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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 (296 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Diana 04-30-14
    Diana 04-30-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    8 of 8 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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    "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

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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
  •  
    Lori Michele Kelley 07-29-15 Member Since 2015

    As long as I have my Audible, I'm content.

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    "Leaves your head spinning"

    Quirky, wise, fast-moving, and utterly engaging! The story moves at a pace that makes your head spin, but was so much fun that I had to keep listening. And the narrator is a master!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather M. Hunt 07-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Entertaining and whimsical ... Simply brilliant"

    Can't wait for another book by Jonas Jonasson!!! This and the 100 Year Old Man are two of my favorite audible books! Brilliant

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren 07-03-15
    Lauren 07-03-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent summer read!"

    Like Harry Potter expect a detailed, multi-faceted story line that will not disappoint. Expect to get emotionally involved with the characters rooting for the good guys to prevail. Expect adventure. And unlike Harry Potter expect the story to have some basis in reality and genuine political headlines.

    I had to stop and rewind the story several times to make sure I got every word and I'm glad I did.
    This is the first time I've read a book by this author and I'm now putting his previous book on my wish list.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benjamin mexico city, Mexico 06-18-15
    Benjamin mexico city, Mexico 06-18-15 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excelent"

    Great story and a superb performance I can't wait for the next book from Jonas Jonasson

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig E. Robertson Gaborone, Botswana 06-04-15
    Craig E. Robertson Gaborone, Botswana 06-04-15 Member Since 2011

    Craig R

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    "Quirky, fun story"

    Great, quirky book. Love the humour of the story! Lots of twists and some unique counter stereotyping

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A. Domke Vail, CO United States 05-25-15
    A. Domke Vail, CO United States 05-25-15 Member Since 2012
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    "What a great ride!"

    He's done it again! Mixing satire with the real world and such an elegant way do you have to laugh at ourselves

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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