The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe: A novel by Romain Puértolas
A charmingly exuberant comic debut from an exciting new literary voice, and a “quirky, hilarious, elegantly written farce” (The Daily Telegraph), The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe is the globetrotting story of a trickster from rural India and his adventure of a lifetime.
the fakir—a professional con artist—arrives in Paris, he has just one
goal: to get to Ikea. Armed with only a counterfeit hundred-euro note in
the pocket of his silk trousers, he is confident that he has all he
needs to thrive. But his plan goes horribly awry when he hides inside a
wardrobe at the iconic Swedish retailer—the first in a series of
accidents that will send him on a whirlwind tour across Europe.
across the continent by a swindled taxi driver dead set on revenge, our
fakir soon finds unlikely friends—from movie stars to illegal
immigrants—in even unlikelier places. And, much to his own surprise, his
heart begins to open to those around him as he comes to understand the
universal desire to seek a better life in an often dangerous world.
Channeling the manic energy of the Marx Brothers and the biting social commentary of Candide,
Romain Puértolas has crafted an unforgettable comic romp around Europe
that is propelled by laughter, love, and, ultimately, redemption.
(Meatballs not included but highly recommended.)
This was a fun and easy to read story full of unlikely events that all come together in an interesting way. The fakir really did have an extraordinary journey, both physically and internally. It was great how these two journey's came together and the commentary attached to them. Puertolas does not shy away from politically charged topics, especially about refugees and immigration, poverty, and even the value of human life.
I enjoyed the writing and the fairly fast paced story. The fakir was a very likable character, and even though he sometimes did unlikable things, I found myself rooting for him.
This book is almost parable like in its simplicity and is able to combine humour and serious topics to make its point effectively.