Book Review: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman (translated by Neil Smith) is a crime comedy about eight strangers in a hostage situation, taking place in a small Swedish town. Mr. Backman is prolific, award winning, writer from Sweden.

  • Hardcover : 352 pages
  • ISBN-10: 150116083
  • Publisher : Atria Books
  • Language: : English

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My rating for Anxious People4
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More Books by Fredrik Backman

I knew I was going to like this book from the first line: “This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots”. That’s actually not true, I’ve read several of Mr. Backman’s works and liked them all so I knew there would be a good chanced I’d like this.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is another story taking place in a small Swedish town, where residents could live a peaceful life, unknowingly interacting and changing one another lives forever. I always enjoy the author’s heartwarming story, told with sarcastic wit and quirky, seemingly unrelated events which come together at the end.

Mr. Backman understands human relationships, anxieties and emotions. He knows how to write about them and how to squeeze them so the reader will be able to feel, or at least understand them. In this book the relationships between total strangers who got into a bad situation just amplifies everything involved.

This is a quirky, funny book with a big heart. It does takes a few pages to get used to the author’s writing style and narrative. When telling the story his style is choppy, short sentences to make a point. Dialogue, of course is a different story altogether especially when the characters are interacting.

Even though the book follows the lives of several people, the tone is still very intimate, the quirks, jokes and sarcasm only enhance the sense of loneliness many of them feel, even though they are together with others. The topics the author explores are heavy, but he does so with delicacy and sensitivity which comes across even in a translated form (kudos Mr. Smith).

In a small Swedish town, a bank robbery has taken place. The bank robber is, obviously, not a professional for trying to rob a cashless bank. The robber stumbles into a showing for an apartment, on New Year’s Eve no less, and accidentally turns the incident into a hostage situation.

The small town’s two cops arrive the scene, they are father and son and have to deal with the circus they did not want. Through post even interviews, flashbacks, and history of the hostages the police is trying to weave together what exactly happened.

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More Books by Fredrik Backman

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
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