Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

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.

Category:Friendship Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Audio (September 8, 2020)
Format:Audiobook (9 hours, 53 minutes)
Start Date:January 3, 2021
End Date:January 6, 2021
My Rating:9/10


Anxious People isn’t the sort of book I would’ve picked out on my own, only because I haven’t really been into reading fiction very much recently. Everything I read last year was non-fiction and the year before I only read a single fiction book. With 2021 though, I wanted to try something new and mix it up a bit. I pulled up the Goodreads book of the year awards list for 2020 and it was one of the to voted fiction titles. The premise sounded interesting so I found the audiobook edition on Scribd and decided to give it a listen while I worked.

If I had to give this book a single word review, that word would be Excellent. I absolutely loved it! I couldn’t stop reading (or in this case, listening) to it!