Anxious People by Fredrik Backman — Book Review

Aditi Agarwala
3 min readMar 1, 2021

Adulting can be tough, and things might not always go the way we planned it. Life is full of uncertainty, and we are not always prepared for those uncertain things. Yes, we might plan out things, for example, planning the worst of the worst cases, but what if the situation goes worst of the worst of the worst? What are we supposed to do then? Give up on everything. Certainly no. Even though we know that bad things will happen, we can’t just stop living our lives. Everyone goes through some bad phases in their life, and each one of them has a different way of handling things. There is no right or wrong way of dealing with situations. It varies from perspective to perspective.

Fredrik Backman, Anxious people is one of the best books to get your hands on. Fredrik Backman made his literary debut in 2012 with global sensation A man called Ove. Wickedly funny, touching, and wise, his novels are odysseys of the ordinary man and woman. He has six highly acclaimed novels, two heartfelt novels about life and love, and non-fiction books about parenthood. He currently lives in Stockholm with his wife and two children.

Fredrick Backman

“Anxious people” is a funny story highlighting one of the most important issues that adults face–anxiety. It a story of 7 strangers and 1 one bank robber stuck in the most humorous and strange hostage situation at an apartment viewing on New Year’s Eve. There are people in this apartment who are connected in ways they don’t even know about. Even though every character has a personality poles apart from the other characters, they form an everlasting bond. But what’s the most amazing part is this journey of the few hours of the hostage situation which changed their lives in ways they couldn’t imagine and are probably grateful for this incident- a son and father came closer than they were, a husband tries to become flexible by doing things, which he did not to do for a long time, to make his wife happy, a parent tries to change themselves into a better person to give a better childhood to their children, a person who is tough on the outside all the time tries to take a step towards being the soft-hearted person he/she was.

Fredrik Backman shows all these changes are shown in such a humorous and heart-touching way that they will leave you in awe. You might cry tears of joy. These are the same various bonds that form a vital part of our lives- the bond of a father and a son, a mother and her kids, husband and wife, friends, and a bond we have with ourselves. And how each of us has a different way of dealing with such bonds. The story is funny, compassionate, wise, relaxing, and above all, it gives you a reflection of reality.

What I learned from this book is that no matter how tough life gets, we can’t give up on these bonds, and we have to figure out a way to stick to each other. Yes, there will be times when we will feel like just giving up, but is it worth it after working so hard on building a bond with someone we care about a lot on the inside. Adulting is not always easy, and I guess it shouldn’t be too. Because if it becomes easy, how will we have a life full of adventures, ups, and downs, just like one hell of a ride on a roller coaster? So, keep going. You got this. And this book is a must-read for every adult out there.

Fredrik Backman Karen Schopp Hachette Book Group Bookaholic Book Review Bloomsbury Publishing Fred Wilson Arctic Book Review



Aditi Agarwala

Always curious to learn new things. Grateful for everything that I have in my life.