Book Reviews

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – Book Review

An ebook edition of Fredrik Backman's book Anxious People

Warning – possible spoilers! (Tiny ones, though, and I’ll try to avoid even those; I swear I’ll give my best not to ruin it for you… :-))

Anxious People – Book Details

TITLE – Anxious People

AUTHOR – Fredrik Backman

GENREliterary fiction, contemporary



MY RATING – 4.5 of 5


Initial Thoughts

Merphy from Merphy Napier BookTube channel describes Fredrik Backman as a writer who makes you feel understood. I myself couldn’t come up with a better description of how his books make me feel, so we’ll stick with hers.

Backman quickly became one of my favorite writers of all times. I liked everything he wrote, loved almost everything and he is currently one of my rare auto-buy authors.

So, I would read Anxious People even if it hasn’t been recommended to me around a thousand times. And it has been. I’ve found so many glorifying reviews since the moment the book came out, and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

I’ve been reading a lot of long fantasy series lately, and Anxious People sounded like a perfect little break from it. The blurb seemed so promising, and it took me only a few sentences to get completely hooked…

What It Is About

In a small Swedish town a day before the New Year’s Eve, someone decides to try and rob a bank, and everything goes downhill from there. After the miserable fail, the robber, in an attempt to escape the police, runs literally through the nearest doors to the bank and ends up in the middle of an apartment viewing.

There, the robber encounters a group of people who couldn’t be more different from one another. Yet, a few hours and a bit of good will to get to know each other will show them just how similar they all are when it comes to the things that really matter.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – My Review

If there’s one thing clear from his writing, it is how much Backman loves life, this world and most of all – people. I mean, he starts the book by saying that this is a story about idiots. But it doesn’t take long to see just how much he cares for each and every one of them.

This read went as expected – I loved every single little piece of it! As usual, Backman’s writing was very relatable and honest. It left me wanting to laugh and cry at the same time.

The humor was spot on, and this one also had a slight cartoonish feel to it.

I also loved the short chapters. It was so easy to pick up and put down the book every time I had 2 minutes for reading. It took me about the same time as usual to finish the book, without actually having to spend hours at once sitting down and reading.

As in all Backman’s books, people are not who they seem at first. Everyone is complex, with many layers. Everyone can be understood, if you just give them a chance to explain themselves.

These people may come out as taunting or hypocritical. They may be grumpy, full of prejudice or self-centered at times. They will argue about anything and everything till their last breath.

But they will also listen, and more than that – they will hear. When it really matters, these people will recognize what is the right thing to do. And they will care enough to actually do something about it.

In this day and age, when we are swamped with (amazing, don’t get me wrong) stories about perfect villains, it is a relief and refreshment to every now and then pick up a book about really, truly good people.

Even in such an absurd situation as in Anxious People, Backman manages to find that deep string that is the same in all of us. His books always make me feel hopeful. You can’t read them and not think – there are still many good people out there. Probably much more than it seems on an average day.

I started to trust him after several of his books that, no matter what they go through, he is going to take his characters safely home in the end. I think that is my favorite part about his stories.

My Signature


(12) Comments

  1. This book sounds very interesting. The plot sounds very unique. I will definitely give this a read. Thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Yes, it’s a great read! I’m sure you’ll enjoy it… ❤️️❤️️❤️️

      1. It sounds like a great book!!

        1. Yup, I really loved it!

  2. I heard many promising things about this book and I can’t say I have read anything like it. This was a great review!

    Also I love your blog and it’s aesthetics 😍

    1. Thank you so much! ❤️️❤️️❤️️

  3. First, YOUR WEBSITE IS GORGEOUS! I’m officially obsessed and will be visiting often. Second, I’m been on the brink about whether I should read Anxious People so it’s good to see a glowing review about it.

    1. Thank you so much! ❤️️❤️️❤️️ And I hope you’ll love Anxious People as much as I did…

  4. Tiffany J says:

    I know you posted the review almost a year ago but I just found your site when I was researching the new book out by this author – I cannot wait for it to be translated so we can get it here in the US! I adored Beartown and Us Against You – these books were so different than the first few I read by him, of course I was already in love with his style of writing by then lol. So of course I’m over the moon excited for another Beartown book!! That being said – I LOVED Anxious People immensely! I listened to this on audiobook as the book was on my shelf at home but I couldn’t wait for time to sit down and read so I got the audiobook also to enjoy in the car – narrated by Marin Ireland who also narrated the audiobooks of Beartown and Us Against You, fabulously I might add. Anxious People drew me right in and held me the whole way through – I definitely laughed out loud and shed a couple tears. I was so pleased with the ending and how he brought it all around. I felt so connected to the characters and would love to check back in with them down the road, maybe another book needing a sequel?

    1. Hi Tiffany,
      I mean, I’d read the sequel 😅.
      The funny thing is – when I first finished Anxious People, I obviously loved it, but I didn’t think it was as good as A Man Called Ove or Beartown. But in the last couple of months, I just couldn’t stop thinking about it! I am craving a reread so much! Maybe that’s exactly what I should do?
      As for the Beartown #3 – I can’t wait any longer. The first two books are amongst my all-time favorites, and I just have to know where we go next. But I have no idea how long will the translation take. I’m pretty sure Anxious People were translated to English over a year after being published in Sweden. Which – I think I’m gonna cry.

  5. Tiffany J says:

    I’ll be crying with you– now that I know it’s out, I’m going to need to make friends with a Swedish reading/speaking person to record it and send it to me, it was almost better not to know! As for Anxious People – if you do a reread, might I highly recommend listening to the audiobook along side – the narrator does a fantastic job – after listening to the Beartown books, when I saw she narrated Anxious People too, I had to borrow the audiobook as well as read the book. I’ll be waiting on pins and needles with you for Beartown #3!! I think Fredrik Backman is a phenomenal author, to the point that I pick up whatever books of his reside in the used book store inside my library so that I can give copies to people to enjoy without risking giving mine out- I think I’ve picked up/given away at least 10 copies of A Man Called Ove to everyone I know who will love that old curmudgeon of a man! 😊😂💖

    1. What a great idea – to get multiple copies of his books so you can give them to people you know. I borrowed my copy of Anxious People to someone and still didn’t get it back. So – the audiobook might be a really great idea 😳😅
      Plus, I really like listening audiobooks, so I’ll make sure to check it out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *