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In a tiny shack in the largest township in South Africa, Nombeko Mayeki is born. Put to work at five years old and orphaned at 10, she quickly learns that the world expects nothing more from her than to die young, be it from drugs, alcohol, or just plain despair. But Nombeko has grander plans. She learns to read and write, and at just 15, using her cunning and fearlessness, she makes it out of Soweto with millions of smuggled diamonds in her possession. Then things take a turn for the worse....
Nombeko ends up the prisoner of an incompetent engineer in a research facility working on South Africa's secret nuclear arsenal. Yet the unstoppable Nombeko pulls off a daring escape to Sweden, where she meets twins named Holger One and Holger Two, who are carrying out a mission to bring down the Swedish monarchy...by any means necessary.
Nombeko's life ends up hopelessly intertwined with the lives of the twins, and when the twins arrange to kidnap the Swedish king and prime minister, it is up to our unlikely heroine to save the day - and possibly the world. In this wild romp, Jonasson tackles issues ranging from the pervasiveness of racism to the dangers of absolute power, while telling a charming and hilarious story along the way. In the satirical voice that has earned him legions of fans the world over, Jonasson gives us another rollicking tale of how even the smallest of decisions can have sweeping - even global - consequences.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Alex Bejan on 08-23-15
overall a disapointment
First, let's correct an omission - the book is narrated by Peter Kenny. He narrated a lot of books available on Audible, and his experience shows. The reading is fluent and nuanced. It is also totally inadequate for this book. Jonas Jonasson has a dry humor that is betrayed by the engrossing reading, which makes it sound like a sitcom. A pathetic misunderstanding and a huge letdown from the narration of the author's other book by Steven Crossley.
That being said, the book itself is not as good as The 100 Years Old Man...The story has some good parts, particularly the ones in Soweto, but otherwise it a lot duller and repetitive, even self-plagiarizing.
So, this audiobook is OK, but I came with high expectations after listening to the author's first book. Hopefully he will come back to his senses for the next book and the original narrator returns. I hear they made movies of both books, so I am up to see them (one available on Amazon Video already), just to see what they manage to do with some good literary material in that approach.
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
By Diana on 04-30-14
Cheeky, Clever and Current story + great narrator
By the same author of 'The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared' this story follows a similar format of a tangle of lives through years and countries and political and social events, unlikely chaos is tied together in imaginative scenarios through historic and current events recognizable by anyone who has watched the news in the past decades.
This book had less laugh-out-loud moments than 'The 100-Year-Old-Man . . . ' book I listened to previously. But the previous book was so wonderful that I looked forward to the release of this one. In a "damned-if-you-do" and "damned-if-you-don't" dilemma an author may face, I noted and thought about the author's using a similarity in plot structure and interactions in this book (road trip across countries and time, kitchen table conversation scenarios, hiding a big thing in the barn . . .) but reckoned that maybe it was a good thing for an author to serve the readers a variation on what they already like.
The witty and sarcastic view of society, certain types of people, and twisted take on historical events were clever. The cheeky conversations were delightful.
The narrator is fantastic and fun.
The story moves fast, has multiple characters that weave in and out and you have to pay attention as a lot happens at once. It's an imaginative book, fun to listen to, and a pleasant diversion from real life. As previous comments stated in reviews on 'The 100-Year-Old Man . . . " book stated, it's somewhat 'Forrest Gump'-like.
12 of 14 people found this review helpful