(publication date: 2019) I am definitely recommending this one to my book club.
This novel is fun-ny! Opening with a scene that borders on the bizarre, one wonders how things could get any weirder. Just keep reading because they do! The interview transcripts taken by father and son cops, Jim and Jack, are masterpieces of deliberate miscommunication and humor. A conglomerate of people/individuals,”eight extremely anxious strangers,” are thrown together as we learn of their life-issues, problems, and reasons for anxiety. Their “hurts, secrets, and passions…are ready to boil over” as we read of a bank robbery that didn’t happen, a hostage situation, and a man in a rabbit suit.
Backman’s story is simultaneously “humorous, compassionate, and wise.” It is an exploration of the things in human nature that “save us in the most anxious of times.” The ending is extremely satisfying, and the interconnectedness Backman brings out of the chaos at the beginning warms our hearts better than a crackling, fireplace on a cold morning.