Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Title: Anxious People
Author: Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster 
Release Date: September 8, 2020

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer of astonishing depth” (The Washington Times) comes a poignant comedy about a crime that never book 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 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.

"Worst hostages ever."

A bank robbery that never becomes a bank robbery. A hostage situation that might not be a hostage situation. Yet, there is intent, a mask, and a gun involved. 

Eight stranger's anxieties that are all in one apartment viewing when a masked individual walks in, a suicide, a psychologist, and two cops trying to get to the bottom of it all, becomes the perfect mixture for a good novel.

Surprisingly funny and sad with moments of revelation is what Anxious People delivers to this reader. I became engrossed in the life of these people. How fate has put them all together in one place to bring out all of their issues into the open. 

Anxiuos People has a true message. A good person can make a bad decision. Should the bad decision define us? Should we get a second chance? We have all been "idiots" at one point. Right?

I encourage people to read this book. It is not the usual prose I'm used to but it works nonetheless.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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