Monday, August 31, 2020

Book Review | ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman

ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrik Backman
Publication: September 8, 2020
Publisher: Simon & Schuster CA
Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Mystery/Humor
Rating: ★★★★★

This is a poignant comedy 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.

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 slowly begin opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

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.

Ostensibly, ANXIOUS PEOPLE revolves around the investigation of a failed bank robbery, which led to an unplanned hostage-taking episode, during a scheduled apartment viewing a day before New Year’s Eve. However, the unraveling of this case also unravels the seemingly idiotic people involved.

Ever since A Man Called Ove, I try to read every Backman book. And so far, everyone surprised and engaged me like it was the first time. I cannot help falling in love with them. Backman has this uncanny ability to uncover our unspoken truths and give them words for all to read. And somehow, that is more than okay.

Equally poignant and witty, ANXIOUS PEOPLE, fleshes out people’s inner turmoil. Through these characters, Backman carries us into a narrative that allows us to see human vulnerability, including ours. It allows us to see our need for a connection and how a little compassion provides access, maybe, even in more ways than one. And with his humor, Backman cleverly sways us to look at the dreariest of circumstances in a different light and challenges us to pick the moral choice all the time. I sincerely want to thank him for that.

I also want to thank Neil Smith for translating and flawlessly conveying all this wisdom through. Marin Ireland read the book for Simon & Schuster Audio.

I can't wait for you, guys, to read this too.


About the Author:
Photo by
Linnéa Jonasson Bernholm
Appendix fotografi

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, and the nonfiction collection Things My Son Needs to Know About the World. His next novel, Anxious People, will be published in September in the US and Canada. 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.

*Thanks to Simon & Schuster for the uncorrected proof in exchange for this unbiased review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


  1. Thank you for introducing me to a new author to explore. - Margy

  2. Thank you to introducing me to a new book. - Lindsay

  3. Hmm... looks like I have to reconsider and add Anxious People to my September listening list after all :-) Great review!

    1. Hi, Eline!
      Yes. Marin Ireland is brilliant as always.