ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrick Backman: A Review

(publication date: 2019) I am definitely recommending this one to my book club.

By the author of A Man Called Ove

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.

Author: Rae Longest

This year (2019) finds me with 50 years of teaching "under my belt." I have taught all levels from pre-K "(library lady" or "book lady"--volunteer) to juniors, seniors, and graduate students enrolled in my Advanced Writing class at the university where I have just completed 30 years. My first paying teaching job was junior high, and I spent 13 years with ages 12-13, the "difficult years." I had some of the "funnest" experiences with this age group. When I was no longer the "young, fun teacher," I taught in an elementary school setting before sixth graders went on to junior high, teaching language arts blocs, an assignment that was a "dream-fit" for me. After completing graduate school in my 40s, I went on to community college, then university teaching. Just as teaching is "in my blood," so is a passion for reading, writing, libraries, and everything bookish. This blog will be open to anyone who loves books, promotes literacy and wants to "come out and play."

7 thoughts on “ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Fredrick Backman: A Review”

  1. Yes, wonderful and succinct review. You captured my feelings perfectly in such a clear and concise way. I wish I could do that instead of rambling. I loved this one.


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