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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer of astonishing depth” (The Washington Times) comes a poignant comedy 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.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

First is Zara, a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else until tragedy changed her life. Now, she’s obsessed with visiting open houses to see how ordinary people live - and, perhaps, to send an old wrong to right. Then there’s Roger and Anna-Lena, an Ikea-addicted retired couple who are on a never-ending hunt for fixer-uppers to hide the fact that they don’t know how to fix their own failing marriage. Julia and Ro are a young lesbian couple and soon-to-be parents who are nervous about their chances for a successful life together since they can’t agree on anything. And there’s Estelle, an eighty year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by a masked bank robber waving a gun in her face. And despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car.

As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.

Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People’s whimsical plot serves up unforgettable insights into the human condition and a gentle reminder to be compassionate to all the anxious people we encounter every day.

©2020 Fredrik Backman (P)2020 Simon & Schuster Audio

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What listeners say about Anxious People

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  • Nic
  • 2020-10-24

new favourite!

This is easily one of my favourite books, ever. It surprised me so many times - the actual story, and how much I loved it. Shout out to the narrator - Marin Ireland nailed it! She brought these characters to life so much more than I could have if I'd read it on my own and mastered different voices for each character. When I listened to the sample, I did expect almost pure comedy. It is definitely funny, laugh-out-loud sometimes, but it's also heartfelt, sentimental, heartbreaking, even a little dark at times. I don't want to give anything away, but it kept me wanting more right until the end, and then I didn't want it to end. I know I'll listen to it or read it again, and I don't do that often. This was my first Fredrik Backman and I've read other reviews saying it was more uplifting overall than some of his other stories like Beartown but I still can't wait to read more by him. And listen to more by Marin Ireland. She narrated this book so perfectly and I loved all of her different voices to distinguish each character. So good!!

14 people found this helpful

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Amazing Read!

One of the best stories I’ve read in a long time!! Backman never disappoints! This, like all of his other books, is heartfelt and leaves you thinking about the story for weeks.

9 people found this helpful

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One of the BEST of 2020

I commute to work so I listened to a lot of audible. This was seriously one of the BEST for 2020. The narrators voices were spot on . Story line had me laughing and bawling within minutes. Well done Fredrik Bachman ... a timely novel for these crazy times.

7 people found this helpful

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Surprising Read!

This is not the book I expected to read, but somehow, the story winds into your heart. I truly was a pleasure to listen to.

5 people found this helpful

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A quite unique nearly New Year’s Eve tale!

I really enjoyed this audiobook! It made me laugh, cry and the performance is simply delightful!

4 people found this helpful

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Thought provoking story

At first I wasn’t sure about this story, the reality, the sadness, the seriousness of the topics but the way each character was developed and how each one of their stories entwined and related was heart warming and purely human! I loved the messages within each chapter and especially liked the healing that occurred and summation of the relationships that continued on.

2 people found this helpful

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Doesn’t compare to a Man Called Ove

I suppose both books have a similar subject matter but I loved Ove and did not love this book. Parts are good but it didn’t do it for me!

2 people found this helpful

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A 'must listen' for everyone.

Where do I start. So many interesting stories about each character and then skillfully intertwined. Many points to ponder about people and life in general. I was tearful at several twists in the story. And I am so thankful I chose the audio version. What a fabulous narration! I know I will listen to this again. You will not be disappointed.

2 people found this helpful

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Hilarious & heart warming

I just loved it! The characters are delightful. The narrator does a wonderful job with voices. The book made me look forward to my daily commute.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Story!

I laughed and cried and connected...it was a wonderful ride! I highly recommend this book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ethel taylor
  • 2021-05-06

This book is truly about the voices in our head.,

It is a wonderful book about past and present never being far apart.
I enjoy the refreshing way Bachman writes and the stories he weaves .

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  • Kate
  • 2021-02-24

Ignore the negative reviews

I almost didn’t read this because of the reviews. So glad I followed my gut. Fredrik Backman doesn’t disappoint. Character development weaves its way through the story in a way that makes you love them all. Zara is my fave.
Narration is spot on.
Read, smile and enjoy.

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  • Nicole
  • 2021-01-06

Excellent

Story was amazing! And the narration was stellar. I listened at 1.2x speed which I found perfect.

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  • Dee
  • 2020-12-30

Listen to this book

After reading the description I was on the fence about this one. Glad I choose to get it. I laughed out loud so many times listening to this. I almost cried a bunch of times. This one is a gem.

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  • Nerat11
  • 2020-10-04

Highly Recommend

One of my favourite authors and this book didn't disappoint. An absolutely phenomenal book, I couldn't stop listening.