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Anxious People: Fredrick Backman

Fredrick Backman is the author discovery of this year for me. I have read 2 books by him this year and one other already sitting on my shelf.

One of the beauties of Fredrick Backman’s writing is that it makes me feel things that I don’t want to feel.

A Man Called Ove made me laugh and then tear out and then again laugh with each chapter. And Beartown made me so-so angry. With Anxious People, I didn’t feel those extreme emotions but still, it made me very uncomfortable at places. And I would really like to credit Fredrick Backman’s writing to make me feel such a varied range of emotions through his words.

Plot Overview

This is a story of a bank heist that never took place in reality. A bunch of anxious people is stuck in a hostage situation with a bank robber who never planned it. And strangely found themselves connected to each in the weirdest way imaginable.

My Thoughts

This book is funny and witty to read, but besides all this humor is a hidden social message. I would recommend this book strongly as a book for mental health.

It is a story about what drives people to do stupid things that they won’t do in their sane minds, like jumping from a bridge or robbing a bank here.

The author mentioned that this is a story about idiots, but this is a story about us, a random sample of people from among us. Because all of us have our own eccentricities and all of us are idiots in some sense. We all do mistakes driven by so many factors.

Also, this book teaches empathy. As we practice self-compassion to forgive ourselves for our mistakes, we also learn to not judge others for their mistakes.

This book also talks a lot about appearance and stereotypes. How quick we are to judge people based on outer appearance. But this book teaches us to look deeper behind the mask.

This book also teaches about kindness. About a random act of kindness can be life-saving for someone.

But besides all this, this book is about carrying on when the days are bad.

Sharing my favorite quote from the book:

“We're trying to be grown-up and love each other and understand how the hell you're supposed to insert USB leads. We're looking for something to cling on to, something to fight for, something to look forward to. We're doing all we can to teach our children how to swim. We have all of this in common, yet most of us remain strangers, we never know what we do to each other, how your life is affected by mine.

Perhaps we hurried past each other in a crowd today, and neither of us noticed, and the fibers of your coat brushed against mine for single moment and then we were gone. I don't know who you are.

But when you get home this evening, when this day is over and the night takes us, allow yourself a deep breath. Because we made it through this day as well.
There'll be another one along tomorrow.”
Published inBooksFiction

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