Author: Jonas Jonasson
Genre: fiction, humour, comedy, contemporary
Just because the world ignores you doesn’t mean you can’t save it.
Nombeko Mayeki is on the run from the world’s most ruthless secret service – with three Chinese sisters, twins who are officially one person, and an elderly potato farmer. Oh, and the fate of the King of Sweden – and the world – rests on her shoulders.
Born in a Soweto shack in 1961, Nombeko was destined for a short, hard life. When she was run over by a drunken engineer her luck changed. Alive, but blamed for the accident, she is sent to work for the driver – the brandy-soaked head of a project vital to South Africa’s security. Nombeko may be good at cleaning, but she’s amazing with numbers. The drunken engineer isn’t – and has made a big mistake. And only Nombeko knows about it…
Thoughts: I finally finished it, after about 2 weeks on the one book, which is pretty terrible for me. So here we are, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden…
I found this book hilariously funny, and would definitely recommend to anyone looking for a laugh. Right from the get-go I loved the main character – who later becomes the girl who saves the King of Sweden. But you have to read the whole book to find out how she gets into that situation. Throughout the entire thing, tension built up, as disaster after disaster happened.
“If you don’t think you have enough problems, you should acquire a mammal in Sweden just hours before you’re about to fly home to the other side of the world, and then insist that the animal must come along in your luggage.”
― Jonas Jonasson, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden
I’m likening the sort of story to a Douglas Adams book, because of each of the weird and strange coincidences that seemed to keep happening. I actually couldn’t finish The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, because it was just too confusing and I didn’t get it, so this one wasn’t to as much of an extent. But still, there were more than a few moments when it seemed nothing else could go wrong, and then another character they met 100 pages before, suddenly pops up and tries to take control. It was like, “Ohhhhhh, I forgot about you…”
The novel itself was written well, if a little confusing in parts. The one piece of advice is to take note of character’s names, and where they feature in the story, because sometimes you won’t understand the jokes made later in the book. I absolutely loved the humour of it all, which is probably why I loved it so much.
It was a little slow to begin with, to a minor extent, but it very quickly warmed up. But then, by the second half, I did find that it was starting to drag on a bit. There were things happening every chapter, but I couldn’t read more than 3 at a time, because nothing big happened, no cliff-hanger, that made me want to read on. What also added to this was that there was no climax. Yes, there was a point in the story that was more important than the rest of it, but the tension just didn’t get any higher than the rest of the book. It was like as if the author tried to cram too many different parts into the book, and tried to connect characters in some way, too many times, that when the big ending came, it actually wasn’t a big ending.
In saying that, I loved the variety of different characters that existed in the story. There’s a South African woman, two Swedish twins, three Chinese sisters, two Israeli agents, then the president of China, and of course, the King of Sweden. I enjoyed all the crazy coincidences that continued throughout the entire story, and how unpredictable they were.
Now, I know that I’ve said that it’s slow, and seems to drag on, but I still liked it. I would recommend it to people, not for an easy read, but for a funny, humorous one. If you’ve had enough of the tear-jerkers… And I say not an easy read, because you do have to concentrate on it, as it all gets very confusing near the end if you don’t remember some of the characters. Just a tip…