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Anxious People: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People: A Novel (edition 2020)

by Fredrik Backman (Author)

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1,8121167,241 (4.03)79
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.
Title:Anxious People: A Novel
Authors:Fredrik Backman (Author)
Info:Atria Books (2020), 352 pages
Collections:Beach House

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Anxious People by Fredrik Backman


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English (115)  Greek (1)  All languages (116)
Showing 1-5 of 115 (next | show all)
It is the day before New Year's Eve and the perpetrator of a botched bank robbery has taken hostages at an apartment viewing in a small Swedish town. After police surround the building and hostages are released, law enforcement storms the apartment only to find it empty and covered in blood. What happened in the hours of the tense hostage situation? How did the bank robber vanish from an apartment under police surveillance?
In typical Fredrik Backman, the author creates a complex set of characters whose lives intertwine in many surprising twist. The story possesses the same humor that the author has brought to many of his other books. I enjoyed being repeatedly thwarted every time I thought I had the mystery figured out. Backman lover's will not be disappointed.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
#AnxiousPeople #NetGalley ( )
  Bibliophilly | Nov 29, 2021 |
In this humorous novel, people at an apartment viewing are taken hostage by an inept first-time bank robber. It's not just about the nutty people in the apartment, but also about the father-and-son cops trying to resolve the case (and their own rocky relationship). It's laugh-out loud funny and shows how emotional baggage makes it difficult to communicate and empathize. But sometimes it's too farcical, too sweet, too maudlin. It would probably make a good stage play. This is the first book I've read by the author, and I'll bet it's not his best. I plan to read other books by him like "Beartown" and "And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer." ( )
  KGLT | Nov 17, 2021 |
A story about a bank robber who takes a group of people hostage should be a tense and suspenseful tale. Only, this one isn’t, and the story is all the better for it. Fredric Backman definitely has his own style of writing, and can’t be slotted into a set of formulaic writers. And this story illustrates that quite nicely. With short and to the point chapters, the story slowly unfolds, gathering interest quickly and piquing curiosity. Who are these people? How do their backstories pertain to this story? And who is this inept bank robber? And what is unusual about this father and son police team? I was hooked into the story very early when the author tells me about a man on a bridge, and then tells me to forget about him. This is only one example of many tidbits that he throws our way and then goes on to something else. It’s what kept me turning page after page until I was done, and saw how everything neatly and precisely fit together. Extremely well written, this book is highly recommended for all readers everywhere. ( )
  Maydacat | Nov 13, 2021 |
This is truly one of the best books I've read in a long while. Backman develops characters like few others can. Very worthwhile and thought provoking read (or listen). ( )
  cotner | Nov 3, 2021 |
Amusing. Very amusing.
I did like that there was a vegan character, vegan for the environment.
Yes, gimmicky, and manipulative too.
I didn’t want to like it but I did. I kind of loved it but I sort of feel like a sucker.
I cried. I laughed.
It was brilliantly constructed.
I was interested in all of the people.
Realistic? Maybe not, yet it was mostly smart about people.
Irritating, but comforting and fun and sweet, and touching, and I really liked it.
I didn’t think that I would like it and I didn’t want to like it
but I really liked it and I’m glad.
Even though it was on my to read list I doubt I’d have read it if not for my book club.
Very enjoyable reading experience except for when I felt irritated.
That sums it up.

“They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences. But that isn’t true, at least not entirely, because if our past was all that defined us, we’d never be able to put up with ourselves. We need to be allowed to convince ourselves that we’re more than the mistakes we made yesterday. That we are all of our next choices, too, all of our tomorrows.”

“loneliness is like starvation, you don’t realize how hungry you are until you begin to eat.”

“it’s the duty of children not to pay the slightest bit of attention to their parents”

I looked at the list and there are many good quotes in this book: https://www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/67840009 ( )
  Lisa2013 | Nov 3, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 115 (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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