Funny, clever, surreal, and thought-provoking, this Kafka-esque masterpiece introduces the unforgettable Bjorn, an exceptionally meticulous office worker striving to live life on his own terms.
Bjorn is a compulsive, exacting bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works–a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his coworkers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn’s bizarre behavior eventually leads his coworkers to try to have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room. Author Jonas Karlsson doesn’t leave a word out of place in this brilliant, bizarre, delightful take on how far we will go–in a world ruled by conformity–to live an individual and examined life.
I’ll be honest – I didn’t really know what to expect from this book, but I thought it sounded fun. Fun, and funny,and quirky.
The first thing I’ll say about it – it’s a very fast read. Took me about an hour and a half. It was also relatively easy to read, though I’m not sure I’d call it entertaining.
I have a feeling this is one of those books that has lots of underlying themes and commentaries on corporate culture. I fear most of them were lost on me. I got really tired of Bjorn and his attitude. Was I supposed to like him? I don’t have a clue. I didn’t, regardless. He’s delusional and unlikeable and just plain….ugh. He’s what my friend Linda would call an unreliable narrator – which maybe means I just have an issue with unreliable narrators. Who knows.
It’s not that I don’t recommend this book, because I didn’t think it was terrible….but it’s really hard to say anything positive about it because I didn’t really enjoy it. Does that make sense at all? No, ok. I’m sorry. I’m not really sure what to say, because I think the “genius” of this book was completely lost on me.
I received this book free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.