Anxious People – Fredrik Backman

A poignant, charming novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix up their own marriage. There’s a wealthy banker who has been too busy making money to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in a motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Humorous, compassionate, and wise, Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious of times.

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World, his first work of non-fiction, will be released in the US in May 2019. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Twitter @BackmanLand or on Instagram @backmansk

My Review:

Another OUTSTANDING, BRILLIANT, POIGNANT, EMOTIONAL, COMPASSIONATE novel by one of my favourite authors, Fredrik Backman.

I listened to his latest book Anxious People on Audible which normally takes me between 7 and 10 days as I only listen when walking the dog… EXCEPT this time, I listened to the book in 2 sittings, refusing to talk to the family, walk the dog and even read on my kindle because this is, in my opinion, my new favourite audio book of the year and considering I finished it on 7th January 2021 that is quite a statement.

Fredrik Backman has the ability to create the most wonderful, quirky, funny, sad, unlikeable, loveable characters and bring them to life in your mind in such a way they become a part of your family and grab a piece of your heart.

Once again the observational humour is spot-on, the clever and indepth ways the author has of bringing everyday situations, interactions and behaviours to the forefront of the story is a work of art.

Anxious People is a wonderful escape from reality, with one of the best narrators I’ve listened to, and a storyline that will make you laugh, groan, cry and smile all at the same time. If you are feeling low, then pick up this wonderful story and immerse yourself in this tiny town in Sweden which finds itself in the midst of a bank robbing, hostage taking situation with the most eclectic group of characters who over the space of a few hours learn more about themselves and what it really means to be human.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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