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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden [Kindle Edition]

Jonas Jonasson
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,001 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Product Description


‘One of the word of mouth bestsellers of last year was Jonasson’s uproariously funny “The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climed Out Of A Window And Disappeared”. Now he’s back in similar vein … A comic delight of love, luck and mathematics’ ***** Caroline Jowett, Daily Express

‘As unlikely and funny as Jonas Jonasson's 2012 debut bestseller, “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared” … There is no shortage of fast-paced action … Take nothing seriously is the refreshing subtext. At the heart of this very likable book is the notion that even someone from the humblest of origins can have a gigantic impact on life.’ Sophia Martelli, Observer

‘It’s excellent … a drily satirical tour of the world. This tour takes in Swedish liberals, Colonel Gaddafi and of course, apartheid and the South African Prime Minister B J Vorster’ Catherine Nixey, The Times

‘Having had a massive international hit … Jonas Jonasson has wisely spun his second epic yarn from the same tangly stuff … As pacy and pain-free as a cartoon, Jonasson's narrative … zips along, the backdrop of familiar international politics lending a curious realism to what is pure, ingenious fantasy … It's "feel-good" set to stun level’ Jane Housham, Guardian

‘A funny and completely implausible farce about a woman, a bomb and a man’s frustrated ambition to overthrow the king of Sweden… The rest of the world will chuckle all the way through it.’ Kirkus Reviews

Product Description

As delightfully wry and witty as his bestselling debut, ‘The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared’, this is a tale of how one woman’s attempt to change her future ended up changing everything.

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 was made to work for the engineer – who happened to be in charge of a project vital to South Africa’s security. Nombeko was good at cleaning, but brilliant at understanding numbers. The drunk engineer wasn’t – and made a big mistake. And now only Nombeko knows about it …

As uproariously funny as Jonas Jonasson’s bestselling debut, this is an entrancing tale of luck, love and international relations.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Formula doesn't work the second time 23 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel charts the progress of Nombeko, a highly intelligent and inventive South Afican girl who moves from emptying latrines, to being run over by a car and compelled to work for the driver, through to her escape and her eventual 'saving' of the King of Sweden. Along the way, she teams up with a pair of identical Swedish twins, and together they find themselves in possession of an atomic bomb, with no means of disposing of it.

Like The Hundred-Year-Old Man, Nombeko travels widely, and like him, she meets all kinds of unlikely characters on the way. But I found this novel too smiliar to the author's first (which, incidentally, I loved), and it went on far too long. At the beginning, I found it very funny and lively, but afer a while, all that began to wear off, and I became bored with it. In the end, I struggled to finish it.

The author seems to have found a formula, and it obviously works for many readers. In fact, had it been cut by a third, I might have enjoyed it. But as I read it, it moved from five, to four stars, and (for me) ended up with just three.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Like many reviewers, I was looking forward to this book after Jonasson's amazing debut with "The hundred year old man..." and, by comparison, I found it slightly disappointing - but only slightly. The style is unmistakably Jonasson - the same easy reading style, the same implausible co-incidences and hilarious adventures - so it's definitely a case of "more of the same". That seems to have upset some reviewers, but not this one. The plot and characters are very different and the story zigs and zags all over the place.

If you have read and enjoyed "The hundred year old man..." ignore the reviews of this book, read it yourself and form your own opinions. If you haven't read "The hundred year old man..." try reading this one first and then read and review "The hundred year old man..." I, for one, would be very interested to see if the reason so many reviewers are disappointed by this book is simply that it's too similar in style to its predecessor.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved "The Hundred Year Old Man..." and was really looking forward to reading this, but sadly I found it extremely disappointing.

The story opens with a girl called Nombeko working in a filthy job emptying latrines in South Africa. Nombeko turns out to be something of a mathematical genius and before long she's acting as the manager of the facility despite her young age, and increasing its profitability. Eventually she leaves, hoping to further herself in the great libraries of the world, but when she is knocked down by a drunken white driver she is blamed for the accident due to her colour (the early part of the book is set in the days of apartheid) and becomes the slave of an engineer. From then on the book lurches from coincidence to coincidence, and all along Nombeko appears to be surrounded by idiots, the sole intelligent person in the book, the one person who knows the answer to everything.

Unlike the joyously daft "Hundred Year Old Man" this book feels rather dense and overly political, almost a rant in some ways, and fans of dialogue should definitely give this one a miss as there is hardly any - it's almost all exposition. Long sections of the book feel like rehashes of the author's previous work, so once again something goes rolling down a hill, someone is lost at sea, things are coincidentally "found", famous people pop up in "Forrest Gump" style...

On the whole I found it too long, too dull, unfunny, and overly familiar. Could the author be a one-trick pony? It feels like that to me. Still, lots of people seem to have loved the book, but this one wasn't for me. A shame.
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83 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bonkers 27 April 2014
It was going to be a tall order to pull off another highly original and funny novel after Jonasson’s debut, ‘The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared’, which I believe has or will soon be a film. We eagerly awaited to see what his next novel would be like and hoped that it would still be good, and although I personally have a slight preference for his debut, this is still another great tale.

Those who have read his first book will remember that in places there were echoes of ‘Forrest Gump’; as you start to read this novel you see echoes of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ at the beginning, although set in South Africa. We meet Nombeko Mayeki who is born in the Soweto slums and to put it politely is what in this country used to be called a night soil person. But Nombeko soon learns to count and become literate, despite things being against her and the other blacks in an apartheid country. From these humble beginnings by fourteen years of age she is running the refuse centre, but her life takes a dramatic turn, and she ends up working at a secret facility for building an atomic bomb (Jonas Jonasson loves his atomic bombs). Although a cleaning lady Nombeko it has to be admitted becomes more or less the brains behind the research facility.

Of course things don’t go to plan, as ultimately Nombeko finds that her boss has created seven atomic bombs instead of six, and has to get rid of the extra as political events change. Thus Nombeko finds herself seeking asylum in Sweden, being lumbered with an atomic bomb and three Chinese sisters who only really know how to make fake antique pottery. With Mossad also on her trail could things get any worse?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read..
Brilliant.. Brilliant .. Brilliant. Perfect relaxing read.
Published 1 day ago by MellyB
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
Loved it, like the previous one by Jonasson. Very twisted plot and hugely funny.
Published 2 days ago by anne weber
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Gave this as a present and they liked it
Published 3 days ago by Miss v Bartalska
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 days ago by Mrs J Watton-Butler
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
A really good farce, to the standard of Tom Sharpe or Carl Hiassen; not laugh out loud but good humour all the way through, with lots of amusing and nicely cynical one liner asides... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Al
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly inventive with hidden depths
Jonas Jonasson burst onto the publishing scene with The Hundred-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, originally published in Swedish in 2009 and in English... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Dr R
5.0 out of 5 stars A nice easy read about a girl who beats all the ...
A nice easy read about a girl who beats all the odds. But with no regrets nor blaming her past. Historical references included. Read more
Published 8 days ago by Miss Kerry A Prime
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable romp
This is an enjoyable romp that is very similar to the author’s previous 100 Year Old Man tale. It is full of weird but entertaining characters, bizarre coincidences and ludicrous... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Damo Green
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy light read with a funny twisting clever story line
Really good book with a story that stretched cleverly over decade and generations. I was impressed with how it linked to different points in history and didn't mention ikea once.
Published 8 days ago by Allan Rees
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, light, easy to read
Lovely rambling tale but just a little bit too long hence 4 stars.
Published 9 days ago by Readingaddict
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