Anxious People

By Fredrik Backman

Well, I usually review books straight after I’ve finished them, but with this one I had to leave my mind ticking over for 24 hours, to make absolutely sure. And, yep: this is, hands down, my new favourite book. Not just of the year, but of all time. And that’s high praise indeed (if I do say so myself).

Category: Fiction, humour. Plot: A poorly-planned bank robbery, gone very wrong, sees a group of Swedish strangers suddenly held hostage during their apartment viewing on the day before New Year’s Eve. It’s up to a small-town father-son cop-duo to work out how the bank robber disappeared into thin air.

My favourite 3 things about it:

  1. The characters’ lives and histories intertwine in such clever ways. Usually a story having a lot of characters confuses me, but this was not only very easy to follow, it was absolute genius how the characters link together or help each other.
  2. The genuinely humorous dialogue mixed with genuinely deep wisdom. I’m not sure a book has ever done both this well before. Picking a single favourite quote was so difficult!
  3. This book hooked me right from the dedication through to the acknowledgments. How often is a dedication paragraph Instagrammable?! I love this writer.

The characters have such heavy histories yet they each felt very believable. Even though I technically couldn’t relate to any of them, I felt like I could after reading this, you know? You don’t know yet, but I hope you find out!

Favourite quote:

It should be noted that when she died, the bank robber’s mum consisted of so much gin and tonic that they didn’t dare cremate her because of the risk of explosion, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t have good advice to offer.

Anxious People is out on August 20th, thank you NetGalley for early access to what will no doubt be my most recommended book of 2020!