By: Fredrik Backman
Opening Line: “A bank robbery. A hostage drama.”
Overall: A group of strangers are at an apartment open house, when suddenly a masked bank robber bursts in and takes them all hostage. The group of hostages include an 87 year old woman, a recently retired couple, a wealthy banker, a young, pregnant, lesbian couple, the real estate agent, and a mystery man. Looking at real estate should not turn out to be a life or death situation. This books sounds very dramatic and serious, however, it is a comedy. Well, this book is so many things, it is hard to categorize. It is not really a comedy, not really a thriller, and not really a mystery, although it has elements of all of them. On the surface, the story is about a bank robbery gone wrong that turns into a hostage situation gone wrong, and the police trying to take control of the situation without much experience. But, underneath that, it is really about not judging a book by it’s cover, about love, about suicide, about guilt, about friendship, about good-hearted people, about bad decisions, about divorce, about marriage, about flaws in ‘the system” that cause people despair, … and it’s about hope. Parts of the book are funny, some parts are very sad, and some parts make you think deeply about life. If you are up for all this, then give this book a read.
Ovations: This book is like nothing I have ever read before. The book seems to be about one thing, but it is really not about that thing at all, because it’s about life and how we are all getting through it. All of the characters in this book are very interesting, and as the story goes on, you really get to know them all and discover why they are the way that they are. You start to care about them all, and want the story to turn out well for all of them. I loved how all the characters lives are intersected in some way, whether they realize it or not. There are some nice twists at the end that I did not see coming at all. I did very much like how the story ends.
Oh Well: I found this book to be very repetitive. The author says the same things over and over again, to the point that it is annoying. I sort of felt like he was writing to children, and trying to get his point across to them. He is very heavy-handed with his “messages” that he is trying to tell us. I feel that we are smart enough as adults to not have to be hit-over-the-head with the points you want us to understand. Also, some of the parts that were supposed to be funny, I just found strange and very weird. For example, the scenes with the police interrogations are so absurd and unbelieveable, that I did not find them funny. They were supposed to be, because the people were playing dumb. But, there is no way they would actually behave like that in real life.
Opinion: This book was not at all what I thought it was going to be about. This book is very unique and interesting. It is about the impact people have on eachother, either known or unknown. It is sad and depressing, but also hopeful and sweet. The book is basically about how hard life is, that we are all just doing the best we know how to do, and that you should be kind to everyone you meet because you don’t know what they are really going through in their lives. Rating: 6 out of 10
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