Anxious People – by Fredrik Backman – independent book review – Fiction

If you, like me, flag in your interest about half way through this book (where I would have given it 3 stars), stick with it. The end makes it work finishing (the reason I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads).

This is the fourth book I’ve read by Fredrik Backman, whose humor I love. There are some passages in here (like a spot-on description of the busyness of adulthood) that I found absolutely priceless, that you’ll want to read aloud to those you love. Then there were other times when the plot seemed to drag and the humor got kind of gimmicky and annoying.

The narrative jumps around in time, so the story is slowly pieced together. A fleeing bank robber ends up hiding out in an apartment with a bunch of random people looking to potentially rent the unit. Outside, father and son police officers, with their own relationship issues to navigate, are trying to figure out what’s going on. And that’s all I will reveal about the plot so I don’t spoil anything for you.

As readers slowly figure out what’s happening along with the police officers, we get to know this group of people, some of their inner most vulnerabilities, and, for some of them, the trauma inflicted by actual and near suicides in their lives. So, while there is lots of humor, periodically, there are quite serious and beautiful moments that reveal simple humanity, with all its flaws and foibles. Bottom line: I’m still a Backman fan, though I liked A Man Called Ove better.

Fredrik Backman

More about the author, Fredrik Backman.

You may be interested in my reviews of other books by Backman:

A Man Called Ove

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

And Everyday the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer