Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Renee at It’s Book Talk. Throwback Thursday was designed as an opportunity to share old favorites as well as older books in our TBR. As I started reviewing on Goodreads long before I started my blog, it seemed a great way of sharing my earlier reviews (which I hope have improved since the early days).
So this week I’m revisiting The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puertolas, first reviewed in October 2014.
Armed only with a counterfeit 100-Euro note, Ajatashatru the fakir arrives in Paris. His mission? To acquire a splendid new bed of nails. His destination? IKEA.
Once there he finds an obliging wardrobe in which to lay his head, only to discover on waking that he is locked in and headed for England in the back of a truck.
So begins a magnificent adventure for the intrepid fakir as he travels to Italy in a suitcase, writes a novel on a shirt, flees a revenge-crazed taxi driver, flies to Libya in a hot air balloon and finds love in the unlikeliest of places…
The Extraordinary Journey … features the adventures of Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod, an Indian fakir (or perhaps that should be faker as will soon become apparent). He travels to Paris heading for Ikea in search of a new bed of nails. What follows is a series of madcap adventures after he finds himself locked in an Ikea wardrobe heading for England.
The book draws heavily on the picaresque tradition as we follow our hapless hero through his trials and tribulations. Despite his failings, he is a likeable rogue who actually “sees the light” and seeks to do the right thing to atone for all his previous wrongs.
While the book is for the most part humorous, with larger than life characters, it also offers some very real social comment on the nature of immigration and the plight of illegal immigrants. This is a subject that is very topical and Puertolas presents the subject in such a way as to make you think but without overtly preaching.
I suspect this book will be one that divides many people, you will either love it or hate it. Personally I fall in the first camp and for anyone seeking a humorous and original read, with a penchant for Ikea, I can happily recommend this book.