Showing posts with label fredrik backman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fredrik backman. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman – A Book Review

Fredrik Backman is an absolutely delightful writer from Sweden. He writes about people in a special way that portrays who they are, what they are and who and what they appear to be, yet often are not. He describes their hurts and grievances, secrets and passions in a way the reader can relate. Oh, yes, the reader thinks, I recognize this character in my brother, father, best friend, maybe even myself.


Backman's stories take place in Sweden, but it could be anywhere, as people are the same all over. 


Synopsis



Available on Amazon

In Anxious People, we meet a group of people who are attending an apartment open house. Then a failed bank robber bursts in and takes them hostage.  The captives range from a retired couple who hunt down fixer-uppers, a wealthy banker who only cared about making money and can't relate to people, a young couple about to have their first baby and an 87-year-old woman. Then there is the mystery man in the bathroom and the flustered, but still-ready-to-make-a- deal real estate agent. Even the bank robber has issues. 


Add in the authorities trying to negotiate the hostages release. The main ones are a father and son who both work for the local police department. They fluster each other and take care of each other.


As the book progresses, we learn who the bank robber is (who failed to rob the bank because it is a cashless bank) and why an attempt was made.  We are given some backgrounds on the people who became hostages. We hear about the police involvement.  The story goes back and forth between what is happening during the hostage situation in the apartment to the individual people and what brought them to this open house on New Year's Eve (a strange day to have an Open House, for sure) to the interviews the police try to conduct with the witnesses after their release. All through this they try to figure out what happened to the bank robber who was no where to be found after releasing the hostages.


As The Story Begins.... in the Author's Words


A bank robbery, a hostage drama, a stairwell full of police officers on their way to storm an apartment.  It was easy to get to this point, Much easier than you might think. All it took was one single really bad idea. 


This story is about a lot of things, but mostly about idiots. So it needs saying from the outset that it's always very easy to declare that other people are idiots, but only if you forget how idiotically difficult being human is.  Especially if you have other people you are trying to be a reasonably good human being for.


One single really bad idea. That's all it takes.


There is also the part about how ten years ago a man was standing on a bridge. This seems to be a non sequitur, because this is a story about a bank robber and a hostage situation and the people involved. So why does the author keep bringing up the bridge throughout the story? 


Summary


So, to summarize, we have a charming novel 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 then they ever imaged. Oh, and don't forget the bridge! 


If you have read any of Fredrik Backman's previous books, two of which have been reviewed here on ReviewThisReviews, you will be drawn to Anxious People immediately because they were such delightful reads. This one is the same – a very enjoyable read; a book you can't put down to the final page; a book whose ending is as delightful (and surprising) as the rest.


Backman's books are so good that when I finish the last paragraph on the last page, I feel a strong pull to return to page one and begin the book all over again. It's that hard to leave this world of words that is so humorous, compassionate and wise. 


More...


For your future reading after you finish Anxious People, check out these other Backman book reviews on ReviewThisReviews.



Anxious People, a book review written by

~Wednesday Elf





Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Man Called Ove Book Review

Fredrik Backman's novel, A Man Called Ove, is a story about the grumpiest man ever. I really, really had to struggle to put Ken Follett's enthralling Fall of Giants down in order to read Ove for my next book club meeting. This problem seems to keep happening to me; that is, having to put one book down for a book club book. That's okay though. Part of the reason for joining a book club is to read books you might not have chosen on your own.

My husband, as always, was good at pushing me to the book I needed to be reading. Whenever Chris saw me with the wrong book in hand, he’d raise an eyebrow and I would reluctantly put Fall of Giants down in trade for Ove. My heart, however, was not in it. At least, not at first...

In the end, I cared. I cared about Ove and how he had come to be such a grumpy old curmudgeon. The cover suggests that reading this book will cause you to feel sympathy for the curmudgeons in your life, which might well be true but I am so very glad to say that I do not know anyone even a little bit as grumpy as Ove. He is, as Amazon says, "the bitter neighbor from hell."

Ove complains about everything. He is a strict believer that rules are meant to be followed, signs obeyed, things put in their place. If you do not feel the same way, be prepared to hear about it. He rejects most of modern technology believing computers, mobile gadgets and even modern vehicles to be bad news. He has strict routines and principles to be adhered to.

Despite Ove, or perhaps I should say because of Ove, A Man Called Ove is an entertaining book. It tells his life story and the story of the people who become his friends despite his off-putting personality. It does a good job of illustrating how one life affects the next and then the next.

Believe it or not, I would RECOMMEND this grumpy old man’s story. You will laugh and you will cry though I do remember laughing more than crying.

There were a number of surprises in this book. The one that bothered me is the age of this grumpy old man. I was jaw smacked when I finally found out how old he was and I see from other reviews online that I am not the only one who takes exception to the age that author Backman set for a grumpy old man.

If you pick up and read A Man Called Ove, be sure to come back and let us know what YOU think about Ove’s story (and about his age.) You can find it quickly and affordably priced on Amazon by clicking right here.

If you are looking for more books by Fredrik Backman, you might like to check out this review of My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by another contributor here on Review This.

Stay tuned for more book reviews!

Brenda
Treasures By Brenda

More Book Reviews:

Steve Berry's Amber Room.
John Sandford's Extreme Prey.
The One Man by Andrew Gross.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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