Review By Gabrielle

From the premise, to the characters, to the way it is written, everything about this book screams “I’m quirky!” (in the very best way).

Favourite Quote:

“Meanwhile, Ole Mbatian inspected Hugo’s toaster and pondered product development. It seemed that toast with a fried egg, where the egg was fried inside the toaster, had a shortcoming: The egg ran off the bread before it could congeal. What if you laid the toaster on its side?

He didn’t complete the investigation; after all, toast with an egg couldn’t compete with the brown leaves and jam from prison. Caviar that wasn’t caviar wasn’t too bad itself.”

Goodreads Synopsis: 

Victor Alderheim has a lot to answer for. Not only has he heartlessly tricked his young ex-wife, Jenny, out of her art gallery inheritance, but he has also abandoned his son, Kevin, to die in the middle of the Kenyan savanna.

It doesn’t occur to Victor that Kevin might be rescued and adopted by a Maasai medicine man, or that he might be expected to undergo the rituals expected of all new Maasai warriors – which have him running back to Stockholm as fast as you can say circumcision without anaesthetic.

Back in Stockholm, Kevin’s path crosses with Jenny’s – and they have an awful lot to talk about, not least a shared desire to get even with Victor. So it’s convenient when they run into a man selling revenge services, who has an ingenious idea involving Victor’s cellar, a goat, some forged paintings, four large boxes of sex toys, and a kilo of flour …

If you loved Jonas’ previous book, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared as I did, chances are you will love this one too. That same biting wit is present in this story. Admittedly, it is not a sense of humour everyone will enjoy, but I loved it.  

The first few chapters set up the characters’ history and landscapes, and it moves at such a fast pace that, truthfully, I had a hard time keeping up. It takes a bit to settle into the language and style of writing that has become Jonas’ signature. But hang in there; I promise it is worth it.

The characters are just fabulous. You will love to hate Victor. You will sympathize with sweet and naive Jenny, and Kevin Hugo, the CEO of Sweet, Sweet Revenge Ltd., has a wonderful story arc. But the standout for me was Ole Mbatian. He is a total delight. Medicine man and talented Maasai warrior, I couldn’t get enough of his shenanigans when he visited Stockholm for the first time. Transported from the only village in the Kenyan savanna without electricity, cell phones or even typewriters (there is a detailed explanation as to why this is) to modern Stockholm, he is curious and excited about everything he sees. He reminded me of a smarter, better version of Will Ferrell’s character in the movie Elf when he explores New York for the first time. There were a lot of laugh-out-loud moments.

I’m not usually a revenge plot kinda gal, but Victor is so truly awful that somehow I was totally okay with it in this book. You will find yourself cheering on Jenny, Kevin and Hugo in their journey for justice.

Overall, a highly satisfying and hilarious read.

Thanks, HarperCollins Canada for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.