zach become temporarily estranged. Amat has loved Maya ever since they were children. At the party after the semifinal, he witnesses Kevin raping Maya. He tries to persuade her to call the police, and later, despite being intimidated by various members of the hockey team, he tells the whole town himself. He and Bobo become good friends and are both beaten up by the other hockey players after Amat breaks the silence about Kevin’s crime. Amat ends up playing for Beartown’s A-team and teaching kids’ skating lessons.

Amat Quotes in Beartown

The Beartown quotes below are all either spoken by Amat or refer to Amat. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Beartown published in 2017.
Chapter 4 Quotes

His mom always says they must be grateful, the pair of them, and he understands her. No one is more grateful than her, toward this country, this town, these people, and this club, toward the council, their neighbors, her employer. Grateful, grateful, grateful. That’s the role of mothers. But the role of children is to dream. So her son dreams that his mother will one day be able to walk into a room without having to apologize.

He blinks the sweat from his eyes, adjusts his helmet, and pushes his skates into the ice. One more time. One more time. One more time.

Related Characters: Amat, Fatima
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 19 Quotes

Amat bounces around between the hugs and pats on the back, and hears himself join in a shouted rendition of “WE ARE THE BEARS FROM BEARTOWN!” so loudly that his chest stings, and he hears the others singing louder because he does, because they want to feel that they’re participating in what he represents now.

The rush lifts him up, his endorphins are bubbling, and afterward he will remember thinking: “How can anyone possibly experience this without thinking he’s a god?”

Related Characters: Amat (speaker)
Related Symbols: Bears
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 27 Quotes

Even in Hed people recognize them, and they get slaps on the back and congratulations. After the movie, when Amat thinks they’re on the way home, Lyt turns off the main road just after the Beartown sign. He stops by the lake. Amat doesn’t understand why until Kevin opens the trunk of the car. They’ve got beer, lights, skates, and hockey sticks in the back. They put their woollen hats down to mark the goals.

They play hockey on the lake that night, four boys, and everything feels simple. As if they were children. Amat is amazed at how straightforward it is. Staying silent in return for being allowed to join in.

Related Characters: Kevin Erdahl, Amat, William Lyt
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 43 Quotes

My name is Amat. I saw what Kevin did to Maya. I was drunk, I’m in love with her, and I’m telling you that straight so that you lying bastards don’t have to say it behind my back when I walk out of here. Kevin Erdahl raped Maya Andersson. I’m going to go to the police tomorrow, and they’ll say I’m not a reliable witness. But I’m going to tell you everything now, everything that Kevin did, everything that I saw. And you won’t ever forget it. You know that my eyes work better than anyone else’s in here. Because that’s the first thing you learn on the Beartown Ice Hockey Club, isn’t it? ‘You can’t teach that way of seeing. That’s something you’re born with.’

Related Characters: Amat (speaker), Maya Andersson, Kevin Erdahl, Fatima
Page Number: 353
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 44 Quotes

Inside the house his dad is sitting with a newly opened bottle of whisky in front of him. They didn’t get everything they wanted this evening, but they haven’t lost either. Tomorrow their lawyer will start to prepare all the arguments why a drunk young man who is in love with the young woman is not a credible witness. Then Kevin will start playing for Hed Ice Hockey, taking his team with him, almost all the sponsors, and all their plans for life will be intact. One day very soon everyone around them will simply pretend that this has never happened. Because this family does not lose. Not even when they do.

Page Number: 366
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 50 Quotes

None of them sees the first skate of the child who’s the last one out. She’s four years old, a scrawny little kid in gloves that are too big for her, with bruises everyone sees but nobody asks about. Her helmet slips down across her eyes, but the look in them is clear enough.

Adri and Sune come after her, ready to hold the girl up, until they realize that there’s no need. The four boys at the center circle will build a new A-team next season, but that doesn’t matter, because in ten years’ time it won’t be their names that make the people of this town stand taller.

And they’ll all lie and say they were here and saw it happen. The first skate of the girl who will become the most talented player this club has ever seen. They’ll all say they knew it even then.

Related Symbols: Bears, Cherry Blossoms
Page Number: 415
Explanation and Analysis:
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Amat Character Timeline in Beartown

The timeline below shows where the character Amat appears in Beartown. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2 
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
Amat is almost 16. His tiny bedroom is covered with posters of NHL players, with the... (full context)
Chapter 3
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...on the edge of an old gravel pit and consists of apartment blocks. Fatima and Amat live there in a two-room apartment. Early every morning, they take the bus to the... (full context)
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Parents and Children Theme Icon
If Amat works hard, he might make the junior team next year, from there advance to the... (full context)
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Each morning, Amat helps the rink’s elderly caretaker with chores and then has an hour to himself on... (full context)
Chapter 4
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...wastepaper bin, she briefly clutches her painful back, not wanting anyone to notice and tell Amat, who would only worry. Downstairs, on the ice, Amat races across the rink again and... (full context)
Chapter 5
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Amat remembers Sune talking to his skating class when Amat was only five, telling the little... (full context)
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...and forth, repeatedly changing direction without any loss of momentum. The caretaker explains that it’s Amat, who’s here every day. Sune sits in the stands and watches him for a while.... (full context)
Chapter 6
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Amat leaves the ice, sweating heavily, without having noticed that Sune was sitting there. Sune can’t... (full context)
Chapter 7
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At the high school, Amat catches up with his best friends Lifa and Zacharias. They bonded from an early age... (full context)
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Amat and Lifa try to calm Zacharias down. Lifa is resigned—he quit hockey when he was... (full context)
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When Amat sees Maya in the corridor, he forgets everything else. He greets Maya too loudly, and... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...to do won’t ruin another young boy’s life. When David returns, he reads the note: “Amat. Boys’ team. Fast!!!” (full context)
Chapter 11
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Lars, the coach of the boys’ team, doesn’t have a leadership style—he just yells. Amat fears that Lars will replace David as coach of the youth team next year, and... (full context)
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...worst in the boys’ team practice, so Lars makes him collect the pucks and cones. Amat helps him. After they’ve joked around a while, Amat nonchalantly asks if Zacharias wants to... (full context)
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David argues with Lars outside the locker room. After Lars leaves, Amat and Zach approach, and Amat is surprised when David speaks to him. David offers Amat... (full context)
Chapter 12
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Amat is doing his best to appear invisible. Eventually, though, Bobo crosses the locker room and... (full context)
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As the rest of the locker room empties, Kevin hangs back and asks Amat if he knows Maya—does she have a boyfriend? At last, reluctantly, Amat shakes his head.... (full context)
Parents and Children Theme Icon
...watching the junior players he’s spent the past 10 years nurturing. When Peter finally notices Amat’s presence on the ice, he laughs with surprise. Seeing this, Sune feels both joyful and... (full context)
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...trash cans. Peter is surprised to see her. He asks her if she’s heard about Amat. He gently guides her back to the ice. When she realizes her boy is training... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...juniors are playing at 75%, so as not to risk injury before tomorrow’s game. But Amat has to give it his all. The juniors look for every chance to hurt him,... (full context)
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...the very limited space. This time, the line is so narrow that it’s obvious that Amat doesn’t stand a chance of not meeting Bobo head-on. Sure enough, Bobo knocks Amat down... (full context)
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Bobo pursues Amat in “blind fury,” but Benji stops him. David decides to include Amat in tomorrow’s game.... (full context)
Chapter 15
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Amat finds Ana and Maya goofing around in the kitchen and stammers out a question—he’s wondering... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
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...When Maggan asks why, Fatima straightens up and proudly explains that she’s here to watch Amat play. When Maggan is swept away by the crowd, Fatima quietly asks Kira if she... (full context)
Chapter 17
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...their way into the locker room with complaints and advice. Maggan demands to know what Amat is doing on the team at the last minute before the semifinal. David finally hisses... (full context)
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...if the joke went too far, if he should have intervened. But he doesn’t. Even Amat laughs, enjoying the release and sense of inclusion—but he will later feel ashamed of doing... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...a pile of players’ bodies and manages a goal, tying the game. Then David taps Amat, pulling Lyt off the ice. Though Lars protests, David tells Amat he just wants the... (full context)
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On the ice, Amat charges full speed toward the opponents’ goal after each face-off, even though he doesn’t have... (full context)
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For Amat, it’s both the best and worst moment of his life, as he realizes that everybody... (full context)
Chapter 19
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A little later, Peter is surprised to find Amat still in the locker room, picking up scraps of tape. Amat blushes and explains he... (full context)
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Amat isn’t sure what Peter means until he goes outside. People cheer when they see him,... (full context)
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Fatima happily sends Amat off to celebrate. As the popular kids begin streaming toward the victory party, the unpopular... (full context)
Chapter 20
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When Amat gets there, he can’t believe that a single family lives in such a big house.... (full context)
Chapter 21
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Bobo and Amat end up firing shots on the ice rink, since they’re both out of their element... (full context)
Chapter 22
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...boy for the first time in their lives. As she leaves, she passes a drunken Amat, who sobers slightly when he hears Maya’s name. Ana tells him to tell Maya she’s... (full context)
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Amat is never sure what made him go upstairs, or what it was he heard. But... (full context)
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As Maya walks down the street, she hears Amat calling after her. He says she needs to call the police. Maya tells him it... (full context)
Chapter 25
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Amat and Fatima are waiting at the bus stop. Tails drives by and offers them a... (full context)
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Amat finds Zacharias by the lockers and realizes he should have called his friend over the... (full context)
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Bobo tells Amat that he’s “one of us now. No one touches us.” He invites Amat to sit... (full context)
Chapter 26
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During practice, Kevin says to Amat, “What you think you saw […] you know what women are like.” Amat wishes he... (full context)
Chapter 27
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After practice that day, Amat is invited to join Kevin, Lyt, and Bobo for a movie in Hed. Amat is... (full context)
Chapter 30
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Before he leaves for the capital, Amat’s friend Lifa hugs him and tells him that he saw some little kids playing hockey... (full context)
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...around react the way that they do, or perhaps there are thousands of other reasons.” Amat and Benji are the only players who stay quietly seated during the uproar. (full context)
Chapter 32
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...aiming for the goal until it’s too late. Lyt takes a big hit to give Amat enough space for a shot. Amat takes the chance before the other team has a... (full context)
Chapter 33
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Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
...coped with pain that way. Meanwhile, the Bears are fighting as hard as they can. Amat blocks shot after shot with his helmet. Bobo collapses in exhaustion. Benji seems to be... (full context)
Chapter 34
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...town as a group, feeling as if they’re under attack and searching for an enemy. Amat doesn’t join them. He just skates furiously around the rink, crashing himself into the boards... (full context)
Chapter 36
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...the team. They all have to stand together in support of Kevin. Later, Bobo approaches Amat and tries to explain that it’s important for them to go to Hed later to... (full context)
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...adults don’t notice, but Kevin makes the briefest of eye contact, and then looks down. Amat, too, lingers outside the station. He puts his headphones in and walks all the way... (full context)
Chapter 37
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...Peter standing in the parking lot. And Kevin remembers that somebody needs to talk to Amat about what he saw. (full context)
Chapter 38
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As Amat walks slowly home from Hed, an old Saab stops in front of him, and two... (full context)
Chapter 39
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Kevin’s dad drives to the Hollow in his expensive car. He picks up Amat. He tells Amat that he grew up in an apartment block much like these, with... (full context)
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Just as Amat is about to get out of the car, Mr. Erdahl tells him that though he... (full context)
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Amat watches as the expensive car drives off. He doesn’t notice the cheaper Saab parked some... (full context)
Chapter 43
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William Lyt comes to Amat’s apartment and threatens him, saying Amat has to join the team at the rink to... (full context)
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Amat walks through town. Hockey has always been “the only thing that has ever made him... (full context)
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Amat looks his teammates in the eyes, then walks past them, ignoring Lyt’s shouts. He enters... (full context)
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When Amat gets outside, Lyt immediately charges at him, but suddenly Ann-Katrin, Bobo’s mom, pushes between them... (full context)
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...to vote in Peter’s favor. The man gazes at Mr. Erdahl and thinks about seeing Amat in the Hollow the other morning. In his pocket are the kronor notes Amat had... (full context)
Chapter 44
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At Zacharias’s house, Amat gets a text. It’s from Maya, and it simply says, “Thanks.” He texts back, “Sorry.”... (full context)
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...not the worst outcome for the Erdahls, either. Their lawyer is preparing arguments to discredit Amat’s testimony. Kevin is going to move to Hed ice hockey, along with most of the... (full context)
Chapter 45
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From Zacharias’s bedroom window, Amat sees his teammates congregating outside. He knows this is no longer about what Kevin has... (full context)
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Amat knows he stands no chance against the guys, but somehow he’s no longer frightened. Pretty... (full context)
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...stops a short distance away, illuminating the boys with its headlights. They take off running. Amat and Bobo lie there in silence for a while, then slowly assess their injuries. They... (full context)
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...sent them. One of the men says that he still doesn’t know if he trusts Amat, but he trusts Ramona. He hands Amat five thousand-kronor notes and tells him to make... (full context)
Chapter 46
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Amat and Kevin both give the Hed police their testimonies that day. Later, in her office,... (full context)
Chapter 48
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Fatima drives Amat to Hed in a car she’s borrowed from Bobo’s parents. Amat goes inside and spends... (full context)
Chapter 50
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Later that year, four teenagers are teaching a kids’ skating class: Amat, Zacharias, Bobo, and Benji. Ten years from now, two of them will be professional hockey... (full context)