Written By: Fredrik Backman

Narrated By: Marin Ireland

Date: September 2020

Duration: 9 hours 53 minutes


An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, the new novel from the author of A Man Called Ove is a “quirky, big-hearted novel….Wry, wise and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure” (People).

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. 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.

Proving once again that Backman is “a master of writing delightful, insightful, soulful, character-driven narratives” (USA TODAY), Anxious People “captures the messy essence of being human….It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry” (The Washington Post). This “endlessly entertaining mood-booster” (Real Simple) is proof that the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope can save us—even in the most anxious of times.


  • Bruce R C.

    Narrator made this listen feel like I was attending a live theater performance. She was terrific. The story is fun and refreshingly unusual in how it was crafted. Great read during very difficult times.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Barbara F.

    Listened to 14 chapters it was AWFUL.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Mary F.

    The narration was terrific but the story was so confusing. I listened to the first hour twice. Can get that time back... Kept hoping it would get better. For me it didn’t.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Caitlin O.

    I keep chasing this experience, this was such a sweet experience to listen to, intricate, poignant, optimistic and funny.

  • Anonymous

    Enjoyable, funny, light listen. I would recommend this book to a friend.

  • Anonymous

    The narrator was wonderful and overall it was a very sweet story. However at times the sweetness became almost too much but still quite enjoyable.

  • Anonymous

    A delightful, insightful love letter to humanity. What a gift, especially read by the very talented Marin Ireland.

  • Elizabeth R.

    Very entertaining and comical read that easily makes you sympathize with all of the characters involved. The narrator did an especially wonderful job considering the volume of characters!

  • K O.

    This was a great book. Desperation in certain circumstances makes or breaks people. I was shocked at one event impacting a number of people. Their lives were revolves around a singular situation.

  • Delilah L.

    I enjoyed this immensely. I would laugh out loud while driving. WOW! So intricately woven. I've read at least 3 of his other books, but this one showed me a deeper character understanding, wit and intelligence.

  • Darlene D.

    Excellent and highly imaginative

  • Bianca1976

    It was okay, it wasn't my favorite of his books

  • Rich C.

    Couldn’t make it through 5 chapters

  • Gina M.

    Backman gives us another winner! Surprises at every turn. You’ll laugh and cry and long to find yourself in the closet, too!

  • Terresa

    As an anxious person this book spoke to my soul.

  • Anonymous

    this book has its positives and negatives. I think it tells the truth about how people aren't given a fair chance when the going gets tough. When hard luck falls on someone its like, oh well...you have to use deal with it and move on no matter how much it really isn't your fault or how much of a victim you are.

  • A fun, intriguing listen. I enjoyed it all the way though.

  • Robbyn S.

    Excellent book- hilarious at times, moving to tears at times, as the reader witnesses several lives change profoundly and unexpectedly.

  • Tana B.

    An uplifting, clever and funny read!

  • Carol M.

    What a unique story! Backman writes great characters and dialogue and the narrator did an admirable job with all the unique personalities. Many lines that I wish I had written. So witty

  • Kayla A.

    Super slow up until nearly the end, but a great story

  • Mistey M.

    This was such a sweet and fun book !! It’s what I needed to take my mind of all the stress of the world

  • Diane G.

    Excellent book. Have really started enjoying Fredrik Backman's books. This is my third of his that I have "read". All wonderful escapes.

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by Fredrik Backman

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