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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

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Overview

A wildly picaresque new novel from Jonas Jonasson, the author of the internationally bestselling The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

In a tiny shack in the largest township in South Africa, Nombeko Mayeki is born. Put to work at five years old and orphaned at ten, she quickly learns that the world expects nothing more from her than to die young, be it from drugs, alcohol, or just plain despair. But Nombeko has grander plans. She learns to read and ...

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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

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Overview

A wildly picaresque new novel from Jonas Jonasson, the author of the internationally bestselling The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

In a tiny shack in the largest township in South Africa, Nombeko Mayeki is born. Put to work at five years old and orphaned at ten, she quickly learns that the world expects nothing more from her than to die young, be it from drugs, alcohol, or just plain despair. But Nombeko has grander plans. She learns to read and write, and at just fifteen, using her cunning and fearlessness, she makes it out of Soweto with millions of smuggled diamonds in her possession. Then things take a turn for the worse....

Nombeko ends up the prisoner of an incompetent engineer in a research facility working on South Africa's secret nuclear arsenal. Yet the unstoppable Nombeko pulls off a daring escape to Sweden, where she meets twins named Holger One and Holger Two, who are carrying out a mission to bring down the Swedish monarchy...by any means necessary.

Nombeko's life ends up hopelessly intertwined with the lives of the twins, and when the twins arrange to kidnap the Swedish king and prime minister, it is up to our unlikely heroine to save the day—and possibly the world. In this wild romp, Jonasson tackles issues ranging from the pervasiveness of racism to the dangers of absolute power while telling a charming and hilarious story along the way. In the satirical voice that has earned him legions of fans the world over, Jonasson gives us another rollicking tale of how even the smallest of decisions can have sweeping—even global—consequences.

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Editorial Reviews

BookPage
“In The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, Jonas Jonasson unfurls a wide, whimsical net that readers will relish being caught up in.”
Denver Post
“A funny and improbable tale with characters from South Africa to Sweden demonstrates how even the most seemingly insignificant people can change the fate of the world.”
Library Journal
12/01/2013
Jonasson gave us a crusty centenarian in his internationally best-selling debut, The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window. Now he gives us Nombeko Mayeki, born desperately poor in Soweto, who works her way up to chief adviser on a hush-hush project. Though South Africa voluntarily dismantled its six nuclear missiles in 1994, Nombeko knows about a seventh missile. Now she's running from South Africa's secret service—and ends up in Sweden. With a 100,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-04-16
A funny and completely implausible farce about a woman, a bomb and a man's frustrated ambition to overthrow the king of Sweden.Nombeko Mayeki is a 14-year-old latrine cleaner in apartheid-era Soweto who is exceptionally good at her job. Because of her race, she is incorrectly presumed to be illiterate. She gets another job as the housemaid of the nuclear engineer in charge of South Africa's secret program to build six atomic bombs, and in her spare time, she masters Wu Chinese at the library in Pretoria. The engineer is an incompetent fool who accidentally builds a seventh bomb that remains a secret even to his bosses. Soon, Nombeko ships two crates: dried antelope meat to feed herself as she escapes to Sweden and the 1,700-pound atomic bomb the engineer wants sent to the Mossad in Israel. But the packages get switched, and for years Nombeko carts a 3-megaton bomb around Sweden while the Mossad doesn't know what to do with the antelope meat. Meanwhile, Ingmar Qvist's lifelong dream is to abolish the Swedish monarchy. He indoctrinates his identical-twin sons, both named Holger, to carry on after his death. But Holger One is an idiot, and Holger Two, whose birth was not registered and who thus technically doesn't exist, is intelligent. Because Nombeko is an illegal immigrant, she doesn't exist either. And of course the bomb doesn't exist. Can Nombeko and Holger Two prevent the idiot anarchist Holger One and his idiot girlfriend, Celestine, from blowing up the king, themselves and a sizable chunk of Sweden? Author Jonasson is wickedly inventive with a constant flow of absurdities, for which his narrator blames the Almighty: "If God does exist, He must have a good sense of humor." This book follows Jonasson's equally crazy The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (2012).Definitely not a book for sourpusses. The rest of the world will chuckle all the way through it.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062329127
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/29/2014
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 61,761
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonas Jonasson is the author of the novel The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, which has sold more than eight million copies worldwide. He was a journalist for many years, then became a media consultant and later the founder of a sporting events production company for Swedish television. After selling his company, he moved abroad to work on his first novel. Jonasson now lives with his son on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 20, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I loved it, actually more than his first book. It is definitely

    I loved it, actually more than his first book. It is definitely "whimsical" as the review notes and I can see that readers would either love it or find it too nonsensical. I think it is fascinating how the author can weave real life events and characters into a story that is so entertaining. A lot of nuance woven into the story. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    What ages are reccomened to read this book?

    I am ten years old. Would anyone reccomend this book to me? I love to read so I jump at any chance to read any book.

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 6, 2014

    Annonymous

    Sounds like a great book!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2014

    G laster

    Love this book

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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