2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Intentionally surreal with serious undertones,
This review is from: The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe (Kindle Edition)
There is no doubting that this novel is meant to be a bit nuts and intentionally far-fetched. Our fakir, Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod, travels from city to city but the sights aren’t being seen, he’s simply floating, trying to find his way back to where he came from although he finds out a lot more than he bargained for on his trip for the ultimate bed of nails from Ikea.
I haven’t read The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson but have been told that this book has been marketed to the same readers. With no comparison all I can say about this is that I’m even more interested in picking up Jonasson’s book which is on one of my shelves somewhere. I really enjoyed Puértolas’ book and in simple, almost childish language he introduces the concept of the ‘good countries’ of Europe in the context of the African immigrants he had met on his journey from country to country.
Every page of Puértolas’ novel has another comic episode, slapstick moment or element of stupidity which seems almost unbelievable but perfectly fitting. There’s a sense throughout that everything will turn out well in the end. Our hero, Aja, comes along way from his original position as long-distance shopper come conman complete with forged 100 Euro note (one-side printed only) and the people he meets along the way are almost as strange as he appears.
I really enjoyed this novel for what it was, a fun journey from which deeper meaning can be derived. Puértolas doesn’t drive the point home but the concept of immigration, illegal movement from country to country and even the almost deity-like hold of Ikea are covered and brought up for the reader to question more than the author and his characters. It’s clever, it’s not as deep as it could be but it’s definitely worth a read.