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HomeMiscellaneousBook Review: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Book Review: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Humour is incredible, isn’t it? Think of the occasions when you’ve used humour and sarcasm to hide something that is eating you up from inside. And the occasions when you’ve relied on it to communicate something that is eating you up. Either way, our generation indeed comprehends humour better than anything. 

Now, think of a book that has the plot of a mystery, but at the same time makes you laugh out loud throughout and leaves you with innumerable life lessons in the end. Well, you’ve come to the right place for Fredrik Backman has got you covered! Anxious People, though at first, one might confuse the title with a grave or depressing story that untangles on a dark note. It’s nothing like that. As one progresses with the book, the title makes more and more sense. Fredrik, through his sarcastic, witty, and dark sense of humour, writes so poignantly about marriage, love, relationships, parenthood, depression, life, and death. It is that can’t-put-down book that will hook you from the very first page and you won’t regret reading it for sure!

A glimpse of the story

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 Is this book about a failed robbery attempt? or is it about a funny hostage situation? or is it about a bunch of bumbling idiots? or about a bridge? or is it about mortgages, the banking system, and the toxic effects of capitalism? Guess what, it’s about all of them. Don’t fret, it is not that complicated. Or is it? Even though the novel resembles a puzzle, all of the pieces fall into order eventually. 

The story commences with a hostage drama, an unintended hostage drama if we are being precise, which was originally aimed to be a robbery and that too, in a cashless bank. The hostages include seven people, peculiar in their own ways, who have come for an apartment viewing the day before New Year’s Eve. While the perpetrator is having “quite a complicated day”, the situation worsens and turns into a drama with the people present in the apartment becoming its characters who have their own life stories.

On the other hand, outside that apartment, are Jim and Jack, a father-and-son pair of gauche local police officers, who are trying to curb the hostage situation and thereafter, resolve the mystery of the quirky robbery-cum-hostage situation. It feels beyond belief to see how the lives of different characters in the story are interlaced with each other in a strange but charming way.

“Fredrik Backman writes people”, whoever said this couldn’t have been more accurate. He has remarkably used hilarity and whimsical writing style to present a philosophically thought-provoking stance. This book is special. You’ll be laughing one minute and crying the next. “Anxious People” is one of the most wholesome books that you’ll ever read and is a must-read! So, what are you waiting for?

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