Anxious People: A Novel
Instant number one New York Times best seller
A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more!
“[A] quirky, big-hearted novel…Wry, wise, and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure.” (People)
From the number one New York Times best-selling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel 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.
Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.
Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them — the bank robber included — desperately crave some sort of rescue.
As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope — the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.
In "Anxious People," Fredrik Backman weaves a heartwarming and humorous tale that explores the complexities of human relationships and the power of connection. Set in a small Swedish town, the story revolves around a botched bank robbery, a hostage situation, and a quirky cast of characters who find themselves unexpectedly thrown together.
At the center of the narrative is Jack, a charming but anxiety-ridden bank robber who accidentally ends up holding a group of strangers hostage in an apartment during a botched robbery attempt. As the hours pass, Jack and his hostages form unlikely bonds and share their deepest fears and secrets, revealing their vulnerabilities and the ways in which they are all connected.
Backman's storytelling shines as he delves into the lives of his characters, each with their own unique quirks and struggles. There's Julia, a pregnant woman who is dealing with the impending birth of her child and the challenges of her marriage; Roger, a retiree who is struggling with loneliness and a sense of purposelessness; and Estelle, a sharp-tongued grandmother with a secret past. Through their interactions and conversations, these characters reveal the complexities of human nature and the ways in which our anxieties and fears can shape our lives.
"Anxious People" is a poignant and uplifting story that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the power of human connection. Backman's skillful storytelling and his ability to create characters that feel real and relatable make this novel a must-read for anyone looking for a heartwarming and thought-provoking read.