Having hugely enjoyed Mr. Jonasson’s first book (‘The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared‘), picking this one up was admittedly a bit of a no brainer for me – and, all in all, I can’t really say I was disappointed.
Interweaving fact with fiction, the author takes us on another absurd journey of coincidence, this time from 1970’s South Africa to 21st century Sweden. A large cast of quirky, funny & fully fleshed- out characters (including an “illiterate” mathematical genious of a girl, a useless alcoholic engineer, Chinese counterfeiters, Mossad agents, non- existent Swedes, heads of government and Royalty – to name but a few) populates a plot that is just as far fetched and almost as entertaining as that of its predecessor.
Truth be told the story does lag a bit, around the middle and the book could probably have benefited from stricter editing at that point. That said, the plot soon picks up again leading to a pretty great, happily- ever- after finale (with all loose ends tied up in a, hilarious, little bow).
To put it in a nutshell, despite inadvertently comparing this to Mr. Jonasson’s earlier offering (and finding it slightly less charming, due to the missing element of surprise that one’s first contact with his writing style offers) I still largely enjoyed it. It made me laugh, it made me think and I would ultimately have no real qualms recommending it.
Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Fourth Estate (24 April 2014)
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