• sujata chaudhury

Anxious People

Anxious People is a novel by Fredrik Backman, famous for his award-winning book 'A Man Called Ove'. Fredrik Backman is known for his characters. Each one of his characters leaves an impression on the reader. Anxious People is set in a small town in Sweden. It is a story about a bank robbery. More accurately, a bank robbery turned into a hostage situation. But the bank robber is not communicating any demands to the police. Even the seven hostages get agitated as the Bank Robber refuses to threaten them and looks more confused than harmful.

As the title of the book suggest it is a book about anxious people. Not the eight people mentioned in the book but about us, people around the globe trying to get through their lives in this fast-moving world. It is about our insecurities, stupid decisions, helpless situations which are common in every one of our lives and make us the "anxious people". But his book is also about the small act of kindness from one screwed-up person towards another which makes the earth a livable place, if not a fair one. What makes this a Fredrik Backman book is that all these life-altering lessons are presented to the readers in a comic way but also promises to leave you teary-eyed.

There are around ten characters written in detail in the book. And though it is a significantly large number all the characters are unique yet blend with each other smoothly. Often a large number of characters proves to be a disadvantage for a book as some characters are forgettable or feel redundant. But Backman has managed to turn the table around and convert it into an advantage. Each character is memorable and different which allows a wider set audience to relate to this book. Though the core of the book deals with delicate and grave things like mental health, marriage, gender bias, the impact of social media, the book is very funny and guarantees to make the reader laugh at quite some places.

The only negative thing about the book is that it is hard to comprehend at the beginning. At the starting of the book, there is a rush of all the different characters and the conversations between them which makes the initial chapters hard to understand, as a result of which even the writing suffers. As soon as the characters get familiarized the book picks up and keeps getting better. This book is unpredictable, hilarious and shows that a little bit of compassion can go a long way.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. Please stick with it through the first few pages. Happy reading

“God doesn't protect people from knives, sweetheart. That's why God gave us other people, so we can protect each other.”

Fredrik Backman, Anxious People


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