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Anxious People

by Fredrik Backman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,9601226,575 (4.04)91
Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits.

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English (121)  Greek (1)  All languages (122)
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
Observant but the writing is too showy and self-aware.
  JennyArch | Jan 15, 2022 |
In a small town in Sweden on the day before New Years Eve, a bank robber attempts to rob a bank. Unfortunately it is a cashless bank. Upon making an escape, the robber takes the first possible doorway and climbs the stairs to another open door. The robber has arrived at a real estate person showing an apartment for sale. Now all seven people become hostages to the pistol wielding robber. With deft use of humour and pathos, the author reveals each of their back stories. The book is peppered with wise words about love and life and draws to a fairly predictable ending. At times the story borders on the farcical and can be a bit cloying. Light relief after reading [A Little Life] and my daughter tells me this has been made into a television series. The author's previous novel, [A Man Called Ove] became a movie. ( )
  HelenBaker | Jan 3, 2022 |
A creative intertwined character study. Feel good type. ( )
  jalfredb | Dec 20, 2021 |
Backman is so skilled at making the reader love seemingly unlikable characters. The plot of this "bank heist" story is like no other bank heist story you will ever read. It is laugh-out-loud funny while simultaneously looking deep into the human experience of life and death. Full of twists and turns, this book is one of my favorites of the year. Marin Ireland does a wonderful job narrating the audiobook. ( )
  Tosta | Dec 20, 2021 |
A group of people are looking at an apartment when an unsuccessful bank robber bursts in and holds them hostage. Each hostage is unique. Good humor. Great characterization! ( )
  creighley | Dec 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 121 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Backman, Fredrikprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Smith, NeilTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is dedicated to the voices in my head, the most remarkable of my friends.

And to my wife, who lives with us.
First words
A bank robbery.
...dads like teaching their sons things, because the moment we can no longer do this is when they stop being our responsibility and we become theirs. (page 51)
One single bad idea. That's all it takes.
. . . most of us remain strangers, we never know what we do to each other, how your life is affected by mine.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits.

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Book description
Viewing an apartment normally doesn't turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

First is Zara, a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else until tragedy changed her life. Now, she's obsessed with visiting open houses to see how ordinary people live—and, perhaps, to send an old wrong to right. Then there's Roger and Anna-Lena, an Ikea-addicted retired couple who are on a never-ending hunt for fixer-uppers to hide the fact that they don't know how to fix their own failing marriage. Julia and Ro are a young lesbian couple and soon-to-be parents who are nervous about their chances for a successful life together since they can't agree on anything. And there's Estelle, an eighty year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by a masked bank robber waving a gun in her face. And despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn't really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn't outside parking the car.

As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.

Rich with Fredrik Backman's "pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature" (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People's whimsical plot serves up unforgettable insights into the human condition and a gentle reminder to be compassionate to all the anxious people we encounter every day.
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Average: (4.04)
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