I’ve said it before, but I love Fredrik Backman’s stories. “Anxious People,” published September 2020, his latest story, is a story about idiots. Because we are all idiots. I love the way that Backman ties in a constant sense of mystery by providing just enough detail to let the reader “fill in” the rest, and he uses that process that everyone’s mind does naturally to surprise you at every turn.
Not only is “Anxious People” full of surprising and delightful twists, but it is also funny. All of Backman’s books have a pervasive humor in them that makes you laugh out loud or snort while you read.
This book is about a lot of things, such as feeling overwhelmed and desperate; it is about loneliness; it is about friendship and community; it is about love and loss; there are themes of divorce and its affect on both parties and the kids stuck in the middle. The pervasive theme throughout is about hope and hopelessness. There is a recounting of a suicide that one character witnesses. I love that Backman uses his stories as a way to speak to a variety of interconnected underlying issues we face today. He offers a positive outlook on some really terrible messes in our lives. He always has some very profound quotes that he slips in regarding some monumental topics and ideas.
While I don’t think this is my favorite book of Backman’s it is a near second or third to the others I have loved. There hasn’t been a single Backman book that I didn’t absolutely love. I recommend you check this one out as well as all of his others too!