This is my second read of Jonas Jonasson, and I was a bit disappointed. My first read, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared was better.
But it could also have been the mood I was in because it's that kind of read. The story is fun and everywhere, in a Forrest Gump sort of storyline, and I appreciate Jonasson's writing style and wit. It just seemed to drag on a bit in this one.
The story line is, "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. 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’s life ends up hopelessly intertwined with the lives of Swedish twins intent on bringing down the Swedish monarchy. In this wild romp, Jonasson tackles issues ranging from the pervasiveness of racism to the dangers of absolute power. In the satirical voice that has earned him legions of fans the world over, he gives us another rollicking tale of how even the smallest of decisions can have global consequences" (via).
For me, one of the highlights was the little quote that started out each of the seven sections of the story:
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits – unknown
The more I see of men, the more I like my dog – Madame De Stael
Present – the part of eternity dividing the domain of disappointment from the realm of hope – Ambrose Bierce
Life need not be easy, provided only that it is not empty – Lise Meitner
If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear – Winnie-the-pooh
I have never once in my life seen a fanatic with a sense of humor – Amoz Oz
Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our troubles – Charlie Chaplin
This book will not challenge your life in any way. Nor will it give you much food for thought. It's candy. That's it.
And honestly, you might be better off watching Forrest Gump. Remember how good this was/is?