My Review:Hilarious, profound, and achingly true-to-life, Jonas Karlsson’s novel explores the true nature of happiness through the eyes of hero you won’t soon forget
A passionate film buff, our hero’s life revolves around his part-time job at a video store, the company of a few precious friends, and a daily routine that more often than not concludes with pizza and movie in his treasured small space in Stockholm. When he receives an astronomical invoice from a random national bureaucratic agency, everything will tumble into madness as he calls the hotline night and day to find out why he is the recipient of the largest bill in the entire country.
What is the price of a cherished memory? How much would you pay for a beautiful summer day? How will our carefree idealist, who is content with so little and has no chance of paying it back, find a way out of this mess? All these questions pull you through The Invoice and prove once again that Jonas Karlsson is simply a master of entertaining, intelligent, and life-affirming work.
When the GR description calls a book hilarious, I expect some big time laughs! Sadly, that was not the case here. This was wry and sarcastic about the world in general but, for me, it wasn't laugh out loud funny. Also, I should point out that this is novella length -- super short and probably should have been labelled as a novella or even a short story. There isn't a lot of development -- we are essentially supposed to accept the invoice -- that all of us must pay to breathe the air, to live -- basically and the book instead focuses on how they calculated the figure for each person; happiness = higher invoice. I would probably skip this one -- it was an interesting premise but there wasn't much more to it.
I looked at all the familiar things in my life. The buildings, streets, trees. The ice-cream kiosk and shops. The lunchtime crows in restaurants. The posters on the walls and the newspaper flysheets. My fingers toyed with the note in my pocket. Of all the people around me, only I knew that I was probably the happiest person in the country. And at absolutely no cost. I took a deep breath of the mild summer air. It occurred to me that I could have some ice cream. Mint chocolate and raspberry, my two favorites.