Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: September 8, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
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Anxious People is a comic novel that follows nine people held hostage by a bank robber at an apartment’s open house in a small town in Sweden. Starting after the robber lets everyone free, it traces the police investigation as they attempt to determine what really happened in that apartment. Along the way, the police and the reader learn that not everyone is telling the truth about what happened, and learn far more than they ever cared to know about the personal lives of the people held hostage in the apartment on that fateful day.
At first the style of Anxious People really, truly annoyed me. The long paragraphs that seemed to just be endless rants felt random and obnoxious. But once the story started to connect, I really began to enjoy it. I liked the interconnectedness of the entire plot, and the seemingly random hilarious rants and witty societal commentary. I initially thought this would be a book I needed to take in doses, but I ended up reading the last 200 pages in one sitting, completely engrossed in the story and the lives of all the characters. I liked that it was quite a light and funny story but still dealt with some heavy topics such as suicide.
Thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.