Sunday, September 27, 2020

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Rating: 5+ of 5 stars
Pages: 352 pages
Published: September 2020

I love, love Fredrik Backman. I've read all of his novels (just search his name on this blog), and I think he is one of the most gifted writers in modern literature. He is able to compose sentences in a way that evoke a myriad of emotions. So, it was no surprise that as I read, I found myself pondering then laughing and then tearing up throughout Anxious People. So, what is this book about? If you read it (and please do read it), you will see that even the narrator even has a hard time pinpointing the exact subject matter. But I think overall it's about life and how we deal with it. It's written in a unique way, and in my opinion, it almost reads like a stage play. The best part of the book are the little nuggets of truth Backman hides within this dramedy. Here are some of my favorites - 

Our hearts are bars of soap that we keep losing hold of; the moment we relax, they drift off and fall in love and get broken, all in the wink of an eye. 

Because that was a parent's job: to provide shoulders. Shoulders for your children to sit on when they're little so they can see the world, then to stand on when they get older so they can reach the clouds, and sometimes lean against whenever they stumble and feel unsure. 

She told herself that was why you should always be nice to other people, even idiots, because you never know how heavy their burden is. 

I think you can understand someone without necessarily agreeing with them. 

Have you ever held a three-year-old by the hand on the way home from preschool? You're never more important than you are then. 

Because the people we argue with hardest of all are not the ones who are completely different from us, but the ones who are almost no different at all. 

He was my echo. Everything I do is quieter now. 

If you can do something for someone in such a way that they think they managed it all on their own, then you've done a good job. 

Loneliness is like starvation, you don't realize how hungry you are until you begin to eat. 

That's the power of literature, you know, it can act lie little love letters between people who can only explain their feelings by pointing at other people's. 

It's such an odd thing, the way you can know someone so perfectly through what they read. 

You can't carry the guilt and the shame and the unbearable silence on your own, and you shouldn't have to.

You see what I mean? He just finds the most beautiful ways to say the most basic things. So, back to the book. It's a story about a person at a desperate point in their life who does something they normally wouldn't and the resulting events affect a group of people who happen to be viewing an apartment for sale. Backman provides a bit of back story to each character while taking us through one day they all shared together. It sounds complicated, but the result of this novel is an uplifting work of art. Just go snag a copy! 

Recommendation: This book was definitely written for my generation, but I really think anyone can appreciate the beauty in it. If you have ever considered suicide suffer from anxiety or depression, please consider this book carefully. But note that it contains much hope! And in times like these, we could all use a little of that. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Regardless of whether I purchase a book, borrow a book, or receive a book in exchange for review, my ultimate goal is to be honest, fair, and constructive. I hope you've found this review helpful.


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