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When 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.
Pursued 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.)
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Lucy on 02-27-15
Not as smart as the title
I'm not going to lie, I bought this book because of the title -- what a fantastic title, right? Also, becuase in trying to read more books in translation this year.
I was disappointed. It's a creative story idea and has brief pockets of interesting, but it's ultimately forgettable. It's trying too hard to be clever and a bit surreal to do either properly.
More positively the narrator was great and the name jokes played well in audio.
Overall don't waste your time. The title is the best bit.
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