If you are like me and would rather watch a video review than read one, skip to the bottom. I got you covered.😉
What It's About
When a bank robbery doesn't go as planned, the bank robber instead accidentally takes an apartment full of perspective buyers -an old woman, a young couple expecting their first child and looking for their first home, an older couple who renovate apartments, a rich middle aged woman and a half naked man wearing a rabbit head -hostage.
That's all I'm giving you. (Can you tell I don't like giving away what books are about!?)
What I Thought
I loved this book and it cemented Fredrik Backman as one of my favorite authors. Very rarely is one author able to knock it out of the park Every. Single. Time. I have tons of books that I absolutely LOVE, but hardly any of them are by the same author (except Richard Wagamese- I also love all of his books but in a completely different way). I have only read four books by Fredrik Backman so far - Beartown, Us Against You, A Man Called Ove and now Anxious People - and I completely loved each of them. As an author, he has a way of making you both laugh and cry in the same breath. He is so unbelievably funny and the way that he sees the world is unique, but also so incredibly relatable. There were so many moments while I was reading that I thought- no, deeply felt- like he was writing it just for me. I felt it all. The joys and the hardships of parenting, marriage, friendship. I've been there and I continue to be there for all of it. On every page was a paragraph or a sentence that shot right through me. At first, I tried to keep track of them but it became obvious really fast that I would be writing down almost the entire book word for word.
Backman has an innate talent for creating characters that are completely developed and we get to see them from every angle. We get to know their flaws, their weaknesses, their triumphs, what makes them tick. We get it all and this makes it impossible to hate them because they are so human. It's hard to hate someone when you can see the cumulation of their lives laid out before you. Much in the same way that, it's hard to hate anyone, no matter how idiotic they are, if you really get to know them. I noticed that, at least in this book, that he doesn't spend a lot of time describing what his characters look like physically. There are a few descriptors sprinkled in here and there, but overall he allows his readers to decide what they look like without it feeling like anything is missing,
This book in particular. Wow. It kept me guessing all the way up until the end. Most of the time, I had little idea what was going on or where exactly the story was going and I was so okay with that. I was just happy living in a little snapshot of the world that he created. Anxious People introduces us to a new cast of characters that are so irritating, hilarious, flawed and lovable. He takes them. puts them all into one space and then weaves them all together. I love how he is able to make connections with his characters throughout the story and it never feels forced or contrived. It's just so natural the way they come together.
I'm notorious for not crying when I'm supposed to. I never cry in books. Everyone I know cries, cries, cries. They send pictures of themselves crying while reading. Me? No. Dry eyes. I always try to squeeze out the tears, but nothing. With Ove, I did tear up, but none actually fell. With Anxious People, I CRIED. Real tears dripped off of me. I read the entire end out loud to my baby in an attempt to entertain her while also entertaining myself so it's possible that I cried, because I was physically saying the words instead of just reading them, but I'm counting it. I finally cried in a book. I'm not a complete robot.
5/5 Definitely 5.
Shanna's review is spot on!