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Anxious People – a highly original book that is funny, clever and extremely touching.

A bank robbery in a small town in Sweden goes wrong and an unintended hostage situation takes place across the street in an apartment having an Open House. After the people in the apartment are released, the local police (a father and son team) interview the victims to help them find the bank robber who has disappeared. The interviews read like comedy routines. After the initial humor, an interesting group of people emerge. What starts as a quirky story of an ill-conceived robbery turns into a moving character study. We start to care about each of the hostages as well as the unnamed bank robber who shows extreme ineptitude by trying to rob a cashless bank.


In addition to learning about the people who were held hostage, the story also focuses on a nearby bridge where ten years before, it was the scene of a tragic suicide and a near suicide. The bridge is visible from the apartment.


Anxious People by Fredrik Backman is a very original book that had me laughing and crying. None of the characters are exactly who they originally appear to be. Each is in need of some type of rescue. I’m a bit late to the party reading this book as I wasn’t sure if I’d connect to the story. Turns out, it took an unusual Thanksgiving holiday for me to spend the day reading it and I ended up savoring this lovely book.


Rated 4.25 out of 5 stars.

Literary Fiction.

Publication Date: September 8, 2020.


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