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“The extraordinary journey of the Fakir who was trapped in an Ikea wardrobe” by Romain Puertolas.

November 9, 2014

When I was younger I loved watching Harold Lloyd black and white films. They were gentle comedies where the hero got into a selection of scrapes through no fault of his own, a misstep, a wrong turn and life threw a curve ball. That’s how I felt when I read this French best-seller book and I read it very quickly, as it’s an easy, fun read.

The Fakir in question embarks on a series of adventures after landing in Paris to buy a bed of nails from Ikea. Now, I’ve been to Ikea, I’ve eaten their Swedish meatballs and wondered through the hypnotic layout as I grabbed things I’ll never need just because, but I never saw a bed of nails for sale. Maybe they don’t do so well in the UK?

The Fakir’s adventures are outlandish, improbable and sometimes silly but they cover a topic that is very real and let you watch this man as he evolves and has a series of electric shocks to his heart through others good deeds. It’s a happy ever after story with a smile for you at the end and the journey to the last page is enjoyable and light hearted. I did feel that I might have missed a few pages, there seems to be a big jump in the last chapter but by the time our hero has flown across half the Mediterranean in a hot air balloon and ended up in Libya, I had suspended all belief anyway so I will forgive the author if he too ran out of puff.

I found this book via another review and was very glad I did. I hope you enjoy it too. Until next time.  – Corinna

Another review

This novel was dreamt up by a guy with an equally puzzling name – Romain Puertolas. Is he French, Spanish, Portuguese or English? I don’t know! The book is a fairy tale, a fable and a delightfully simple tale into which you read all kinds of positive messages. It is the story of an Indian con-man who has persuaded his village that he needs a new bed of nails. It is available in Ikea, the huge Swedish furniture retail chain which has branches everywhere except New Zealand, and he flies to Paris to get one. Once inside the store things begin to go seriously wrong for our Fakir and in short order he finds himself in England, then Spain, then Italy and finally in Libya before he finds himself back in Paris after a series of crazy happenings, falling in love and nearly getting himself murdered. This is a charming, totally extraordinary tale, easy to read and easy to enjoy. Don’t be surprised if it is filmed in the future. If you feel like something funny, quirky and with some good things to say about life and how we react to fortune  and misfortune, I think you might well enjoy this highly ‘comic little jewel’ as a reviewer described it, as much as I did. – Larry Gordon




From → New Books, Review

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