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Anxious People

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  487,003 ratings  ·  61,383 reviews
A poignant, charming 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
Hardcover, B&N Exclusive, 336 pages
Published September 8th 2020 by Atria Books (first published April 25th 2019)
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Anthony Rafael As a Swedish resident (now living in Stockholm) I can confirm that people from cities outside of Stockholm see Stockholmers as snobby and "better than…moreAs a Swedish resident (now living in Stockholm) I can confirm that people from cities outside of Stockholm see Stockholmers as snobby and "better than everyone else" the stereotype is that Stockholmers speak a certain way that sounds snobby. It is as though Stockholmers are the men in suits and the rest of the country are the working class if that makes sense. (Just an exaggeration to prove a point). Hope that makes things clearer(less)
Jessica There are many characters, but Backman is a genius at characterization, so it's easy to keep them straight.…moreThere are many characters, but Backman is a genius at characterization, so it's easy to keep them straight.(less)

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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Nilufer Ozmekik
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Don’t miss tv series adaptation of Anxious People on Netflix! My thoughts: the book is still so much better!

This is my goodreads 2020 choice as best fiction novel! It came at the second place and I adored “ Midnight Library” too. But this one still has special place in my heart! It’s still my favorite fiction reads of the year!

Good news: This amazing is about to be adapted in Swedish series. And fingers crossed, I hope Netflix buys this limited series so we may enjoy them!

This is one of my fa
Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️
2 - 2.5 Stars

I am definitely in the minority on this and I am very aware of that...all I can say is, Backman can really write (although I already knew that). And he can really write people. Which I also knew...

The problem was I just didn't actually like any of the people here. Or the plot.

Now, I'm not saying I always have to like all the people in a story to like the story itself. But when I not only dislike the people, but think they are completely obnoxious? And I think the plot is ridiculous
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh my, what an absolute gem this turned out to be! It's quintessential Backman: quirky, heartwarming, and uplifting.

On the surface, Anxious People is a story about a bank robbery gone wrong. The bank robber, having failed at robbing a bank, bursts upon an apartment viewing and proceeds to take a group of unfortunate strangers hostage. This group of mismatched folks, each with their secret fears and mistakes, slowly open their hearts to one another, and as a result, find their lives inexplicably
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Thought-provoking, heartbreaking but amusing. It is a perfect mix of tragic and hilarious, believable and absurd. The whimsical & humorous writing style about real subjects like suicide, depression made this story remarkable.
God doesn't protect people from knives, sweetheart. That's why God gave us other people, so we can protect each other.

Sweet Story
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman hit me right in the part of me that I never want to discuss, the part that I don't even know how to discuss. He knows how we feel at our lowest moments, during our biggest and smallest times of disappointment, grief, and feelings of despair. Yet, rather than bringing me down, he lightens my heart because we aren't alone in these feelings. There is humor in how we feel and there is hope in low times. This book made me laugh and I loved it. 

So now, watch me call a
Lisa of Troy
Aug 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is the most hilarious book I've read!

A bank robber on the loose runs into the apartment across the street. In it, he notices an apartment door open. There is a showing for the apartment, and there are prospective buyers inside. He enters the apartment to clear his thoughts but finds that these are the worst hostages ever. Meanwhile, the police in this small town are hot on the trail of the bank robber. Will they be able to discover who is the bank robber and where to find him?

Anxious People
*Updated 11/8/20* Buddy Listen with Kaceey! I'm so grateful that I got to share my love for this book with my book buddy and am so glad that Kaceey loved this book as much as I did.


5 Powerful Stars

“Anxious People” is a thought provoking, heart-wrenching, comical novel that leaves you in wonderment. It’s Fredrik Backman at his best. At its heart, this book deals with human connection and the impact people have on each other. It showcases Mr. Backman’s talent in an entirely new way and it is an
Dr. Appu Sasidharan
Feb 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What will happen when a profoundly compassionate person decides to keep a bunch of crazy people as hostages? Fredrik Backman shows it marvelously through this novel.

What makes this novel unique? Is it the elegance amid the chaos? Is it the hope of a better future amid the downright macabre of the present? Is it the humor amid the tragedy? Is it the author's prowess to make us smile and cry at the same time?

This book is an artistic creation, which subjugates our introspection and overwhelms our c
DNF at 15%.

The author tries too hard to be witty and quirky with a "deep message", but is neither funny or appealing. He uses an abundance of similes such as comparing children to kites (you hold on tight but the wind carries them off anyway) and fog is "like someone setting fire to ghosts" (has he actually set fire to one to know what it looks like?). My eyes were rolling. The witnesses to a bank robbery exhibit unrealistic and weird behavior (which is supposed to be quirky?). The 3rd person P
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‘we are doing the best we can, we really are...’

this message is the heart of this story.

‘…we all have this in common, yet most of us remain strangers, we never know what we do to each other, how your life is affected by mine. when this day is over and the night takes us, allow yourself a deep breath. because we made it through another day.’

and this is the heart of us readers.

this is a story that will speak to everyone who picks it up - from the anxious to the confident, from the broken t
chan ☆
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
move over beartown

there's a new sheriff in town. well, i guess that kind of depends on what you're in the market for. but this book came to me at the perfect place and time in my life. and something about that kind of serendipity makes this the superior book to me.

you see, i was perusing the aisles of target, as one does. and i was looking for something that i had a. never read before and b. actually had interest in reading. and among the popular fiction, i found something to fit the bill. this
The thing about this book is that it is cotton candy-level, cavity-threatening, headache-inducing type sweet, and simultaneously very sad and real and filled with the most upsetting things about being alive.

A real whirlwind.

If you are in the right mood for this book (which I was when I started it), then it is a whimsical, amusing, life-affirming journey to becoming an optimist.

But if you are not (which I suddenly shapeshifted into at some point), it is arduous to get through and kind of annoying
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This will definitely be a top 10 book for me this year!!

I have now read all of Mr. Bachman’s books and have enjoyed them all. This book had me engaged from the very beginning.

There are a handful of characters and they are all well developed. He is a genius when it comes to portraying people, their emotions, their habits, their “quirkiness”.

This book reminded me of a Seinfeld episode. Ther
Backman does it again! I loved it!

I could only assume the book was about me and my people 😁. In all seriousness, though, it is appropriate title because it is a character study and a character driven mystery. As you learn about the people along the way, you might learn a little bit about yourself.

I love the way that Backman writes. He only has one book that I did not completely adore (My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry). I am excited every time I see a new book is out from him and I
Miranda Reads
Dec 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Just released my Top 10 Books from 2020 BookTube Video - now that you know this one made the list, click the link to find the rest!
The Written Review

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
Oh my gosh.

Like most Backman books at this point...I'm at a complete loss regarding how to tell you that this book is, quite frankly, the best thing I've read all year.

I'm just overwhelmed by the sheer goodness of this book...and if
Maggie Stiefvater
Jul 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, recommended
This Swedish novel is about a hapless apartment viewing, a hapless bank robbery, and a hapless hostage situation. It’s a peculiar, stylized book with a brand of comedy that made me feel like I was watching a version of Amelie where she takes her neighbors hostage by accident. It’s a very kind novel. It's a very dark novel. It's a very light novel. It's a novel, it notes, about idiots.

(and now I understand why readers, after finishing All the Crooked Saints, have suggested I try a Backman novel)
This book has restored my faith in humanity. It’s 1am and I just finished reading this book, and I really enjoyed it. Fredrik Backman is such an incredible author, he has such a great way with words and I love that he can write such a light-hearted story about such a serious subject. Here are some notes I jotted down while reading, as well as some of my favorite quotes:

tw: suicide, death of a loved one, depression, suicidal thoughts
•The way this book talks about anxiety and depression just rea
Angela M (On a little break)
4+ stars
I was anxious to read this book, good anxious, as in I couldn’t wait to read it. Fredrik Backman has been on my list of favorite authors since I read A Man Called Ove several years ago. I’ve have read all of his published books and I loved all of them. But when I started reading this one, I became anxious in another way. I was anxious because I thought I was going to end up not liking the book. It’s kind of a quirky story, bizarre at times. The narrator even says , “The whole thing is a
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fredrik Backman demonstrates with style and panache his remarkable and astute understanding of what it is to be human in this profound and philosophical locked room mystery that beguiles in how it pulls at our heartstrings, with its emotionally charged heartbreak, tragedy, humour and in the joy of human connectivity. He creates a host of stellar and diverse characters, including a rabbit, anxious, with messy and chaotic lives, and their idiocy, not only their idiocy, but all of our idiocy too. T ...more
Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill
Apr 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Wow! That was fantastic! This book is about.....being human. I have only read one other book by this author and it was Ove. I am probably the only person on this earth that didn't enjoy that book. I was like what is all the fuss about? Umm yeah ...THIS....this right here is what all the fuss is about. This author is absolutely brilliant to be able to put this story together in the manner that he did. I am going to say one thing...Kevin Bacon...Nope Kevin Bacon is not in this book, but just keep ...more
Reading_ Tamishly
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, this book is one of his best so far. One of his most popular books didn't work for me. But I had a right vibe about this one and I was so, so, so crazy about its release ever since I saw the cover reveal. And yes, this book is going to be adapted as a TV series! I mean just do it 🖤

The story is about, yes, a few idiots who got in a weird situation while checking out an apartment (for that matter a not-so-functional cheap one). An idiotic bank robbery attempt with the bank robber ending up w
Oct 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
I tried, I really tried folks, but I just didn't find it funny, compassionate or entertaining. So many of my friends are loving this one and I enjoyed reading their reviews on the novel but for me it was a tedious and an annoying read.

Looking back on the books I have read by this author I just realised I don't enjoy his humour. Having loved Beartown and And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and disliking Britt-Marie Was Here,A Man Called Ove his humour is wasted on me.

I though
David Putnam
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
This author has a great talent and I will read anything he writes.
I loved, loved A Man Called Ov so maybe my expectations were set a little too high on Anxious People. I did enjoy this book a great deal and would recommend it to anyone. The concept is unique, a bank robbery investigated by a father and son and their conflicts. This would’ve been five stars had the backstory of “The bank robber,” not been in second person. This structure not only stopped the forward motion of the story but for me
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
Oh this one pains me, but I'm going to be the outlier on it. I am a fan of Backman. Read a number of his books, saw him speak in person about one of them, and even got to meet him and get a photo with him. Great speaker, engaging, and nice guy, the photo was his suggestion. When I saw he was to have a new book out, again I bugged my library so long ago about....and when it arrived I was number one in the queue. I dropped my other reads and immediately started it. And along the way....I almost DN ...more
Elyse Walters
“This was a story about many different things, but most of all about idiots. Because we’re doing the best we can, we really are. We’re trying to be grown-up and love each other and understand how the hell you’re supposed to insert USB leads. We are looking for something to cling onto, something to fight for, something to look forward to. We’re doing all we can to teach our children how to swim”.

Love Fredrik Backman? Long time fan?
Me too!

New to Backman?
His stories ... in the most raw sense of
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Omg!! I love this author so much!! It took me awhile to quit crying so I could write a few words. This book gave me all of the feels and got plopped right on my favorites list!

This is a story about a bank robbery, an apartment viewing, and a hostage drama. But even more it’s a story about idiots. But perhaps not only that.

I love each of the characters so damn much. They just stole my heart. This book is funny, sad, hopeful.... There is suicide. There is everything. I marked many pages. The
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 big lovely stars!
“This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots. So it needs saying from the outset that it’s always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you can forget how idiotically difficult being human is.”
Jack is having a really bad day. A police officer, he’s investigating a bank robbery that wasn’t a robbery, that led to a hostage situation and a missing perpetrator. The witness interviews all have a sense of “who’s on first?” to them. Well, his
5 stars

OK, so according to the author, this book is about a botched bank robbery, an apartment open house, and a hostage situation. That’s it. And most everyone in the story is an idiot. Again, author’s words. Does this sound like a must-read to you? No? It certainly doesn’t to me either. But I read it because I have faith in said author to deliver a great story no matter how boring the premise. Did I like it? Yes, I did. I actually loved it. And I loved it enough to put it in my potential “best
Sep 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have not read this book – read this comment first – this book is not just about a bank robbery, hostage drama or about love between people – it is much more and beyond that – the contents are not similar to one of those `read, enjoy and forget` mystery, crime or romance thrillers – it is important to start this book with the right expectations, as it will make more sense and will be more valuable.


"Our hearts are bars of soap that we keep losing hold of; the moment we relax, they drift
Lori - I'm back (with a lot to catch up on)

I didn't want this to end so I read it a second time and some parts more than that, and I'm sad that it's time to call time, but it is.

This is a the story of a bank robber who, oops, tries to rob a cashless bank then panics, runs across the street and right into a realtor's apartment viewing, panicking even more and taking everyone there hostage. The opening sentence of "Beartown" is one of my favorite opening sentences of all time. The opening paragraph of "Anxious Peopl
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Oregon Public Lib...: Anxious People [November 2022] 1 3 Oct 08, 2022 11:04AM  
A good book 1 5 Oct 07, 2022 02:48PM  
Play Book Tag: Anxious People - Fredrick Backman - 5 stars 1 10 Sep 19, 2022 05:14PM  
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Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove (soon to be a major motion picture starring Tom Hanks), My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, as well as two novellas, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer and The Deal of a Lifetime. Things My Son Needs to Know About the World, his first work ...more

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“They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences. But that isn’t true, at least not entirely, because if our past was all that defined us, we’d never be able to put up with ourselves. We need to be allowed to convince ourselves that we’re more than the mistakes we made yesterday. That we are all of our next choices, too, all of our tomorrows.” 778 likes
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