Anxious People - Fredrik Backman

Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman

  • Release Date: 2020-09-08
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 2,353 Ratings


Instant #1 New York Times Bestseller

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 #1 New York Times bestselling 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.


  • Couldn’t get through it

    By AuntJannie
    The way in which the story was told was unusual and clever, but I got tired of it and impatient to simply read the story. I’m sure the author brought it all together in the end, like he did with Ove, but I’ll never know.
  • Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

    By cc2cc2cc2
    Stumbled upon this book and it is brilliant! The characters are complex, unique, witty, and lovable idiots (he uses “idiots” a lot throughout the book). The author intertwines the characters lives in a way that is new and fresh, with humor about a serious subject. Tremendous read. Love the way Backman tells a story.
  • Good read

    By Miwltawansa
    I really enjoyed this book. I felt it was a little slow to get into it but I’m glad I read it. Loved the ending and all the connections
  • Thought provoking

    By meaghankelly24
    Somehow turns the most depressing topics into comedy without minimizing the seriousness of the topic. Loved this novel.
  • Wanted to enjoy it more

    By Liv037294
    i went into this book wanting to enjoy it more than i did. really i did love the individual character developments, especially Zara with her therapist. but i found it hard to take serious, in the way that no one would talk to police like that, when they are just trying to ask questions about the situation.? it made me so mad because why is every character rude (besides Estelle) and sharing weird personal details with a police officer like that? I know it becomes kind of reveled/slightly part of the plot but it’s just not realistic and could have been handled in such a different way. also the way the gender of the bank robber kept changing made it confusing to follow. i understand why the author did this, to make it more hard to predict, but it just ended up being more weird and hard to follow to me. I think this book has some amazing insights that are illustrated in such a beautiful way, but to me, these two things become overpowering in annoyance when trying to follow the plot.
  • Wonderful Writing

    By Hampton46
    The beginning of this book is a combination of Abbott and Costello (“Who’s on first”), The Three Stooges, Six Degrees of Separation,and Saturday Night Live. Then it flows into one of the most meaningful stories you’ll ever read. What great characters!
  • Lovely tangled tale

    By I have loved this app
    It took longer to love this story and to untangle it than it did Ove, but in the end, once I’d turned the last page, it felt just a sweetly sad and delightful.
  • Absolutely loved this.

    By JumpinSwim
    I laughed, I related, I scratched my head, and I cried. I purchased this book not really knowing what I was going to get into. It was the new year, and in my new year slump/depression I told myself I was going to read more. I had a very hard time putting this book down, and that NEVER happens to me. Give this book a read. I didn’t mind the story order as much as some other reviews have mentioned. I found the way the story is told is like how a tv show is written. I want to go tell my friends and family about this book.
  • Anxious People

    By Dad Gray
    The story started off slow as the author revealed the quirky characters. As they developed, the connected emotions and general goodness in people’s hearts became the primary theme woven around an interesting getaway story. Clever story, interesting characters and beautifully written.
  • The first book to bring tears in years

    By crypticcal
    We all need this book right now