Anxious People

Anxious People

Book - 2020
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Taken hostage by a failed bank robber while attending an open house, eight anxiety-prone strangers--including a redemption-seeking bank director, two couples who would fix their marriages, and a plucky octogenarian--discover their unexpected common traits.
Publisher: New York : Atria Books, 2020.
Edition: First Atria Books hardcover edition.
ISBN: 9781501160837
Branch Call Number: F BACKMAN
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 24 cm
Additional Contributors: Smith, Neil (Neil Andrew), - Translator


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Sep 13, 2020

Backman’s latest book reminds me of doing macramé. At first, its just a lot of individual pieces of string you are trying to get into a pattern of order, except that it doesn’t always make sense until you finish the last knot. So it is with Anxious People, a bunch of people are thrown together at an apartment showing in a small Swedish city, only to be kept there by an inept bank robber. Meanwhile, you, the reader is going back and forth in time, trying to make sense of what goes on. I struggled with the book until I got to the part where the older policeman is having to google “what to do in a hostage situation”, and with one guffaw of laughter, I got it. The story didn’t have to make a lot of sense, until the end, when you discover that the book is about love and caring for one another. Hang in there, just like you did with that goofy piece of macramé, at the end you’re not only going to really care about everyone but you’re going to be so glad you got to share this part of their lives. And you’re going to go “This is one of the most clever, witty books I’ve ever read” and maybe you’ll turn that feeling into something positive by helping someone who is struggling with depression.

debwalker Sep 09, 2020

When a group of house hunters is taken hostage by an incompetent bank robber....

Aug 31, 2020

Backman could not have chosen a better time to write a book about anxious people. They are all around us in 2020. I am fascinated by the storytelling genius that Backman once again exhibits in this multi-layered narrative. Is this about a bank robbery? A hostage situation? A police investigation? A bridge? An apartment? Mental health? Family? Loneliness? Yes. All of the above and more. A dual timeline depicting before and after the resolution of the hostage situation is interspersed with transcripts of the police interviews. Throughout, Backman uses a detached approach to poke fun of our culture while at the same time affirming the beauty of humanity. As in Ove, the subject of suicide is a prevalent theme and a page with resources for those considering that option is included in the end notes. I would also like to add God's word as a resource, specifically Psalm 34:18; "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit."


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