Anxious People: A Novel (Hardcover)
As Backman so eloquently puts it, “this is a book about idiots”. Frankly, we’re all idiots. We’re either idiots about something or the people we love most make us do idiotic things. Anxious People is the story of a bank robber, the worst hostages ever, and a father-son cop duo who, as one fateful day unfolds, realize that there is more that connects them than separates them. Their interwoven lives are beautiful, painful, and stunningly real. Pick this book up and get held hostage by the storytelling, the characters, and your love for them both.
-Clare— From Clare's Recs
September 2020 Indie Next List
“This book made me feel all the feels! It was sad, it was funny, it was hopeful, it was everything. The character development is incredible at revealing what’s inside each of the characters, and the way their stories link and interconnect is genius. It’s a story about sadness and hope and human connections. I couldn’t put it down and barreled to the end, but now I am sad it’s over. Anxious People is truly the best thing I’ve read in a long time!”
— Lisa Driban, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE
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.
About the Author
Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children. Connect with him on Facebook and Twitter @BackmanLand and on Instagram @Backmansk.
“Backman again captures the messy essence of being human...It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry.” —Washington Post
“Backman’s latest novel hits the sweet spot between profoundly insightful and preposterously funny….I hugged this book tightly with a smile on my face and tears in my eyes.” –USA Today
“The perfect balance of heartwarming and heart-wrenching, and Fredrik Backman has a way of simply yet elegantly describing relationships. We can all be idiots, but we’re still all human beings worthy of connection and love.” –NPR
“A brilliant and comforting read.” —Matt Haig, bestselling author of The Midnight Library
“An endlessly entertaining mood booster.” —Real Simple
"This book examines how a shared event can change the course of many lives at once. And if you like strongly drawn characters and a mix of humor and heartbreak, this one's for you.” –The Skimm
"[A] witty, lighthearted romp...Backman charms." —Publishers Weekly
"Wry, wise and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure.” —People
“A deeply funny and warm examination of how individual experiences can bring a random group of people together. Backman reveals each character’s many imperfections with tremendous empathy, reminding us that people are always more than the sum of their flaws.” —BookPage
"[A] tight-knit, surprise-filled narrative... the brisk, absorbing action prompts meditation on marriage, parenting, responsibility, and global economic pressures. Comedy, drama, mystery, and social study, this novel is undefinable except for the sheer reading pleasure it delivers. Highly recommended."—Library Journal (starred review)
“Backman’s latest novel focuses on how a shared event can change the course of multiple people’s lives even in times of deep and ongoing anxiousness. A story with both comedy and heartbreak sure to please Backman fans.” —Kirkus Review
“Funny, compassionate and wise...an absolute joy.” —AJ Pearce, author of Dear Mrs. Bird