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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by…
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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden (original 2016; edition 2014)

by Jonas Jonasson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,422589,258 (3.65)54
"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"--from publisher's web site.… (more)
Member:AC.Belgrade
Title:The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden
Authors:Jonas Jonasson (Author)
Info:London: Fourth Estate, 2014
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Fiction

Work details

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson (2016)

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    WendyRobyn: These books share a playful implausability in the plotting along with likeable underdog protagonists who succeed through their cleverness.
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» See also 54 mentions

English (45)  Spanish (5)  Catalan (2)  German (2)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (58)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
A very cleverly written book. It addresses aparteid, sexism and other issues in a very amusing way. I have left it aside for the moment as I find it a little too silly to concentrate on at the moment. I think I need something a bit more serious. However I urge others to give it a go as it is worth reading if you are in the correct mood. ( )
  scot2 | Jul 29, 2020 |
So, this book is fun and quirky and has a lot of diversity and fun characters. It's even a bit memorable in its way, so I'd have to say that... generally? I liked it!

There are a lot of good talking points in The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden. First of all, there is the voice it's told in: the voice has that dry, fun wit that I relate to a lot of British science fiction writers. I really like that voice, because it catches me by surprise and makes me laugh with its subtlety and pointing out the obvious. It's a great voice, and I loved it. There were definitely moments it made me chuckle, generally from Nombeko's point-of-view.

One of the downsides from this kind of voice is that character personalities get a bit lost in the storytelling. I generally enjoyed the four characters that came together for the second half of the book, but I never got that sense of individualism that makes me fall in love with a character. We knew who the characters were by how they were described, but they never really got to demonstrate it for themselves outside the narrator's personal commentary.

The plot itself is a series of impossible events that take Nombeko and a bomb that shouldn't exist from South Africa all the way up to Sweden, and the book is filled misadventures that are fun on their own. My greatest criticism is that the story tended to meander, giving many less interesting characters time to introduce themselves and have a bit of a backstory. It made the book drag out, even if each story could be considered - on its own - an amusing anecdote. This is just a stylistic choice, and I'm sure some people will love it. For my personal reading style, this was a thing that sometimes made me want to tear my hair out and holler, "Well, get on with it!".

Once we got into the second half of the book with Celestine and the two Holgas, I enjoyed the story a lot more. It took on a sense of direction and normalcy rather than just a series of unfortunate events. For myself, I needed that to happen in order for it to hold my interest. Because of this transition, The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden moved from a book I was seriously considering DNF-ing to one I was casually curious about.

Generally speaking it was a unique and memorable read, and in full reflection, I'm glad I read it. It was fun and quirky and very different. I don't feel like it was really a blockbuster, amazing sort of book. But it's a fun one to idle away some time, as long as you can offer it a bit of suspension of disbelief. ( )
  Morteana | Nov 22, 2019 |
Fantastic story, brilliantly written. ( )
  grandpahobo | Sep 26, 2019 |
I loved Jonasson's previous book the 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, so had high expectations for this one. I was a little disappointed. There were two separate stories going on and jumping around in time at the beginning so it was a little confusing. Once I got halfway through, I enjoyed the rest of the book. It was a little crazy, quirky and silly, but enjoyable. The main characters are not the most likable, but the situations they get themselves in save the story. ( )
  Carlathelibrarian | Feb 5, 2019 |
A humorous story well told. The author waves the story well and brings all the prices of the puzzle together well. Worth a read. ( )
  Neale | Dec 28, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonas Jonassonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bree, Corry vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Granath, BjörnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kuhn, WibkeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilson-Broyles, RachelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Secondo le statistiche la possibilità che un'analfabeta riesca a crescere nella Soweto degli anni settanta e che un giorno si trovi rinchiusa in un camion per il trasporto delle patate in compagnia del re e del primo ministro svedesi è pari a una su quarantacinquemiliardiseicentosessantaseimilioniduecentododicimilaottocentodieci.
Questo sulla base dei calcoli effettuati dall'analfabeta in questione.
La differenza tra la genialità e la stupidità è che la genialità ha i sui limiti.
Pensatore sconosciuto
Più si conoscono gli esseri umani e più si apprezza il proprio cane.
Madame de Staël
Presente: quella parte dell'eternità che separa il regno della delusione da quello della speranza.
Ambrose Bierce
La vita non deve essere necessariamente facile, basta che non sia priva di contenuto.
Lise Meitner
Dedication
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In some ways they were lucky, the latrine emptiers in South Africa's largest Shantytown. After all, they had both a job and a roof over their heads.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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"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"--from publisher's web site.

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