Thursday, April 15, 2021

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

 Good memories of "Bear Town" and having watched "A Man Called Ove" spurred me  to read the latest book of Fredrik Backman.  At first it seemed very frivolous and "arty."  As pages were turned it turned out to be layered.

A simple story (?) about a messed up bank robbery and an awkward hostage situation.  People meet one another and we discover connections gradually.  The past is always present and steers the future.  You may not be able to hold back a laugh or two. 

The narrative is rendered in different formats.  We think we have a rough idea where this is going and along the way we read some insights that we mostly would agree with, although we seldom give the matters much thought.   It takes awhile (unless you are more observant than me) to catch on to a deeper meaning.

A quote that needs to have context to be appreciated; "We plant an apple tree today, even if we know the world is going to be destroyed tomorrow...We save those we can."  It is worth reading the book including the acknowledgements to understand.

 The book is originally in Swedish and set in that country, but the humans are universal.  The references to Stockholmers can be substituted to your more familiar metaphors.

Normally acknowledgements are skipped or skimmed, but this book offers something unique and something that helps explain the book.  Another book, "Old Age A Beginners Guide"  with a unique acknowledgements:

I have come to admire the author who was first suggested to me by Chris, a  local librarian.  I liked a movie based on Backman's book and found a co worker who enjoyed the book.  "Bear Town" was about a small hockey town with political and social dynamics, not particularly unusual, but well explained.

"Beartown" is another book well worth reading:

A blog on the movie "A Man Called Ove" might interest you as an English version will soon be available.

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