“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.”
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.