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The Deal of a Lifetime

The Deal of a Lifetime


The Deal of a Lifetime

ratings:
4.5/5 (146 ratings)
Length:
89 pages
37 minutes
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 31, 2017
ISBN:
9781501193507
Format:
Book

Description

In this short story enhanced with beautiful illustrations, the bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, Beartown, and Anxious People delivers an insightful and poignant tale about finding out what is truly important in life.

A father and a son are seeing each other for the first time in years. The father has a story to share before it’s too late. He tells his son about a courageous little girl lying in a hospital bed a few miles away. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it.

As he talks about this plucky little girl, the father also reveals more about himself: his triumphs in business, his failures as a parent, his past regrets, his hopes for the future.

Now, on a cold winter’s night, the father has been given an unexpected chance to do something remarkable that could change the destiny of a little girl he hardly knows. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he must find out what his own life has actually been worth, and only his son can reveal that answer.

With humor and compassion, Fredrik Backman’s The Deal of a Lifetime reminds us that life is a fleeting gift, and our legacy rests in how we share that gift with others.
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 31, 2017
ISBN:
9781501193507
Format:
Book

About the author

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.


Book Preview

The Deal of a Lifetime - Fredrik Backman

Cover: The Deal of a Lifetime, by Fredrik Backman

A FEW WORDS BEFORE THE REST OF THE WORDS

This is a short story about what you would be prepared to sacrifice in order to save a life. If it was not only your future on the line, but also your past. Not only the places you are going, but the footprints you have left behind. If it was all of it, all of you, who would you give yourself up for?

I wrote this story late one night shortly before Christmas in 2016. My wife and children were sleeping a few arm lengths away. I was very tired; it had been a long and strange year, and I had been thinking a lot about the choices families make. Everyday, everywhere, we go down one road or another. We play around; we stay at home; we fall in love and fall asleep right next to each other. We discover we need someone to sweep us off our feet to realize what time really is.

So I tried to tell a story about that.

It was published in the local newspaper of my hometown, Helsingborg, in the southernmost part of Sweden. All the locations in the story are real—I went to school around the corner from the hospital, and the bar where the characters drink is owned and run by childhood friends of mine. I’ve gotten very drunk there on several occasions. If you’re ever around Helsingborg, I highly recommend it.

I live six hundred kilometers further north now, in Stockholm, with my family. So, in retrospect, I think this story was not just about how I felt about love and death that night I was sitting on the floor next to the bed my wife and our kids were sleeping in, but also about my feelings for the place where I grew up. Maybe all people have that feeling deep down, that your hometown is something you can never really escape, but can never really go home to, either. Because it’s not home anymore. We’re not trying to make peace with it. Not with the streets and bricks of it. Just with the person we were back then. And maybe forgive ourselves for everything we thought we would become and didn’t.

Maybe you will find this to be a strange story, I don’t know. It’s not very long, so at least it will be over quickly in that case. But I hope my younger self would have read it and found it to be . . . well . . . not horrible. I think he and I could have gone for a beer. Talked about choices. I would have shown him pictures of my family and he would have said, Alright. You did alright.

Anyway, this is the story. Thank you for taking the time to read it.

With love,

Fredrik Backman

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Reviews

What people think about The Deal of a Lifetime

4.3
146 ratings / 25 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    This man! I love his compassion, sense of humour and wonderful understanding of human nature. This little novella has three wonderful stores in it that Backman admits were never written to be printed. Thank goodness he did. The second story in the book is probably one of the best stories i've read about death and dying. The book is about a grandfather who is afflicted with Alzheimers, and in a few short paragraphs, Backman portrays the special relationship between a grandfather and his beloved grandson as his world gets smaller and smaller, and his grandson's bigger and bigger.. He calls his grandson Noahnoah because he loves him and his name that much. When his grandson asks him how he fell in love with his late wife, this is what his reply was:"She got lost in my heart, I think. Couldn't find her way out. Your grandma always had a terrible sense of direction. She could get lost on an escalator," How wonderful, poignant and touching are these words about a man's love for his wife! And even while his mind is going, he cherishes that love because he's afraid he will eventually forget the love of his life as his disease progresses. "Noahnoah, your job is to remind me of your grandmother when I forget." This man can write! Thank you Fredrik for sharing your enormous talent with us.
  • (4/5)
    This short tale revolves around a selfish and closed off man who finds himself for once with the impulse to put someone else first. The protagonist is not particularly likable, yet his choice is one of redemption
  • (5/5)
    This is a short story -- about 60 pages long. It explores the issue of father/son relationships and also of what you would be willing to give up to save someone else. I found it tender, sad, heartwarming and very powerfully told.
  • (2/5)
    Road trip! 2,500-mile round trip taking my daughter to college and driving back alone calls for a whole lot of audiobooks. (7 of 7)A mediocre episode of Twilight Zone with an unlikable narrator and some very ho-hum supernatural twists.The sentimentality that won me over in A Man Called Ove falls flat here.
  • (5/5)
    What would you do for the people you love in your life? This novella came into my life at just the right time. Amazing how the universe does that.
  • (5/5)
    As with all his book, a deep emotional moral to the story of a very successful father, long estranged from his now grown son, wanting to make a difference before he succumbs to cancer and save a little girl who is also in the same oncology unit. The angel of death, in her gray knit sweater, has been watching over him since his birth, appearing here and there, just off to the side. They converse, they make a deal, they share a cigarette. Backman loves language and it shows. I love Backman for that.