Anxious People Book Club Discussion Questions
*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Anxious People, I provide your book club with a brief summary and book club discussion questions in that order!
If you haven’t checked out the previous post in the series where I share my thoughts on Anxious People, a fun activity idea for your book club, and food ideas check out that post HERE.
You can also check out my post on another Fredrik Backman favorite, A Man Called Ove, which I loved reading as well.
In this post, I’ll review the premise of Anxious People and share book club discussion questions that are sure to get your book club talking!
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Here’s a brief summary of Anxious People:
When an apartment viewing goes awry, eight strangers find themselves held at gunpoint by a failed bank robber. A bank robber who never intended to take hostages and who really doesn’t know the first thing about robbing banks.
The thing is, no one in the apartment is quite who they appear to be.
And each of them–especially the bank robber–is in desperate need of rescuing. As the situation escalates, unexpected truths are illuminated, drawing these strangers closer together until what happens that fateful day leads to a series of events none of them can quite explain.
Anxious People Book Club Discussion Questions:
*WARNING: May contain spoilers!
- In the book, several characters were affected by the bridge in different ways. Discuss how the bridge changed each character’s life. What do you think the bridge signified for the novel as a whole?
- Were you surprised by the bank robber’s identity? What assumptions that you made about the bank robber turned out to be incorrect?
- Backman often uses humor or outrageous situations to throw the reader off guard before delivering a deep thought or truth about the human condition. Discuss any particular truths illuminated in the story that specifically resonated with you.
- The Martin Luther quote “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree,” is mentioned more than once in the book. Discuss this quote. Would you plant the apple tree? What about the characters in this book
- The author says that this is a story about a bank robbery and a hostage drama, but it’s also a love story(ies). In the end, what element stood out To you most?
- Jack and Jim are very different and like most fathers and sons have difficulty working together. “The older man thinks the most important thing is for a police officer to do the right thing, the younger thinks it’s more important to do things correctly.” Discuss Jack and Jim and their relationship. Why do you think Jack doesn’t fight Jim on his decision about the bank robber?
- Which of the characters was your favorite? Why?
- Discuss all the ways the characters are dealing with loneliness. Why do you think loneliness is such a prevalent issue in today’s society despite modern connectedness? How can we extend compassion to one another to break our constructed Instagram-perfect barriers?
- If you have lost someone to suicide and feel comfortable about sharing, tell the group how this book affected you. Have you carried any guilt of what happened like Zara?
- How did this book compare to other Backman novels you have read? Also, share with the group any other novels you’ve read that deal with suicide or mental illness with grace and compassion.
Have you read Anxious People? What did you think? Did it satisfy you or were you left wishing for more? What are some similar books you’ve read?
Until next time, Happy Reading!
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