From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer of astonishing depth” (The Washington Times) comes a poignant, 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 than they ever imagined.Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world. Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next. Rich with Fredrik Backman’s “pitch-perfect dialogue and an unparalleled understanding of human nature” (Shelf Awareness), Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope—the things that save us, even in the most anxious times.
It is always interesting to me to hear the answers given by authors when they are asked questions such as........how did you know you wanted to be a writer or author, or how do you begin to construct a new novel? There are many who try their hand at writing, but very few actually become successful authors. Swedish author, Fredrik Backman made a huge leap in changing careers when he became an author after earning a living as a fork lift driver. The two do not appear compatible, but having a blue collar job probably added a degree of realism to the books written by Backman.
Backman is a solid story teller, but does not consider himself to be a good technical writer. He gives credit to his wife and to his publisher and editors for assisting in that department. But, it is the storyline that sells books, not technical writing skills, and Backman has had much success along those lines. His books such as, A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here are published in many different countries, and several different languages. There seems to be a true, honest, humorous tone to each of his books.
Backman has a very easy way of structuring his novels, usually setting the beginning and the ending first, then he is free to fill in the middle with his storytelling ability. For example, Britt-Marie Was Here became a separate novel after she was a seven year old character in My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry. As he completed that book, he said that it seemed only natural to him that Britt-Marie have her own book. The book follows her as she goes on a quest, gets challenged, meets new friends, overcomes adversity, stands up to injustice, all to eventually learn important facts about herself. He says that writing about this character is like writing about hero types, minus the swords, lasers, and fire-breathing dragons. It is a very interesting way of explaining his concept.
In his newest book, the emphasis will be on ice hockey, for as he says.....I am Swedish, and that's what we do. It will be about a town....not one specific character......and ice hockey will be the center of the story. He says that is all he has as an idea about the book at this point. He sums up his future in writing in this way........ I plan to write until people tell me I can't anymore.