Review : Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

 By Nazeha Maryam Jamal

“A bank robber. A hostage drama. A stairwell full of police officers on their way to storm an apartment. It was easy to get to this point, much easier than you might think. All it took was one single really bad idea.” 

That pretty much sums up synopsis of the story. Chaos ensues when eight anxious strangers at an apartment viewing are held hostage by an equally anxious bank robber. Two policemen trying to defuse the situation. One anxious to catch the culprit and the second concerned for the other’s wellbeing. They have no idea how their lives are going to get entangled in the next few hours. 

‘Anxious people’ is a restoring-your-faith-in-humanity-kinda book. Fredrick Backman takes you through the fears, traumas and anxiety of each character and creates and empathetic and relatable bond with the readers. You cannot help but feel compassionate for these people. Their quirkiness and sometimes downright stupidity make you smile.  

It’s an unlikely story and as the author says, a story about idiots. It’s not written to astonish you but to calm you. Lighten your heart. To tell you that we all have messy days. We all commit some extremely stupid, embarrassing mistakes. It’s okay to have fears. If you are looking for a light, heart-warming read, then this book is definitely for you but it will also make you cry a little.


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