by Fredrik Backman
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Length: 9 hours and 53 minutes
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
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.
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.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
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.
I prefer his books on audio, but glad you enjoyed it.
I went in kind of blind, too, and it took me a bit to settle in as well. I really enjoyed the story! My only wish is that the narrator had a Swedish accent being it was set in Sweden.
Glad you enjoyed it, and yes, that would have a been a nice touch.
Aj @ Read All The Things!
Yay! I love Fredrik Backman’s books. They’re hilarious and sweet. I can’t wait to read this one.
I love him too. Happy reading!
Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight
Oooh I really want to read this one! I don’t read enough humorous books, and this one just sounds so unique! I am so glad you enjoyed it, bumping it to the top of my list!!
It was humorous and touched on humanity. I hope you enjoy it!
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.
Oh my goodness yes, this was made for audio.. and the narrator was stellar.
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!!
I am so glad you listened and enjoyed it. His books are wonderful on audio.
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!
Glad to hear you feel the same Sam!
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.
All the characters are unique..I hope you find out!
Anne - Books of My Heart
I’ve seen only good things about this one. Fantastic review!
Love this author Anne!
Oh it looks good and I didn’t know about this one so now I’m curious!
Glad I could introduce you to it!
Four out of five cups? I gave it 5/5 stars. No matter, it is really a lovely book!
I loved this but enjoyed A Man Called Ove and Britt-Marie Was Here more. Those I would listen to again. This one I shall remember.
Jonetta (Ejaygirl) | Blue Mood Café
I’m so excited about this one and you’ve only increased my enthusiasm, Kimberly? I’ve also got it on audio. Excellent review!
Yay… I love this author and hope you devour it!
Wow he’s a new to me author and i’m putting this on my list! Thanks
You must listen to A Man Called Ove… hands down my favorite, then of course read or listen to all of his books…fantastic!
I’ve seen this one around and it does sound good. Glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you. Delighted people are hearing about it 🙂
Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out
It’s a delightful read!
Sweet..I am glad you enjoyed it as well 🙂
Poor robber! that would be a very nightmarish day for anyone
Hehe..poor robber indeed!