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Publisher's Summary

Instant number one New York Times best seller

A People Book of the Week, Book of the Month Club selection, and Best of Fall in Good Housekeeping, PopSugar, The Washington Post, New York Post, Shondaland, CNN, and more!

“[A] quirky, big-hearted novel…Wry, wise, and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure.” (People)

From the number one New York Times best-selling author of A Man Called Ove comes a charming, poignant novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world. 

Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them — the bank robber included — desperately crave some sort of rescue. 

As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope — the things that save us, even in the most anxious times. 

©2020 Fredrik Backman. All rights reserved. (P)2020 Simon & Schuster. All rights reserved. Translation Copyright ©2020 Neil Smith. Originally published in Sweden in 2019 as Folk med Angest Published by arrangement with Salomonsson Agency

What listeners say about Anxious People

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Just brilliant

This book is so clever. I laughed and cried and felt for all the characters. The narrator did an incredible job as there are a lot of voices but she made each one distinct.

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Sensitive and sweet

What’s wrong with that? Nothing really except we aren’t allowed to be sweet anymore in this life. We are too busy pretending to be important. Backman writes with lovely humour and great empathy. Well worth reading

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  • DIY Sammy
  • 09-09-2020

Read. This. Now.

I read everything. Anything that comes my way, on a voracious journey to find books that make me FEEL. Once, in a great while, comes a book like this. A book I can read again and again, and the feel is always there. Mr Backman is an author for our time, of our time.

37 people found this helpful

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  • 🎧 Cyndi Marie 🎧
  • 09-09-2020

✫✫ 4.5 Stars ✫✫

Another hit by Fredrik Backman. I love his whimsical & humorous writing style about real subjects. This book had it all, I think I had every emotion at some point while listening to this book. It is about idiots, or maybe just real people and the choices they make good or bad (his words not mine) ;) At first I hated all of the characters and wanted them all to just shut up and by the end I adored almost all of them and their quirkiness. I feel like Backman does an amazing job at showing us the characters faults and then making us see they are just normal people like me & you. Marin Ireland is perfect for Backman's work. She embraces the writing style with her narration and enhances the experience. I don't know if I would enjoy his book as much with an average narrator.

32 people found this helpful

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  • Geoffrey
  • 12-09-2020

We are all idiots

Anxious People is Fredrik Backman latest book. He has a way of telling stories like no other author I have read. Even with an expansive set of characters, he is able to make each one unique in their own way. Essentially, this book is what it means to be human. My first introduction to Fredrik Backman work was through "A Man Called Ove". I was moved by Fredrik Backman writing about loneliness. It tells a beautiful story about a grumpy old man named Ove, and his unintentional friendship with his neighbour called Parveneh. It is a tale about friendship, love, and loneliness. Anxious People is about life and idiots. In our current western society, a lot of the medium we consume tells us we have to special. Tik Tok, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Movies, TV Shows, and companies all are selling us individuality and perfection. It could be certain products to make us look a certain way, videos that show off the perfect family, or the perfect life, or products that make us unique. We hear comments "once in a lifetime experience", "limit edition", or "it is life-changing". If we are boring, we are uninteresting, if we are unhappy, we are ill, and if we are lost in life, we are a failure. However, Anxious People reminds us that we do not have to be perfect. We find perfection in imperfection, we find happiness in the mundane, and we find love in the unexpected. This is all of our first-time experiencing life. We did not have practice before-hand, and there is no course guide on how to do life. It is up to us to figure that out, and of course, we are going to make many mistakes. Some of us make some really bad choice. However, we all do deserve a second chance to try again: this time, a bit wiser. In the end, we are all just a bunch of idiots trying our best, and that is all we can really ask for ourselves and for each other.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Trudi
  • 15-09-2020

Didn't work for me.

I've listened to A Man Named Ove, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, and Us against You, written by Fredrik Backman and assumed I would love this one as much as I loved all his others, in fact I would consider him one of my favorite authors. Sadly, sadly this book was painful to listen to. A big part of the problem was the narrator, Marin Ireland who has done a fine job with some of his other books, but in Anxious People the voices she uses for the dialog sounds like she's narrating a children's book. It felt like every single conversation was a misunderstanding and I became increasingly frustrated until 5 hours into I couldn't stand it any more, give up and returned it. Shaking my head over the great reviews for this one.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Susie
  • 11-09-2020

Backman’s words and Ireland’s voice = MAGIC

I am a huge Fredrik Backman fan and couldn’t wait for this book to be released in English. This work of genius is a heartwarming, carefully woven, wise yet whimsical tale on its own, and Marie Ireland’s voice somehow brings it together with such perfection that it just shines even more! I just finished after over 6 hours of listening today and all I want to do is listen again. If you’re a Backman fan already, you definitely won’t want to miss this. And if you aren’t a fan yet, you’re about to be!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Maverick Mom
  • 11-09-2020

Hang In There

The first few chapters I was struggling to get through because the characters were not very likable. I am so glad I did continue to listen. It is a good reminder to be kind to others. We have no idea what burdens they are carrying.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Hope abides
  • 11-09-2020

Remarkable.

I believe I have found my favorite author. This is another of his beautiful books. Another book that tells us we are deeply connected and deeply flawed. Another book that tells us to understand one another leaves no room for condemnation. Another book that tells us That despite our individual stories, we are, above everything, human beings who need to reach out and love.

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  • Ali Polk
  • 13-09-2020

Hysterical

Highly recommend this book!! I laughed through the entire thing and read it in a single day. The narrator is superb. This might really be one of my favorite books.

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  • R. Stern
  • 10-09-2020

20000 STARS GREAT IN EVERY WAY!!

The character development on each and every "Anxious" person...is so smart and superior. I listened to some sections on the slowest speed just so I could write down the words!! About divorce, about love, about relationships, about banking and finance! FREDRIK BACKMAN DOES IT AGAIN!!!! I think this one is his best yet! I pray he lives a veryyyyy long time to share his delicate, thoughtful words!! I even actually LAUGHED OUT LOUD at the snarky Zara comments!! THANK YOU BACKMAN AND KEEP WRITING and I will stick with Audible. MARIN IRELAND'S NARRATION WAS ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!! I felt like I was listening to a Broadway play!! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

9 people found this helpful

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  • Dr. Mary Young
  • 11-09-2020

Sweet beautiful story

If you loved a man called Ove you will love this as well- Backman has an incredibly insightful and equally sensitive understanding of human beings and the struggles and joy that each of us faces to make everyday the fabric of our lives. The writing is highly skilled. The characters are vivid and engaging. They remain in your psyche as people you remember teaching you something about life. Anxious people is a beautiful reminder of how necessary each of our idiotic lives is to one another. I’m not sure how much I would enjoy this narrator for other books but there could not have been a better choice than her to convey the depth and range of the emotion Backman tries to convey.

7 people found this helpful

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