Audiobook Review: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Posted June 18, 2022 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 33 Comments

Anxious People
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Fredrik Backman
Publication Date July 6, 2021
Published by Simon and Schuster
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
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Genres: Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Humorous / General, Fiction / Literary
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook
Reading Challenges: 2022 Audiobook Challenge

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, the new novel from the author of A Man Called Ove is a “quirky, big-hearted novel….Wry, wise and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure” (People).

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. 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.

Proving once again that Backman is “a master of writing delightful, insightful, soulful, character-driven narratives” (USA TODAY), Anxious People “captures the messy essence of being human….It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry” (The Washington Post). This “endlessly entertaining mood-booster” (Real Simple) is proof that the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope can save us—even in the most anxious of times.

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman was just a lot of fun to listen to.  It’s different and so well written.  I found the book to be heartwarming and hopeful.  The main message that I got out of the book is that people are mostly good, and that’s exactly what I wanted to hear.   

This is a story about a bank robbery gone wrong, a hostage situation, a father/son police team, an open house at an apartment, and a cast of unique and fascinating characters.  It’s about hope and humanity and doing the right thing.  

The writing was excellent.  I was engaged immediately and loved the writing style.  I enjoyed the way the author flipped back and forth between timelines and locations, as it gave the story suspense and kept me on the edge of my seat.  

The characters were all fascinating and different.  They were quirky, with interesting backstories.  I liked the two police officers best, but I did enjoy all these characters.  

So far, this review makes the book seem light and easy, but Anxious People covers some pretty tough mental health issues, but in a way that makes it easy to read about.  That is what makes this book so special.  

I listened to the audiobook version and Marin Ireland was the narrator.  I thought she did a wonderful job with the voices, and I was able to follow her narration easily.  I recommend Anxious People to everyone! 

UK Cover:

About Fredrik Backman

Fredrik Backman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here, Beartown, Us Against You, and Anxious People, as well as two novellas and one work of nonfiction. His books are published in more than forty countries. He lives in Stockholm, Sweden, with his wife and two children.

Book Challenges:

Listening to Anxious People counts towards my 2022 Audiobook Challenge.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

33 responses to “Audiobook Review: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

  1. I’ve been saying that I have to read a Backman novel for YEARS! I have one near the top of my TBR for next year, so I hope I remember this time. 😏

    Thanks for posting his photo. For some reason I thought he was much older. 😯

  2. I like hearing that this book was able to make reading about mental health disorders so easy. That makes those disorders easier to understand, I think. This book intrigues me so much. Excellent review!

  3. Hi there Wendy! I am so glad to hear you’ve enjoyed Anxious People and especially the audio version , so much. So did I! I remember I was listening to this one in the beginning of the year and my ‘beach walks’ were over an hour every day. I just couldn’t stop listening!

    I hop you had a good weekend and will have a wonderful week ahead!

  4. Lovely review Wendy. I’m yet to read Bachman but really appreciate that he’s given us an uplifting book about the good side of humanity, which one very much needs to see in these times.

  5. Excellent review, Wendy. I’m so glad you loved it as well. I listened to it too and thought it was so well done. Fredrick Backman is a must read for me. He does people, so well. Just everyday, ordinary people in extraordinary situations.

  6. I’m glad you enjoyed this. I loved it too. Up until I finished The Midnight Library, this was my favorite book this year. Such a wonderful story full of awesome characters.

  7. From the title alone, I would have never imagined that plot! It sounds very intriguing though so I’ll add it to my TBR list x

  8. I loved this one too Wendy and rated it the same. I have to say that the film version wasn’t well executed and I DNF it. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I’m going to have to read this one. I liked his “Ove” book. This sounds similar with characters that come alive in the story, their good traits as well as their faults. A lot of Ove was concerned with relationships and how the characters interacted with each other. Great review, Wendy.