Anxious People - Fredrik Backman

Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman

  • Release Date: 2020-09-08
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4.5
From 3,757 Ratings


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.


  • Amazing!

    By allison nolagirl
    The interwoven character happen chances is truly amazing. The omniscient yet blinks narrator point of view is another great touch along with slightly anonymity of the bank robber!
  • Really good!

    By EnE16
    Really endearing and great storytelling
  • Creative and wonderful

    By collegereaderk
    Incredible. Don’t be turned away by it being a little slow and slightly confusing at first. It is so worth it. Relatable and heartbreaking and uplifting. Feeling lonely has never felt less alone.
  • Fredrik Backman is like no other

    By Connor Bruton
    My greatest takeaway from this novel is that Fredrik Backman is a fantastic author. He writes in a fascinating way: breaking the fourth wall and asking the reader what they would do in certain situations. I love that he explores the vulnerability of the most mysterious and intimidating characters (Zara, Roger), revealing that even the most rigid people have emotional baggage too. I also love that the story is told backward - with the police questioning the victims first and then the true story of the bank robbery/hostage situation - because this makes the novel unpredictable and exciting to find out what happens next. Definitely a book I will be thinking about for years to come.
  • Amazing

    By Lola Flores
    What a great book. Perfectly written and what an incredible story. Thank you for writing this!
  • Anxious People

    By Sues004
    I had a hard time with the 1st half of the book. But…I stuck with it and the story grew on me. This author definitely has a different way of writing.
  • A delightful read

    By Bajandumpling
    This story is hilarious, touching, improbable, touching, and unpredictable all at once. Loved it !
  • A beautiful story if humanity

    By Maf205
    This book will make you laugh and cry and fall in love with the characters. It takes a few chapters to become hooked but once you are you don’t want it to end. The prose is beautiful and reminds me that fiction brings us reminders of real life- we are all in this together.
  • Another winner in my book!

    By LP827
    Having read several of Backman’s books, I really looked forward to this one and it didn’t disappoint. Loved all the characters, with their quirkiness and complexity. Their lives intersect one day and they learn about each other and themselves. A great story.
  • Amazing

    By Claydo21
    This book made me laugh, cry and gave me hope for my life and current situation. Love this author and his style of writing. I definitely recommend this book.