The Deal of a Lifetime (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This novel is a delicate tale about life and what it’s worth. Is the life of a man with cancer who has achieved much but come up short as a father worth more than the life of small girl, also with cancer, who is coloring the chair in her hospital room because, “You’re allowed to draw on the furniture when you have cancer.”? Death, wearing a grey knitted jumper, is there too. She’s lurking in the hospital corridors keeping track while carrying with her a folder with all our names in it. Is she about to let the man make the deal of a lifetime? Backman weaves the story gently and reveals the fateful ending with care. ~ Ann

— From Staff Favorites 2017


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.

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 two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime, as well as one work of nonfiction, Things My Son Needs to Know About the World. He is also the author of instant #1 New York Times bestseller, Anxious People. 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 or Twitter @BackmanLand or on Instagram @Backmansk.

Praise For…

“The book is illustrated, it’s sentimental, it has a whiff of “It’s a Wonderful Life” about it. It’s a perfect stocking stuffer.” 
— Star Tribune (Minnesota)

"Sweet, sad, but in-no-way-sappy novella."
— Library Journal
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501193491
ISBN-10: 150119349X
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Pages: 96
Language: English