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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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1,9791266,526 (4.05)96
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), 349 pages
Collections:Your library

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Anxious People by Fredrik Backman


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English (125)  Greek (1)  All languages (126)
Showing 1-5 of 125 (next | show all)
Foiled bank robber takes 6 hostages - a weird mix of people who bond over several hours and are all connected. Takes place at an apt. viewing where prospective buyers are gathered. Father/son policemen have interesting working and personal relationship but both conspire to let the robber get away.
  MartyB2000 | Jan 27, 2022 |
There are certain things one comes to expect from a Backman novel, and Anxious People has all of them and more. The writing style, the characters, the plot that all comes together in the end - it's everything you're looking for in a quintessential Backman read.

The plot itself is not what I had expected to find in this novel, but as each layer is pulled back and we learn more and more about each of the characters - the bank robber, the policemen, the hostages - everything starts to fall into place. The big questions are answered, which isn't something I always care for in novels, but is appreciated here, while smaller questions are left for the reader to ponder in the inevitable post-read hangover. I ran through his book almost at a sprint, not to get it over with, but because I found myself waking up at 2 am wanting to keep reading because I just couldn't put it down. I can't tell you the last time that's happened for me - probably the last time I read something by the same author.

If you're familiar with Backman's work and the idea of a failed heist sounds intriguing, you'll love this. If you're not already a fan of Backman, I can't say this book will be the one to convert you, but I'd recommend giving it a try anyway - it's a fun, quick read, and who knows? Perhaps you, too, will be waking up at 2 am to finish it. ( )
  bumblybee | Jan 21, 2022 |
Most entertaining book I've read in some time. The interviews with the so-called hostages are hysterical and made me laugh out loud a few times. And yet, there is an underlying, more serious thread tying all the characters together and a few twists I didn't see coming. As a plus, after reading about these "anxious people," you're bound to feel better about your own life. ( )
  DonnaMarieMerritt | Jan 18, 2022 |
"Anxious People" was a gem of dysfunctional people thrown together by a series of bad decisions. I didn't see the identity of the bank robber coming. I loved this book, and I will give it a reread. I want to read more by Fredrik Backman. ( )
  nab6215 | Jan 18, 2022 |
Observant but the writing is too showy and self-aware.
  JennyArch | Jan 15, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 125 (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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Wikipedia in English


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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