‘The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden’ by Jonas Jonasson

My rating: 3 stars

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden took me quite a while to finish, although it is not a particularly long book. Halfway through, reading it became more of a chore and, therefore, I only managed to go through a couple of pages each time. Jonas Jonasson’s chief aim must have been to satirise political ideas and historical events, the characters being just a means to an end. It’s obvious that the author used this story to criticise racism, the apartheid, social inequality and shadowy international relations in an attempted humorous way. The novel is rather funny in parts, but sometimes it tries too hard to be so.

One essential thing to know about this book is that it’s completely bonkers. The plot develops through two distinctive strands set in two different continents, but they end up converging in Sweden, following a series of implausible events. The first significant character to be introduced is Nombeko Mayeki, a latrine emptier in Soweto, South Africa. She had a hard life. Her mother died when she was 10 years old and she never knew her father. After a series of coincidences, she became the manager of latrine emptying at sector B.

Having been born in the early 1960s, she never went to school, as South African politicians back then saw no reason for black children to do so. However, she was really good at calculations and was eager to learn to read. She asked a fellow latrine emptier, Thabo, who had done a lot of travelling and had a secret stash of diamonds, to teach her. Since he ended up being murdered by two women from Mozambique, Nombeko took the opportunity to stay with the diamonds for herself and, after being fired, headed to Johannesburg. Her foray into the city was shorter than she had anticipated, though. Soon after her arrival, she was run over by a drunk driver – Mr van der Westhuizen. Continue reading

My Summer Reading Plans

Summer is just around the corner and, although I’m not much of a seasonal reader, there are some types of books that I tend to read during the hottest season. For no particular reason other than that I associate them with past holidays, I’m more inclined to read fantasy, adventure and funny books during summer. Below are some of the books that I plan to pick up throughout the following months. The weather has been extremely erratic in Portugal (it has been awfully cloudy and much cooler than usual), but I can already imagine myself reading these while the sun shines on a blue sky!


The Man Who Spoke Snakish by Andrus Kivirahk

Seeing that this is a book about the arrival of outsiders to a forest full of ancient traditions, myths and legends, I believe that it must have at least some fantasy or magical realism undertones. I’m not really sure what to expect from it, though, since I had never heard of this book before searching for Estonian authors online.


The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

I don’t know much about the plot of this book by the Swedish author Jonas Jonasson, but I’ve heard that it features quite a few funny moments. According to the blurb, it follows Nombeko Mayeki, who is on the run from a secret service. Continue reading

Book Haul – April 2018

On the 23rd of April, it was World Book Day in Portugal. To be honest, I didn’t know about the existence of such a celebration until I received a newsletter from a retailer announcing book discounts of up to 50%. As I later found out, UNESCO organises World Book Day annually to promote reading, publishing and copyright. However, World Book Day isn’t held on this date worldwide, because there is a probability that it may clash with Easter. For instance, in the UK, World Book Day is on the first Thursday in March.

Obviously, the promise of significant book discounts left me tingling with excitement. And I ended up buying the five books listed below!


The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

This book by the Swedish author Jonas Jonasson has been on my wish list for years, maybe since I first started watching BookTube channels. I don’t recall why I thought I would like it. But, seeing that I heard many people praising it at the time of its release, I decided to finally read it for the ‘EU still 28’ project. According to the blurb, it follows Nombeko Mayeki, who is on the run from a secret service. Continue reading