Book Review: Hostages In Sweden

Anxious People is a novel written by Swedish author Fredrik Backman. It apparently involves a hostage situation when a bank robber interrupts a group of people in the middle of an apartment viewing. That is the simple way to explain this, but the novel goes much deeper than that. Backman does not really let this story unfold in a linear fashion, so the chapters alternate between the past of some of the characters and the investigation when the bank robber seemingly makes an escape.

Backman also has a whimsical humor peppered throughout, however it’s not exactly a comedic story. There is quite a bit of profound insights about the complexities of life and how many are connected by coincidence. The point of view shifts from each of the various hostages and the father and son policemen investigating the incident. Me trying to describe this makes this sound pretty disjointed, and it sometimes reads that way, but it does come together pretty nicely at the end.

I found that it does take a little patience at the beginning to get used to Backman’s style, but once the twists start appearing, I found that sticking with it paid off. This novel is worth the effort ultimately.

Next up, my literary journey takes me into the 23rd century and aboard the Starship Enterprise. Dayton Ward has a new Star Trek novel entitled Agents of Influence.

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