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The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden: A Novel | [Jonas Jonasson, Rachel Willson-Broyles (translator)]

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden: A Novel

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....
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Publisher's Summary

A wildly picaresque new novel from Jonas Jonasson, the author of the internationally best-selling The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared.

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.

©2014 Jonas Jonasson (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (215 )
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4.6 (195 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diana 04-30-14
    Diana 04-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    322
    ratings
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    162
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    8
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    Story
    "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.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marci portland, OR, United States 05-05-14
    Marci portland, OR, United States 05-05-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    123
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    "A quirky, sweet, super fun novel"

    I listened to Jonasson's other book "The 100 year old..." and really enjoyed it so jumped on this one when it was released. I was not disappointed--this book was even better.

    The themes of this story are:
    1. do not underestimate people and
    2. still waters run deep.

    This book is filled with characters I loved because of their depth and because of how they surprise the reader (listener) and how they continually surprise the "bad" guys in the story.

    Jonasson's style is outlandish, with action and scenarios that make you shake your head and chuckle. The suspension of disbelief is easy though because the characters are so lovable that I end up cheering for them no matter how nutty the situations and solutions are. His novels are just fun.

    The narrator was great. He wrestled with a lot of accents and handled them very well.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bjerkana Australia 07-06-14
    Bjerkana Australia 07-06-14 Member Since 2014

    Love the outdoors and like to spirit a good book or audiobook into my pack. Live in the bush, grow much of my food and make stuff by hand.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Cheeky, incisive, compelling"

    Having read Jonasson's book, "The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared", I immediately wanted to read this book and I wasn't disappointed. If anything, "The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden" is even better.
    The delightful book, abounding with dry humour, quirky characters and amazing coincidences, is savagely satirical and presents a view of politics which forces the listener to see the absurdity of it all. At the same time, it's a rollicking story which compels you from one situation to another. In the print version, it would be a "page turner".
    The narration, however, transports it to another level. Sadly the narrator is uncredited but his command of the accents required by the various characters and his dry delivery of the humour really enhance the story. I heartily recommend this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nada Mazurek Paris, France 06-19-14
    Nada Mazurek Paris, France 06-19-14 Member Since 2014

    French agent

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An entertaining romp!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden the most enjoyable?

    There were moments where I laughed out loud.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nombeku because of her resilience and ingenuity


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The King coming to dinner.


    Any additional comments?

    Obviously need to suspend belief for some parts but quite amusing to listen to. Made our car trip go so much faster.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    eric 03-30-15
    eric 03-30-15
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    "Amusing, interesting and a fantastic performance"

    An amusing, interesting and a fantastic story with a great performance by the reader..
    Highly recommended.
    A great story is boot.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon D. Moore 03-20-15 Member Since 2014

    AAF AUTHOR

    ratings
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    39
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Cleverly woven"

    Full of his trademark runon jokes, historical fact mixed with fiction and bizarre characters this winding tale amuses up to and including the final word.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JS 01-28-15
    JS 01-28-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, great reading"

    This was my first audible book and it couldn't have been better - I came here because I saw the one hundred year old man who climbed out a window on a flight.

    This was as enjoyable with twists and
    turns - recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    roseanne 12-02-14
    roseanne 12-02-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a wonderful romp"
    What did you love best about The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden?

    the plot was never predictable


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden?

    Her ability to overcome the disrespect of her bosses.


    What about uncredited’s performance did you like?

    consistently excellent


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    this book absolutely charmed me.


    Any additional comments?

    As wonderful a tale as the 100 Year Old Man

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monique Burnett 10-05-14 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    Story
    "Thoroughly enjoyable! Lupita should be n the movie"
    What made the experience of listening to The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden the most enjoyable?

    The sarcasm, the story, the history lesson, being transported through the 60's , 70's to modern times, and the ever fascinating reader who conveyed all the characters and accents in such a distinctive and amusing way. I always looked forward to getting back to the book to see where the adventures would take the characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Miss Nambecko and the Twins


    What does uncredited bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The reader's delivery ( of the sarcasm) and the accents brought the story to life.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is perfect for a fast paced movie like The Italian Job.
    I would see Lupita as Miss Nambeko and Scarsgard (as twins)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lynn 02-13-15
    lynn 02-13-15 Member Since 2015
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    6
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    "Great story

    "

    Great story line all the way to the end. Kept me on the edge of my seat. I wish she had had children earlier in her life.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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