Analfabeten som kunde räkna (The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden) – Jonas Jonasson

AnalfabetenSomKundeRäknaNombeko Mayeko is born into poverty in Soweto during the Apartheid era. From childhood, she has worked as a latrine emptier. Despite a lack of formal education, she is a maths prodigy and possesses considerable street smarts. Through a series of unlikely events, she ends up in Sweden in possession of an atomic bomb. Here her life continues together with Holger 2, the non-existent (at least as far as the authorities are concerned) twin of Holger 1, a radical republican who wants to bring down the monarchy.

Because of its nature as a sequence of very unlikely, but nevertheless often humorous events, the story requires a complete suspension of disbelief, and is perhaps best read as a naif satire combined with situational comedy. The book is written in a very dry humor that turns what would normally be sad or infuriating situations into laugh-out-loud farces.

The characters are quirky, interesting and, while most are just as unlikely as the story, deeply charming. Even “The Idiot” and his girlfriend “The Angry One” engage the reader in their adventures.

On a deeper level, the story can be seen as a triumph of human ingenuity over adversity, with themes touching on how people will continue to seek a normal existence and happiness no matter what is thrown at them.

4Rosbochs

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