Anxious People: Book summary and reviews of Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People

by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman X
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2020
    352 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and "writer of astonishing depth" (the Washington Times) comes 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 their own marriage. There's a wealthy bank director who has been too busy 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 motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.

Rich with Fredrik Backman's "pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature" (Shelf Awareness), 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 times.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] tight-knit, surprise-filled narrative...Comedy, drama, mystery, and social study, this novel is undefinable except for the sheer reading pleasure it delivers. Highly recommended." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Backman charms with his empathetic description of the robber, who gradually earns sympathy from the hostages. This amusing send-up of contemporary Swedish society is worth a look." - Publishers Weekly

"The observer/narrator is winding and given to tangents and, in early moments, might distract a bit too much from the strongly drawn characters. But the story gains energy and sureness as it develops, resulting in moments of insight and connection between its numerous amiable characters. A story with both comedy and heartbreak sure to please Backman fans." - Kirkus Reviews

"A deeply funny and warm examination of how individual experiences can bring a random group of people together. Backman reveals each character's many imperfections with tremendous empathy, reminding us that people are always more than the sum of their flaws." - BookPage

The information about Anxious People shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Fredrik Backman Author Biography

Photo: Henric Lindsten

Fredrik Backman is a Swedish author, blogger and columnist. He is the author of a work of nonfiction, Things My Son Needs to Know About Life, and a number of novels including A Man Called Ove, his first novel. Ove has sold more than 2.8 million copies worldwide, making it one of Sweden's most popular literary exports since Stieg Larsson's thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - not bad for a book that was initially ignored or rejected by publishers including one memorable response that reads, "we like your novel, we think your writing has potential, but we see no commercial potential."

Link to Fredrik Backman's Website

Name Pronunciation
Fredrik Backman: Fred-rick Bock-men

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