Anxious People

Anxious People

A Novel

Book - 2020
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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.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2020
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition
ISBN: 9781501160837
Branch Call Number: FIC BACKMAN 2020
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 24 cm
Language Note: Translated from the Swedish
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew)


From Library Staff

Adult Fiction. “Eight people become unlikely friends during a hostage situation created by an inept bank robber. In a town in Sweden, a desperate parent turns to bank robbery to help pay the rent. Unfortunately, the target turns out to be a cashless bank, which means that no robbery can take plac... Read More »

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Nov 25, 2020

What an unimaginable book. A story which leads you through many stories of love, tragedy, relationships, and life, all intertwined together via the main story line, which in reality is not the main story line after all.

All the characters are either tied together from the beginning or become tied into the story as a result of the story. Here is where the story is so powerful. For it is about each of the characters, not the events. It is about what either happened to them in the past, or what is unfolding now, or both. It is the events and how those events impact them now and how they come to play out in the end.

It is not a convoluted story, nor is it complex. Seriously simplistic but not written in the usual style one is accustomed to reading. For the main story plot (which is not the main story plot after all), is only the premise by which the characters come together and end up interacting with one another. The main plot is the actually the subplot, allowing the author to reveal the depth and fullness of each of the characters.

A rich and touching story about life, giving life meaning and purpose. So rich and captivating, you become engrossed, engaged, and empathetic to each of the characters. There is no one to hate, there is no bad guy, just a group of people who are being people and who are muddling through life. In it all, there is the realization that life is full of mistakes, regrets, and sorrows, but that is what life is all about and we all each experience it in a different way and it impacts us each differently.

Forgiveness; forgiveness of ourselves; forgiveness of others. This is what life is an what we experience.

Nov 20, 2020

A bank robber, two officers, an open house filled with "idiots" & unexpected new beginnings stemming from a very bad day. A novel of struggles, humanity and redemption.

Nov 17, 2020

Disappointing book. Found the characters annoying and the attempts at humor cringeworthy. There were some moments of brilliance during monologues but even these didn't seem to lend to the story. Perhaps it gets better later in the book, but I couldn't wait any longer. I stopped at Chapter 2.

Nov 14, 2020

Just read it. Everyone is connected and everyone has a philosophy worth following. And you will laugh. The bank robber, the policemen, the real estate agent. People from Stockholm and old romances. Secret rooms, sarcastic bank women. And a man with no pants, socks and a rabbit head

Oct 30, 2020

This book was disappointing. I would give it an OK.

Oct 27, 2020

As with all of Backman's (A Man Called Ove) novels, this one employs a rather simple, humorous writing style to great emotional effect in telling the bond that develops between several hostages and their captor in the aftermath of a bank robbery gone awry. Each of the hostages and the bank robber, the father and son police team, and the psychologist of one of the hostages are all fully developed characters, and great fun to get to know. Highly recommended!

Oct 26, 2020

I like the way Fredrik Backman has such a distinct style but still manages to add a new flavour to it with each book he does. There was a lot going on in this book and I fell in and out of love with it a few times while I was reading it. There were moments that I thought he lost control of the plot but he always managed to pull it together again and by the end I knew that he knew exactly what he was doing the whole time. There are some good characters in the book and plenty of great dialogue and in true Backman style, he manages to make things funny and profound at the same time. Despite my ups and downs, this ended up being a really satisfying read for me. It was very immersive and by the end, I felt like I had been through an ordeal. I like that in a book.

Oct 25, 2020

Entertaining/funny in an over-the-top way that isn’t really a match for my sense of humour. The characters were very eccentric; at one point the narrator refers to all of them as idiots, but character details were well developed. The plot challenged credibility with some rather far-fetched actions and dialogues. I’m not a fan of tying things up with a bow at the end – life simply isn’t like that. Considerable confusion by jumping around in time and place – the result was disjointed and lacked cohesion. On the other hand, there was a lot of touching kindness and forgiveness but this, too, was sometimes done to the point of being sickly-sweet.

STPL_JessH Oct 24, 2020

It's been awhile since I've read Fredrik Backman and I was not disappointed. I really, really enjoyed Anxious People! It is a sweet novel complete with silliness and serious insights. There are the usual eye roll moments, and also the usual "woah, that was a hard-hitting truth that came out of nowhere and stopped me in my tracks" moments. I appreciate Backman's work because his characters surprise me. As soon as I think I have one figured out, they say or do something that reveals depth I wasn't expecting. Backman also does not pretend to be anything other than what he is: a storyteller. Anxious People is a story told with humour and loving kindness. It's a perfect book for a cool fall day.

Oct 18, 2020

Not only is this a book about an attempted bank robbery and hostage scenario, it is also a book about relationships. Actually, more simply, it's a book about relationships, love, and family. Along with depression, anxiety, loneliness, and hopelessness. But it’s also a very funny, poignant, and hopeful story. Who knew?

Backman has a wonderful way with words and he’s extremely insightful. I found myself bookmarking and highlighting passage after passage of insightful thoughts about marriage, love, and parenthood. This was quite the departure from the Beartown stories, but I'm convinced he could write anything and I would love it.

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