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The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe: A novel
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The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe: A novel

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3.28  ·  Rating details ·  7,763 ratings  ·  1,230 reviews

A charmingly exuberant comic debut from an exciting new literary voice,  and a “quirky, hilarious, elegantly written farce” (The Daily Telegraph), 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, h

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Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published January 27th 2015 by Knopf (first published August 21st 2013)
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3.28  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,763 ratings  ·  1,230 reviews


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Ell Eastwood
FUCK THIS BOOK. Like, literally, just FUCK IT. I am tempted to fucking ILLEGALLY DOWNLOAD IT just so I cant print that shit out and burn it, so I get the satisfaction of destroying it while also not giving the author any money. THAT'S HOW MUCH I HATE IT.

It's racist, transphobic and sexist, but most of all RACIST all the fucking time. And I wish I could say "oh, it's well-written and funny, such a shame with all the racism", but NO it's NOT funny, it's not well-written, it has nothing going for i
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Tea Jovanović
Funny and entertaining... One of those books that are either loved or hated... :) Serbian rights sold, translation expected next year :)
Becky
On the face of it this is a light hearted and slightly silly book in the same style as the Hundred Year Old Man. We have a semi-Swedish setting (OK so it's a French Ikea, but I did say semi-Swedish), we have an insanely long title and we have an unlikely tale that spans continents and draws in a wide range of characters. The Fakir of the title cons his village into getting him a ticket to Paris so he can visit an Ikea and buy a new bed of nails, having conned a Parisian taxi driver and holed awa ...more
Kirt Callahan
Sep 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
What a huge disappointment this was. Jonas Jonasson should be insulted by the comparisons to his work. It is poorly written, or poorly translated (I suspect a bit of both), and it is certainly poorly edited. On top of all of that it is profoundly unfunny. The French are famous for their, how do you say, "different" sense of humour (Jerry Lewis?), so a French person might find this novel hilarious. I did not. It was full of obvious, winking, elbow in the ribs attempts at humour that never quite w ...more
Gail
Nov 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Light but so funny. Good antedote after a big read (like luminairies or gold finch). So if you wanted a bed of nails for your fakir act and you lived in Jaipur, Rajasathan where would you go? Clue? Same place you go if you want a normal bed - Of course! And so starts the unbelievable trip of the Indian with the unpronouceable name (translated through multiple hysterical illiterations) to Paris and then elsewhere (some of the time in an Ikea armoir). A good laugh and a nice fairy tale for grown-u ...more
Michael
“A heart is a little bit like a large wardrobe” — Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod

The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe (or L’extraordinaire voyage du fakir qui était resté coincé dans une armoire Ikea) is the debut novel by Romain Puértolas that has been marketed to fans of The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (or Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann) by Jonas Jonasson. For the purpose of making things easier (and
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Emna
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not bad..The author got a lot of imagination and a good sense of humor that makes reading the novel enjoyable. Easy and quick read for a little funny and crazy novel of an Indian fakir travelling to the Ikea store in Paris..
Maria Carmo
A very interesting story, full of humor and with a distinctive style. It is a refreshing story of travel, loss, adventure and the rediscovery of life and love. Enchanting and tender, full of humanity.

Maria Carmo,

Lisbon 17 September 2014.
Mizuki
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: it-is-okay
The ideas of this story is interesting and highly unusual, but I lost interest in the middle of the book, I don't mean to say it is a badly written book, it just doesn't hold my interest much.
Krittika Mittal
Oh wow. Took me three months to finish this book. Anyways, this was a total cover buy for me. The name of the book was just so intriguing, I had to buy it and had to read it. The book started off hilariously. I was literally lapping up every word, written in the book. But then the hidden racism, (yep, it's there) started getting to me. You could also say I took it a little personally, being an Indian and all.

I wonder who was responsible for all the conversions of Ajatashatru? I'm certain it was
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Bob H
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
(NOTE: This is a review of the English-language edition, due out in print in January 2015)

"The first word spoken by the Indian man Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod upon his arrival in France was, oddly enough, a Swedish word. Ikea. That was what he said in a quiet voice."

Thus spoken to a taxi driver at the airport, and thus begins an astonishing debut novel, and the start of a madcap journey across several countries. Oghash has come to Paris with only a counterfeit 100-euro note (printed on only one si
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Nadira
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
Done reading this lovely, comical book! Thoroughly enjoyed it! Its ridiculously laugh-out-loud-type hilarious at many points and has sooo much depth for such a light read too! It's a colorful book - set on dark circumstances! The author and his career as an immigration officer/border police/fraud document officer clearly has influenced his writing and sheds a lot of light on immigrants and illegals and their perilous journey to get to better and "good countries". I simply cannot WAIT to watch th ...more
Saritha
I'm confused.

While I like some of the wordplay and wit, the references to immigration and the all-round human angle, I'm deeply disturbed by the way the 'good countries' are depicted juxtaposed against the rest of the world. The author paints an exotic picture of India with maharajas and snakes, bed of nails and the fakir. Really? Weird Buddha and Shiva references. This is not just lazy writing, but a very privileged and if I may use the word, 'colonial' voice from which the story is narrated.
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lydia
Feb 11, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*1,5 stars

Maybe I'm being a little harsh with the rating, but unfortunately I found this extremely boring and repetitive. I appreciate the author’s good intentions, but you can’t tackle complicated subjects like the refugee crisis and racism in such an overly simplistic way. Also, for a book which tries so hard to preach that every human being is worthy of a better future and respect, it surely is filled with too many stereotypes and prejudices.
Lost potential; that pretty much sums it up.
Athul Domichen
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Long name. Short read. Super fun.

#tinyreviews
Ahmad Shuhait
Jan 23, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
i wasted my time
i don't know how it was recognized as the best in 2015
Jo
Jun 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick paced and well plotted, but less funny then it thinks it is and also bordering on racist at times.
LaFleurBleue
This book came highly recommended, described as an hilarious fantasy. I did not smile once while reading it and only managed not to grind down my teeth, thanks to the other passengers sharing the train wagon with me that day.
A few days after reading that awful book, whose only merit lies in its shortness, I finally understood what the humour reminded me of and why I hated it so much.
There's a very strong taste in this book of Borat, the supposedly hilariously funny movie about that Uzbek mousta
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Eric Wright
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of this unfortunate--or fortunate--fakir is a refreshing and hilarious romp from one country to another by unexpected vehicles. He flies to France knowing only that he wants to buy a new bed of nails at Ikea. He pays the gipsy taxi driver with a fake 50 Euro note printed on only one side that, by a slight of hand, he retrieves and disappears in the store.

In the store he meets Marie! And since the bed of nails can't be delivered to the next day and he has no money to stay in a hotel, he
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Susan Johnson
Dec 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this story about a fakir from India who travels to Paris to visit an IKEA store to buy a nail bed. He comes with a counterfeit 100 Euro bill printed only on one side and a desire to get in and out of Paris as quickly as possible. Nothing goes according to plan. In a humorous and quirky way, he visits London, Rome and Libya. Along the way he makes an enemy who tracks him, great friends trying to emigrate anywhere and befriends a famous actress. Hard to believe? You bet but very funny.

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Carol
Feb 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The book seemed funny from the title and beginning, but along the way proved itself pretentious, written by a biased author who clearly does not have a clue about half of what he is writing. It also tried too hard to be funny, what clearly, proves the opposite generally. I read it until the end, but disliked it more and more as it approached.
Jim
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is it okay to call a book "sweet"? Because that is what comes to mind with this humorous light romp of a story that kind of grabs you and propels you along, even as it delves into serious topics such as illegal immigration to Europe and personal redemption. I can see why this was such a hit in France and I am delighted it was translated.
Mahsa
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
But 2.5 at best.
The worst part was the ending, which was so stomach-churningly sweet, it gave me toothache.

It was tolerable in the middle and good at the beginning though, so it is still readable if you have extra time.
Renita D'Silva
A fun, easy read. Very funny in places, completely implausible and yet, it takes you along on a fantastic,feel-good journey. Enjoyed it.
Stormingways
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's a certain type of humor and style that you have to appreciate in order to like this book. But I love that Romain went for it. That he touched upon these heavy and relevant topics with that light and slightly sarcastic tone. How he shows that you can't understand what is going on in other parts of the world until you see it for yourself, and how travel can change you for the better.
I see quite some reviews here of people that are offended by this book. I feel like they need some more life e
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Gayatri
2.5 stars.

It was funny, but many a times, I found it to be silly as well. I felt the ending was consigned into a happy one just for the sake of it, and (view spoiler)
Sneh Pradhan
It's a cute , feel-good book , a novella more than a novel . A nice , charming strictly one-time read !
Katherine
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How could you not read a book with a title like this...it is a fun romp with some serious sides. Good afternoon's read with a glass of wine.
Robert
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too silly to be genuinely funny. Sillier than expected. Too obviously playing on stereotypes, which it even reflexively comments on, to be taken as racist. I'm unlikely to read more by this author.
Kathy Chung
Dec 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is as good as the 100 years old man who climb up the window.

I love his journey. am happy with the ending..
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Romain Puértolas was born in Montpellier and has lived in France, Spain and the U.K., where he has been a DJ, singer-songwriter, language teacher, translator-interpreter and steward. He has been working as a police inspector with the French border service, specialising in document fraud. The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir... was a #1 bestseller in France and has been sold to 35 countries.
“Il voyait déjà le best-seller sur les étagères des plus grosses librairies, traduit en trente-deux langues, dont l'ayapaneco, ancien dialecte mexicain qui n'était plus parlé que par deux personnes au monde, qui ne savaient pas lire.” 3 likes
“Para alguém de um país ocidental com tendência democrática, o senhor Ikea desenvolvera um conceito comercial no mínimo insólito: a visita forçada ao seu estabelecimento.
Assim, se quisesse aceder à zona de self-service situada no rés do chão, o cliente era obrigado a subir ao primeiro andar, percorrer um gigantesco e interminável corredor que serpenteava entre quartos, salas e cozinhas em exposição, cada espaço mais bonito do que o anterior, passar por um restaurante aliciante, comer umas almôndegas ou wraps de salmão e só depois descer à secção de vendas para finalmente efetuar as suas compras. Em suma, uma pessoa que quisesse comprar três parafusos e duas cavilhas saía quatro horas depois com uma cozinha equipada e uma boa indigestão.
Os suecos, pessoas muito previdentes, tinham inclusive desenhado uma linha amarela no chão para indicar o caminho a seguir, não fosse dar-se o caso de um visitante ter a má ideia de se desviar do rumo certo.”
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