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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

The funny, touching and unpredictable new novel from the multi-million-copy best-selling author of A Man Called Ove.

In a small town in Sweden it appears to be an ordinary day. But look more closely and you'll see a mysterious masked figure approaching a bank.

Two hours later, chaos has descended. A bungled attempted robbery has developed into a hostage situation - and the offender is refusing to communicate their demands to the police.

Inside the building, fear quickly turns to irritation for the seven strangers trapped inside. If this is to be their last day on earth, shouldn't it be a bit more dramatic? 

But as the minutes tick by, they begin to suspect that the criminal mastermind holding them hostage might be more in need of rescuing than they are.

©2020 Fredrik Backman (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Anxious People

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Wrong Narrator for this Book

Whilst I enjoyed this book it was totally ruined for me by the choice of narrator. Strong American accent just didn’t fit with the Swedish set book. I’m sure the narrator would be perfect for a different book but why oh why choice her for this great book.

11 people found this helpful

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Swedish novel, American narrator…yuk

I will say my negative first… Why use an American narrator when the book is written by a Swede and set in Sweden.
The narrator had great intonation, however the accent really spoilt it for me.

Great book as described in the summary, full of some excellent quotes. One other reviewer picked two of the best but these are also note worthy

“They say that a person’s personality is the sum of their experiences. But that isn’t true, at least not entirely, because if our past was all that defined us, we’d never be able to put up with ourselves. We need to be allowed to convince ourselves that we’re more than the mistakes we made yesterday. That we are all of our next choices, too, all of our tomorrows.”

“We don't have a plan, we just do our best to get through the day, because there'll be another one coming along tomorrow.”

Lastly
“Have you ever held a three-year-old by the hand on the way home from preschool?"
"No."
"You're never more important that you are then.

Sometimes the book was a bit too cliche and tried too hard, For me the narrator read it like an american sitcom, full of canned laughter.

If you have not read one of Frederik Backman previous books, might I recommend A man called Ove as a first choice as this is second rate in comparison until they get a Scandi narrator, or anyone who speaks without an American accent.





8 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I loved this book so much. My first book by Fredrick Bacman but I have added him now to the list of authors to follow and have added his other books to my reading list. I love his writing style, his sense of humour, the way he observes people.
The narration by Marin Ireland was excellent too.
My favourite quote:
"The truth of course is that if people really were as happy as they look on the Internet, they wouldn’t spend so much damn time on the Internet, because no one who’s having a really good day spends half of it taking pictures of themselves. Anyone can nurture a myth about their life if they have enough manure, so if the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, that’s probably because it’s full of shit."

8 people found this helpful

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Marathon Story

I'm sure writing any book, particularly a complex fiction, must be a marathon effort for any author, requiring lots of behind the scenes preparation before the final production of their work. The sense I got from listening to this was that Fredrik wanted to show that not only was he capable of a marathon performance, he was in fact an Ultra-Marathoner!! Every scene seemed to expanded way longer than it needed to be, with extra dialogue being used to show how witty the author could be. The 'cute' story could have been told in a much more efficient fashion, even the author mentioned at one point that it can take a long time to tell some stories! At least the quality of narration of the story helped to get through some of the interminable scenes and chapters.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I chose this book after reading „A man called Ove“ by the same author. I thoroughly enjoyed Anxious people and I think that listening to it was far less confusing than reading the book.
Fredrik Backman‘s observations of people are superb; one minute you’re laughing, the next you’re sobbing.
The Narrator does a superb job of bringing the characters to life. I shall miss them!

4 people found this helpful

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A cleverly constructed story but poor VO casting

This is an unusual story, narrated with a unique voice, however the American accents completely change the subtle humour. Instead, the witticisms are irritating and the rambling asides are incessant and come across as almost amateurish. I think, had a native voice been chosen, the characters would have felt more relatable (and in context) and I would’ve felt more empathy. That said, The story is engaging and I persevered to the end, curious to see how the story would unfold. There were a few leaps and jumps that felt a little uncomfortable, but I went along with it all because the author is clearly a competent writer with an eye for detail. The story gets a higher score but while the VoiceOver is highly competent it was inappropriate casting.

3 people found this helpful

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Heartwarming

I listened to the whole book on one go. Beautifully written, it involves us in the story as if we were part of it. Loved it even more than Ove.

2 people found this helpful

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Great!

A brilliant story and insightfully comforting with the narrative on anxiety. The narrator voice was difficult at times to relax with but I stuck with it and am glad I did.

2 people found this helpful

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Entertaining

I have mixed feelings about this. I laughed out loud in places, and groaned in others because it was lame. It was all a bit too neat and tidy for me. I’ve never been on a package holiday, and this felt a bit too much like a package. All the boxes were ticked etc.
Nevertheless, on the whole, I did enjoy it.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful performance of a wonderful book

I loved this book. I knew I was gonna love this book. If this is not your first Backman book, chances are so will you. The thing he does doesn't change much from book to book, but he does it incredibly well and I always find myself incredibly grateful when I find he's written something new. The day after I finish one of his books, I always feel a bit more in touch with my love for humanity and other people, and always a little melancholy. So yeah, it was beautiful and I cried a lot, like I have at all his books, starting with Ove (where I probably cried the most).

This is the first book of his I chose to listen to instead of reading and I'm absolutely thrilled. It was purely based on the sample of Marin Ireland's perfect voice. She's one of my favourite narrators I've ever heard and I'm heading to buy another one of the books she's read right this instant, as I think it'll be slightly longer until the next Backman book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Dorothy Lo
  • 09-10-21

Lovely and beautiful

I really liked “A man named ove” so thought I’ll give this book a try. The characters and humour caught me from the start. The back stories of all the characters come together beautifully. It talks about so many topics, from parenthood, anxiety, to economy, in a light yet insightful way. A wonderful and heartwarming book, that’s much needed in these times

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-07-21

Genius.

A sweet, beautiful story about the human condition. Fredrik Backman’s non-linear style is so original and compelling as he weaves the threads of his stories together it leaves me in awe. The narrator brought to life this tale and it’s multitude of characters convincingly and beautifully. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Robyn
  • 04-03-22

Just wonderful

One of my favourite audiobooks of all time.
Narrator was exceptional and story was so funny and honest. I loved it.. thank you

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  • Ai Jou
  • 24-06-21

Feel good, hopeful book about humanity

This is a feel good book about a bank robber's botched robbery, and a group of hostages. Everyone has a background story, and all of them are anxious people. The performance is the narrator is simply amazing, her tone and inflections lend life to the story, much better than if I’d read it in book format.

I really enjoyed this book’s honest look at the foibles of humans, its understanding about human psychology and acceptance of the varying personalities that lend colour to our world. It's highly humorous, with a wee bit of mystery, unfolds unexpectedly and ends beautifully. A worthwhile read to pick up if you're down because it gives hope.

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  • M. Botha
  • 03-02-21

Exactly the prescription I needed right now

This is a novel with heart. It deals with heavy subjects with gentleness and a huge dollop of humour. I am recommending it to all my bookish friends.

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  • agilityfan
  • 24-01-21

Wonderful

What a book ... what a story ... laugh out loud and sentimental enough to just shed a few tears!

The performance was just superb

So sad that it’s over ... I just might have to listen to it again!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 21-01-21

Perfect Antidote

If you read one book this year, it should be this. It fills you with hope for the future, which is in short supply right now. Characters which are both flawed yet lovable. A story woven so beautifully you will want to read it again.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-09-20

Where is Britt Marie when we need her?

I have her voice in my mind, and "Ha!" in her voice. Why oh why am I not hearing Joan Walker's performance, and why would Fredrick Backman be read in American? A rich, thought provoking, funny and surprising story .