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Publisher's Summary

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe is the globetrotting story of a trickster from rural India and his adventure of a lifetime.

When the fakir - a professional con artist - arrives in Paris, he has just one goal: to get to Ikea. Armed with only a counterfeit hundred-euro note in the pocket of his silk trousers, he is confident that he has all he needs to thrive. But his plan goes horribly awry when he hides inside a wardrobe at the iconic Swedish retailer - the first in a series of accidents that will send him on a whirlwind tour across Europe.

Pursued across the continent by a swindled taxi driver dead set on revenge, our fakir soon finds unlikely friends - from movie stars to illegal immigrants - in even unlikelier places. And, much to his own surprise, his heart begins to open to those around him as he comes to understand the universal desire to seek a better life in an often dangerous world.

Channeling the manic energy of the Marx Brothers and the biting social commentary of Candide, Romain Puértolas has crafted an unforgettable comic romp around Europe that is propelled by laughter, love, and, ultimately, redemption. (Meatballs not included but highly recommended.)

©2015 Romain Puertolas (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Who would have thought that a comedy that mixes flat-pack furniture with magic could tackle some of the biggest subjects of our time? With a big heart, a brilliant sense of humour and an excellent translator, that's what French writer Romain Puértolas achieves." ( The Independent)
"With his first novel, as sprightly as it is funny, Romain Puértolas adds one hell of a cheerful note to this fall season. Total nonsense? Yes, but developed at a brisk pace by Romain Puértolas, who piles up the vivid scenes along with oodles of puns." ( L'Express, Paris)
"This brilliant first novel... delivers a contemporary, off-the-wall version of Candide. It's a fable, a farce, but also and above all, a delicious satire of the modern world, that we'll have to read while cautiously holding our sides!" ( Figaro magazine, Paris)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lucy
  • St. Petersburg, Russia
  • 02-27-15

Not as smart as the title

I'm not going to lie, I bought this book because of the title -- what a fantastic title, right? Also, becuase in trying to read more books in translation this year.

I was disappointed. It's a creative story idea and has brief pockets of interesting, but it's ultimately forgettable. It's trying too hard to be clever and a bit surreal to do either properly.

More positively the narrator was great and the name jokes played well in audio.

Overall don't waste your time. The title is the best bit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Jolly farce with trite life lessons

Perfectly narrated this farcical story fails to convince with its patronizing life lessons and simplistic characterizations. It's brevity saves it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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title is most original feature of this tired tale

Corny, trades in stereotypes, not suitable for a mature audience. The narration was first class, wasted on this material.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Clever and heartwarming story

A chaotic ride filled with unexpected twists and turns. Not deeply moving but fun. An imagination on display.