Beartown

Robbie Holts Character Analysis

Robbie is an unemployed, alcoholic man in his 40s who was once believed to be a more promising hockey player than Peter Andersson. However, he advanced to the professional team too early and couldn’t handle the pressure mentally. He left hockey, started drinking, and got a job in the factory. Bitter about his failed career, he spends most of his days drinking in Ramona’s Bearskin pub. At the end of the book, however, Tails arranges for Robbie to get a job in the supermarket warehouse, and things begin looking up for him.

Robbie Holts Quotes in Beartown

The Beartown quotes below are all either spoken by Robbie Holts or refer to Robbie Holts. 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 18 Quotes

Robbie Holts is standing alone in the street, hating himself. […] It’s a peculiar sort of angst, the one he lives with, knowing that you had the greatest moment in your life at the age of seventeen. While he was growing up everyone kept telling him he was going to turn professional, and he believed them so intensely that when he didn’t make it, he took it to mean that everyone else had let him down, as if somehow it wasn’t his own fault. He wakes up in the mornings with the feeling that someone has stolen a better life from him, an unbearable phantom pain between what he should have been and what he actually became. Bitterness can be corrosive; it can rewrite your memories as if it were scrubbing a crime scene clean, until in the end you only remember what suits you of its causes.

Related Characters: Robbie Holts
Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:
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Robbie Holts Character Timeline in Beartown

The timeline below shows where the character Robbie Holts appears in Beartown. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 8
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Robbie Holts is a little past 40, with a graying beard. He walks through town, waiting... (full context)
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
Robbie Holts watches Peter drive through town. He remembers that, when he and Peter were 17,... (full context)
Chapter 9
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
...a day goes by that Peter doesn’t wonder how things might have been different if Robbie Holts had gone to the NHL instead of Peter. After his hockey career had failed... (full context)
Chapter 18
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Robbie Holts isn’t watching the game, either. He lives with the knowledge that he peaked at... (full context)
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Resistance and Courage Theme Icon
Robbie goes into the Bearskin and is surprised to find Ramona preparing to leave. She tells... (full context)
Chapter 19
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...the game in a celebration they’ll remember forever. Peter finds himself embracing and laughing with Robbie Holts. Afterward, he asks Robbie to come by for dinner sometime. Robbie says yes, but... (full context)
Chapter 26
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...that day, Peter visits Tails in his supermarket office, and they end up chatting about Robbie Holts. Peter asks if Tails has any warehouse jobs for Robbie, since, as Tails always... (full context)
Chapter 42
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Culture, Character, and Entitlement Theme Icon
...Ramona tells him his father would have been ashamed of him. Then he asks if Robbie Holts still visits the pub. He tells Ramona to make sure Robbie calls the store,... (full context)
Chapter 47
Community Breakdown and Inequality Theme Icon
Outside, Robbie Holts passes the Bearskin without going inside—he has to go to work the next day. (full context)