Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

October 5th, 2020 Kimberly Review 33 Comments

5th Oct
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Anxious People
by Fredrik Backman
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Length: 9 hours and 53 minutes
Genres: Fiction
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.4x

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 slowly 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 set 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 80-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.

refreshing well written mystery Humor

I love listening to Backman’s novels on audio. His characters just spring to life. I went into Anxious People completely blind and wasn’t sure what to expect. Narrated by Marin Ireland, Backman delivered mystery, humor and a heartwarming tale about a group of people attending an open house.

Eight strangers in one apartment during a showing open up to each other as the police try to coax a failed bank robber into surrendering. A suicide attempt, a psychologist, and father-son cops trying to find the perp, created the perfect recipe for humor, enlightenment, and unlikely outcomes.

Backman has this unique understanding of what it means to be human, flaws and all. He allows the reader to gain understanding and see fresh perspectives. What drives someone to commit suicide? What makes a normal mom try to rob a bank? Is that couple as perfect as they appear? And who’s the wealthy lady that appears out of place?

I loved the premise and the delivery. It’s a play on a murder in a locked room. Only the police are treating this as an armed hostage situation. Clever, insightful and at times downright hilarious, I completely slipped into the story.

Marin Ireland narrates and did a delightful job with the characters, tone and pacing. It took me a minute to settle into the format, but Backman has an ease about his writing that pulls you in.

To say more would give too much away. I recommend listening, but this would also make a wonderful book club selection.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman delivered an insightful, heart-warming and humorous tale about life. #audiobook #NewRelease #MustListen #MarinIreland Click To Tweet
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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

33 Responses to “Anxious People by Fredrik Backman”

  1. Carla

    I read this one, but I think I should have listened to it. I really enjoyed the story and am glad to see you did as well. Backman has such a way with words.

  2. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra

    I loved this book when I read it but would really love to go back and do the audio version at some point. I think some of those police interviews that I found myself chuckling at would be even funnier that way.

  3. Cori R.

    I agree with your review. I went in a bit blind but loved this audiobook! I was rooting for the characters and loved the voices. Great review for a fantastic book!!

  4. Sam@wlabb

    You are so right. Backman always does a beautiful job crafting his characters and many have wormed their way into my heart. Glad to hear this was another good one from him!

  5. Tyler H. Jolley

    I’m super intrigued by Estelle and what she’s *really* doing there. What a fun and suspenseful book! I bet Backman had such a great time outlining such diverse characters.

    • Kimberly

      You must listen to A Man Called Ove… hands down my favorite, then of course read or listen to all of his books…fantastic!

  6. Ailyn Koay

    Poor robber! that would be a very nightmarish day for anyone