Customer Reviews


1,052 Reviews
5 star:
 (564)
4 star:
 (254)
3 star:
 (148)
2 star:
 (58)
1 star:
 (28)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not quite as good as its predecessor but that would be asking a lot
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...
Published 9 months ago by Lykewake

versus
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Formula doesn't work the second time
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...
Published 8 months ago by Frances Stott


Most Helpful First | Newest First

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, funny, frolic, 16 Oct. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
If you liked Jonas Jonasson's previous book, then the same formula is followed with an ensemble cast of conflicting and differently motivated characters who battle with each other and the central task in hand. It's not a plot spoiler to tell you that the girl who does indeed save the king of Sweden is an illiterate, black South African and how the two characters from the title meet up is part of the charm of the story. Meticulous research and sufficient overlap with known real events keep you guessing about the margins of fact and fiction. Storylines are tied up with satisfaction and although this is not laugh out loud comedy, it is wryly amusing. I enjoyed it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 28 Jun. 2014
By 
After thoroughly enjoying 'The 100 year old man...' I was looking forward to reading this book by the same author. Sadly, I was to be disappointed. It starts OK but once the main action moves to Sweden the book flags and finishing the book became a bit of a struggle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars The Girl who killed the King of Sweden, 1 Mar. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
The Girl who saved the King of Sweden
by Jonas Jonasson
Like the author's first book, 'The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared' this is a romp through recent history told through the adventures of an unlikely set of characters who find themselves in unbelievable situations and triumph in the best possible style of innocents and naïvetés everywhere.
The plot is outrageous, witty and thought provoking and the underlying, subtle subtexts and symbolism are fantastically clever.I read the whole book as a allegory of the precarious nature of the Cold War/Arms race era
Sometimes square pegs actually end up in square holes, not always by design or by the most direct route, rather like the Swedish Prime Minister, and perhaps even the King of Sweden, not to mention Nombeko.
The Countess is everyone who wistfully longs to be important, admired and involved, but plays the hand dealt them by fate to the best of their ability. Celestine is  the archetypal, frustrated 'demonstrator' , well intentioned but politically naive, in a world of hypocrisy and injustice that she does not have a hope of understanding.
Holger One, the twin who does exist means well, by his own lights, but his gung-ho short-sightedness leads the group, and in particular his hapless brother, into scrape after scrape. Like Mr Magoo, he has a charmed life but only because his much cleverer twin and his friends save him time after time. He never fully realises how much damage he has caused, how much he has to be grateful to the others for and how very stupid he actually is! But 'he means well' and like his counterparts in real-life he bumbles along and blithely continues to cause mayhem. Holgar Two, the 'nobody' is so often the voice of reason and the one picking up the pieces.
The main theme of the book seems to be that fate will interfere no matter what individuals do, but non-the-less the actions and motives of each and every one of us can make a huge difference to the way things unfold and the amount of comfort or discomfort to be borne, by ourselves and all those we encounter, along the way.
If you enjoyed The Hundred-Year-Old Man... and/or like books that are a little off-beat but cleverly constructed and very entertaining then you will love The Girl who saved the King of Sweden; I did.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars "In some ways they were lucky, the latrine emptiers in S. Africa's largest shantytown.They had a job, a roof over their heads.", 30 July 2014
By 
Mary Whipple (New England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
In a novel so wild and imaginative that it screams out to be made into a film, Swedish author Jonas Jonasson expands this "farce" beyond the customary domestic focus and uses the whole world as his stage. Drawing his characters from South Africa, Israel, China, and Sweden, with a couple of Americans also earning passing swipes, he focuses on cultural and racial issues; world affairs, including the modern political history of several countries; and the accidents of history which have the power to change the world. The craziness starts with the novel's over-the-top opening line, quoted here as this review's title. For the next four hundred pages, the bold absurdity continues, spreading outward until it eventually absorbs the kings, presidents, and prime ministers of Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

Main character Nombeko Mayeki, a thirteen-year-old orphan, has been a latrine worker in Soweto, South Africa's largest shantytown, for half her life, educating herself on the job by counting the barrels she totes, then gradually making the counting exercises harder until she can multiply huge sums in her head. She is as verbal as she is mathematical - and so astute as to motivations of those around her that she progresses quickly, both on the job and in her education, proving to be far more clever than the people who teach her. Her eventual escape for Pretoria ends quickly when she is injured. A judge sentences her to work for the man who injured her - at Pelindaba, a nuclear research facility north of Johannesburg which is working to build an atomic bomb.

Alternating with the story of Nombeko is the story of Ingmar Qvist, a Swede whose life's mission is to shake the hand of Swedish King Gustav V. In following the king, however, he becomes so intrusive that the king hits him with his cane, turning him instantly into a social democrat devoted to ending the monarchy.

Within this framework, the author creates a vibrant farce involving the loyalties and relationships among people, countries, and political points of view. As South Africa changes, and the government begins to fear what might happen if Nelson Mandela's supporters were to acquire the six atomic bombs which the country has already developed, the novel becomes more complex. The Chinese and Israelis are also anxious to obtain these bombs. When Nombeko eventually moves to Sweden, lugging along an unknown seventh bomb with her, the free-for-all becomes a reality. The two plot lines converge as Nombeko (and her bomb) move into a condemned factory building in Gnesta, the very building where Ingmar's two politically motivated sons also live.

More complex and character driven than many other farces, the novel is also longer than most, stretching the limits of the genre. Jonasson straddles the line admirably, matching his plot to real events acted out by real people in South Africa, Sweden, China, and Israel. Picaresque, with a plot which wanders around following the life of Nombeko from the age of thirteen to forty-seven, the novel wastes no time in making its points about personal and political responsibility, or as the author says, "If God does exist, he must have a good sense of humor."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but not as good as his first novel, 16 July 2014
By 
Macey89 - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Jonas Jonasson’s first novel, in my opinion, was a true delight to read. It was original and funny and I spent my tube journey’s actually laughing out loud. I raved about it to friends and recommended it left, right and centre. So when I packed for holiday last month, his latest book, ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’, was the first thing that went into my suitcase.

In this book, our protagonist is Nombeko Mayeki. Born in Soweto, Couth Africa, the course of Nombeko’s life takes a long and varied trajectory. After a succession of accidents, happy coincidences and bizarre twists, she ends up in living in a pillow warehouse in Sweden with a man that technically doesn’t exist and a whole cast of other captivating characters. She’s also fluent in Chinese and has an all too intimate knowledge of nuclear weaponry. Soon enough, she’s on course to save the life of the King of Sweden.

To say more about the plot would be to take away from the charm of the book, but once again readers are asked to completely suspend their disbelief and just go along for the ride.

Maybe it was because I’d hyped it up so much, but when I turned the last page I was left feeling a little disappointed. Essentially, if you’ve read ‘The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared’, ‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ will come as nothing new to you. It uses much the same format, the same language and the same style of writing.

While it was still entertaining, it lost the feeling of originality and excitement that came with Jonasson’s first novel. To me, it felt a little bit like the author knew he had a formula for success and so stuck to it religiously, keeping loyal fans happy but not offering them anything new.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4.0 out of 5 stars Outlandish and zany, not quite as good as his debut but a lot of fun to read, 8 Jun. 2014
By 
K. J. Noyes "Katy Noyes" (Derbyshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
It must be a hard task to follow up an international bestselling debut. Do you go for something similar or try something different? i'd say Jonasson has actually managed both in his second novel.

We have another funny Sweden-based tale about unlikely heroes and outlandish coincidences taking place over several decades. But we also have a Soweto-slum-born heroine, twins with no identity and bombs sent in the mail.

With several timelines from individuals in Soweto and Sweden (among others) coming together gradually, it takes a little concentration to remember who is who. Nombeko is hard to forget - born in a slum to an addict mother, her gift for numbers sees her rise to positions of influence in her early teens, but it is only when she leaves her home to seek a better life that an unexpected accident sees her take a path she could never have anticipated (but probably have been able to work out the statistical likelihood of). Half a world away in Sweden, a royalist becomes a maniacal would-be revolutionary, and brings up his twin sons (both given the same name) to follow his calling. How their plots come together is the story.

It's a lot of fun, though sometimes you lose track a little of the minor storylines and characters. I liked Nombeko, whose talents make her seem forever capable and resourceful, in every situation. I enjoyed the zaniness of it all - encompassing potato farms, incompetent police strikes, Chinese translators, communists, smuggled Chinese girls and the Swedish Prime Minister.

While I didn't find it quite as charming as Jonasson's debut, it's very entertaining, with outrageous coincidences and plots that are so insane you can't help but enjoy the silliness. Nice to see Scandinavian comedy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars No more please!!!, 3 Jun. 2014
Please Jonas! Don't write another book like this. I read your first book and enjoyed the writing style, and even the totally unlikely storyline was amusing and bearable. However, you have now done the theme to death.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The magic continues from Jonasson., 24 Nov. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Anyone that read 100 year old man is aware that Jonasson has a very clear story telling style, the danger is can he create a new book with new characters but keep the quirkiness. On this evidence, yes. Nombeko, an illiterate black from Soweto, at least until she is taught to read, and the Holgars, love in two separate worlds but that didn't stop their paths from crossing, owning a nuclear bomb and saving the King is Sweden.

As with his previous book, we mingle fact with fiction, cone up with a concoction
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars lacks the charm of his debut novel, 24 Feb. 2015
By 
Cloggie Downunder (Australia) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden is the second book by Swedish journalist, media consultant and television producer, Jonas Jonasson. Determined not to be a latrine emptier all her life, Soweto youngster, Nombeko Mayeki uses her numerical skills and lots of hard work to advance her position. How she learns to read, ends up in possession of quite a few diamonds and later, something a whole lot more dangerous, is the story Jonasson tells in the first half of his book. It takes that long before Nombeko arrives in Sweden and quite a bit longer before she gets anywhere near the King.

Jonasson gives the reader the backstory of various major and minor characters in a series of anecdotes, some of which are quite funny. There is plenty of reference to both South African and Swedish politics (perhaps a little too much?), as well as a bit of world affairs, and generally, the plot is just as far-fetched as Jonasson’s first novel, The Hunded Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared, but this one lacks the charm of his debut novel. The title is a bit misleading as, in effect, the King saves himself. There are lots of chuckles but not as many laugh-out-loud moments, and while described as uproariously funny, readers may disagree. 3 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Hail !! The Girl Who Saved The King of Sweden, 3 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Written in the same style as "The Hundred Year Old Man" this is the story of how a girl from the slums of Soweto ends up saving the king of Sweden. Whilst not quite reaching it's predecessors hilarious heights it is funny and there is many a bizarre tale and eccentric characters woven in amongst the main story. Like his first book I couldn't help but laugh throughout the book and can't wait for Jonas Jonasson's next book to be released.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Only search this product's reviews