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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden
     

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

4.5 11
by Jonas Jonasson, Rachel Wilson-Broyles (Translator)
 

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Jonas Jonasson's picaresque tale of how one person's actions can have far-reaching—even global—consequences, written with the same light-hearted satirical voice as his bestselling debut novel, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

On June 14th, 2007, the King and Prime Minister of Sweden went missing from a

Overview

Jonas Jonasson's picaresque tale of how one person's actions can have far-reaching—even global—consequences, written with the same light-hearted satirical voice as his bestselling debut novel, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

On June 14th, 2007, the King and Prime Minister of Sweden went missing from a gala banquet at the Royal Castle. Later it was said that both had fallen ill: the truth is different. The real story starts much earlier, in 1961, with the birth of Nombeko Mayeki in a shack in Soweto. Nombeko was fated to grow up fast and die early in her poverty-stricken township. But Nombeko takes a different path. She finds work as a housecleaner and eventually makes her way up to the position of chief advisor, at the helm of one of the world's most secret projects.

Here is where the story merges with, then diverges from reality. South Africa developed six nuclear missiles in the 1980s, then voluntarily dismantled them in 1994. This is a story about the seventh missile . . . the one that was never supposed to have existed. Nombeko Mayeki knows too much about it, and now she's on the run from both the South African justice and the most terrifying secret service in the world. She ends up in Sweden, which has transformed into a nuclear nation, and the fate of the world now lies in Nombeko's hands. 

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062329127
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/29/2014
Pages:
400
Product dimensions:
8.90(w) x 6.40(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Jonas Jonasson was a journalist for the Expressen newspaper for many years. He became a media consultant and later set up a company producing sports and events for Swedish television before selling it and moving abroad to work on his first novel. He is the author of the internationally bestselling novels The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. He lives on the Swedish island Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Donna-Read More than 1 year ago
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. 
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
I have only read 100 pages of this book, and if I didn't read another word, it would still be a 5-star book for me. Life is so complicated and dull sometimes that pure whimsy is the antidote. This author writes in a way that makes you read swiftly with complete comprehension. It is funny beyond description, yet sad, dangerous, current, and most of all relevant. What more can you ask in a book? And all that after only 100 pages!!!
SarahEA More than 1 year ago
This is a delightfully funny book that has many interesting political bits and pieces. It's a "laugh-out-loud" read. I bought two additional copies to give to friends,
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I adore the authors story telling ability. Although writing about serious subject matter the story telling was light and amusing. The charactors were rich and flawed. Bravo....
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
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 Hundred 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cannot wait for this authors next book! Great read....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sounds like a great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.