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Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  15,180 ratings  ·  1,452 reviews
A madcap new novel from the #1 internationally bestselling author of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden

Hitman Anders, recently out of prison, is doing small jobs for the big gangsters. Then his life takes an unexpected turn when he meets a female Protestant vicar (who also happens to be an atheist), and a homeless rece
Paperback, 312 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published September 23rd 2015)
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Steve Atkinson I have to agree. While I totally enjoyed "the 100 year old man" and liked his "girl who saved the King of Sweden", I found this time the magic wore of…moreI have to agree. While I totally enjoyed "the 100 year old man" and liked his "girl who saved the King of Sweden", I found this time the magic wore off. Perhaps it's something lost in the translation from Swedish to English but this time it didn't work. (less)

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Average rating 3.38  · 
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 ·  15,180 ratings  ·  1,452 reviews

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John Martin
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Some people would hate this novel. I loved it and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.
I honestly haven’t laughed as much at this kind of religious irreverence since I read God Knows, by Joseph Heller (who also wrote Catch 22). So the writer of this book, Jonas Jonasson, is in good company indeed.
I knew from the start I was going to like this book.
It takes black comedy to new heights. It’s farce. It’s madcap. It takes the funny bone and gives it a damn good thrashing.
I suspect the author delivers some
Sam Quixote
Mar 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I suppose “minor spoilers ahead” but do yourself a favour and avoid this crummy novel altogether.

A dim-witted thug called Hitman Anders is taken advantage of by a receptionist and a priest as they advertise his criminal services in the papers and pocket a managerial fee. He’s sort of a PG-Hitman in that he breaks arms and legs but doesn’t kill anyone (though he has done in the past). Then one day he discovers Jesus and gives up his wicked ways. Whatever will the receptionist and the priest do fo
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
DNF at 65% I really enjoyed Jonasson's other books, but the narrative style and plot structure felt tired in this iteration. Like paper that has been recycled too many times it has lost its integrity.

None of the characters were in any way relate-able, which isn't always a bad thing, but in this case it just meant that the poorly structured plot stood out, rather than hiding behind quirky but amusing personalities.

This book was a disappointment, but it doesn't tarnish my enjoyment of his other w
Zsa Zsa
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
the orginal title of the book is Hitman Anders and His Friends, but I must say i like the translation title better, and i like the translation as much as i like Johansson's way of narrating everything, it is so objectively subjective, so pleasantly familiar ans surprising, so overwhelmingly simple, and so elaborately complicated. ...more
Hákon Gunnarsson
Since I read The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared I have been a fan of Jonas Jonasson. He is in my view is one of the best humor writers in Scandinavia at the moment.

This book has a very similar humor as was in The Hundred Year Old Man, but somehow the scale of it is much smaller. It's not a globe-trotting affair, but sticks to Sweden completely. Even so it works on the same principle, a certain kind of "unusual" heroes, and a wildly improbable plot. All of whi
May 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’d not previously read any of Jonasson’s books, but as this was on offer on Kindle I thought I’d dive in.

With Hitman Anders fresh out of prison and wishing to start a new life that is until he meets a female vicar and a receptionist at a 1-star hotel, between them they decided to cook up a very unusual business plan.
That is until Anders finds Jesus . . .

Quirky and fun, it’s very much about the characters and how they react to each other rather than the plot that lagged at times.
Amusing and ir
The opening chapters are promising, as translator Rachel Willson-Broyles tries to channel Douglas Adams’ dry humour. And the paragraphs introducing hapless naif Per Persson are are as typically, amusingly Jonasson as anything in the author's hit debut The Hundred Year Old Man, creating absurd levity from a crummy situation: his destructive family, and his job manning reception at a run-down former brothel, now a budget hotel popular with ex-cons and other shady sorts - and the character's everym ...more
Jun 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm torn between a 2.5 or a halfhearted 3 stars. This was easy to read, it even had moments where I chuckled a little, but it was a slightly below average experience for me. I didn't feel particularly connected to anything that was happening. Nothing outright irritated me, nor did it feel like I was reading a bad book, but it wasn't really the book for me.
I found myself more interested in the occasional glimpses it gave of Swedish life than the hi-jinks of our criminal trio. In writing this rev
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All is the third novel by Swedish author, Jonas Jonasson. It is translated from Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. Hitman Anders (Johan Andersson) fell into his profession by accident rather than by design. And after spending most of his adult life in jail for it, he emerged at the age of fifty-six vowing to stop killing, drinking alcohol and taking pills. He would still maim, though, for a price: a man has to live, after all.

He takes a room at the Sea Point H
Jul 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Whimsical. What would you expect after "the 100 year old man ....".

A hitman finds God, and his calling as a preacher man. With the help of a disillusioned priest he sets up a new church, one that quickly become lucrative. But he has made dangerous enemies in the criminal underworld ....... and they would quite like to send him to heaven or hell

This is very much in the vein of the other Jonasson books that I have read (100 year old man, girl who saved the king of Sweden) and was a bit samey. Ther
Claire Huston
A few smiles but not enough laughs. 3/5 stars.

This review was originally posted on my book blog.

I read The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared a few years ago - in Spanish I might add. It was one of my book club choices back in Spain and I enjoyed it more than everyone else who just thought it was odd. I, on the other hand, liked how it played with twentieth century history, and the present-day section contained some decent laughs. So I was looking forward to read
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All by Jonas Jonasson is a hilarious well written book about three extremely different characters coming together in an extraordinary scheme.

This story plot literally can be described as "A GANGSTER, A VICAR AND A RECEPTIONIST WALK INTO A BAR" and you get a funny read about an atheist female Protestant vicar, a hitman who has be released from prison and plans to keep "clean" and receptionist at a 1-star hotel (who happens to be currently homeless). However, th
Jun 22, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ha-ha-humour
Another comedy from Jonas Jonasson, that to me feels like it is trying too hard to be funny. Maybe it is lost in translation. 5 out of 12.
Also posted on Eva Lucias blog (detailed review)

Jonas Jonasson has a special place in my heart.
I read his two first novels and was expecting a lot of this one - of course, I wasn't disappointed!

Blog ~ Facebook ~ Instagram ~ Youtube ~ Spotify ~

Yvonne (It's All About Books)
Finished reading: June 25th 2016
Rating 1,5qqq

"If only children could be free of all that crap previous generations had gathered up for them, he said, perhaps it would bring some clarity to their lives."

(view spoiler)
Helen Marquis
Having loved Jonas Jonasson's previous tomes "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared" and "The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden" I was super excited to get my hands on his latest effort "Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All". Sadly, it was a bit of a disappointment.
While no author should just keep doing the same thing over and over again, to me this tale felt too far removed from Jonasson's previous style to have me falling in love with the characters. Whilst
DNF on page 1. Pretty much after the first sentence. Which is a new record. (I also skimmed the rest of chapter 1 and decided it's just not worth my time). In my defense, I got this for Christmas from my aunt who regularly gets me bestsellers thinking she can't go wrong there. I wasn't going to read it for that title alone (Not even my 90-years-old grandpa says "nebst". Just saying... I know, it's supposed to make it sound oh so clever and all, but it just annoys me to no end because it sounds p ...more
May 20, 2021 rated it did not like it
The author's first book The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared was fun and original. His second book The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden was okay. This is his third book. He should have stopped after the first book.
Two people who feel the world owes them manipulate a hitman to defraud crooks, then good people through setting up a church and then later in a Santa scam. Jokes are lame, the characters sterile and the repetitive nature of some of the scenes were boring.
3.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on

I've been planning to read The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window for years, but somehow never managed to. But when I was offered a review copy of Jonas Jonasson's third novel, it seemed a good chance to finally dive into the world I had heard so much about it.

Hitman Anders, just released from prison, is being exploited by a receptionist and a priest, until one day he finds Jesus and stops his former ways of kil
Apr 11, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, funny
I think people will either love or hate the farcical style of Jonas Jonasson's stories. They are daft romps through life full of madcap characters who have crazy run-ins with police, politics and criminals.

The books are full of sharp and funny comments on life, and a lot of silliness, but for me, it's the warm and likeable characters that make the stories stand out.

Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All is nothing new from the previous books, but I didn't find it as funny as the others. There w
Randa Mashnouk
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With the catchy title and author's name, the lovely cover, funny lines and other weird factors –like a crazy apical x-ray bookmark– one ought to give this book a good rate.
One of the richest vocabulary I've ever read in a book, and also the first funny story with many many events!
"It's never too late to start again. And again. And again."
Every character in the book, no matter how bizzare they seemed, was a special one.
Hayley Fletcher
May 07, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Life is too short to waste on this tripe.
Apr 06, 2017 rated it liked it
not as good as his other two books, but still very charming
to follow
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley-reads
Believe it or not, Hitman Anders was my first foray into the madcap world of Jonas Jonasson. You would have thought that with previous titles such as The 100-year-old man who climbed out of the Window and Disappeared, that might have given me a clue as to what to expect, but the answer is no!
Let's set the scene. Hitman Anders has just served a prison sentence for murder. In his mind, he's spent far too much time in there already, so he decides to tone it down by limiting himself to breaking limb
Nov 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eesti-keeles, 2017
Actual rating 1.5 stars.

What an odd book. Super weird plot whereas I mostly failed at seeing the funny side of things and just kept wondering what the hell was going on and why on Earth this book is praised so much.

The idea behind it seems likeable enough, but the execution did nothing for me. It made me want to skip quite a few chapters, maybe even DNF at times - in the end I only skipped a couple of pages where I simply felt like skipping a bit. I wish I had DNF-ed instead.

Anders himself seems
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A Mafia Hitman, A female priest who was fired from her last congregation because she does not believe in god , and a receptionist in a cheap hotel team together.

Sounds like an opening of a joke?....that's exactly what it is, a long continuous joke.

Using his typical wacky nonsense humor, Jonas Jonasson,
Makes fun of practically anything:
The church and any organized religious practice.
Organized crime and its counterpart the police.
Any authority for example the tax authority.
The media of all types
Clair Sharpe
Somehow by fate, rather than meaning to I have read all of Jonas Jonasson's books. I'm still not sure I'm that I like them that much. This one was entertaining enough - it was mildly amusing but not laugh out loud funny, the chapters were short which made it quick to skip though but I didn't ever really look forward to picking it up.
This one tells a story of Hitman Anders, a dim-witted thug who goes into business with a hotel receptionist, Per Persson and an atheist priest, Johanna Kjellander. H
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, fiction
Really liked this book! I have another of this author's raring up next to go, and this felt like modern day Wodehouse, set in Sweden. An axe-(among other weapons) murderer gets released from prison and falls into the orbit of a cynical flophouse desk clerk ("the receptionist") and a bitter atheist minister ("the priest") and they concoct a knee-breaking-for-money venture with their suggestible loose ex-con as the muscle.

This goes awry when Jesus speaks to Hitman Anders and the receptionist and p
Sep 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, translation
Similar in style and flow to the 100 year old man; wacky, humorous, simple, written in a way that makes everyone seem quite likeable. I don't know if being familiar with the bible helped, but I found the deliberately out of context, corrupted, bible references and religious references to be wryly amusing, (especially the 'church warden'- every church has one of these). The authors acknowledgements include God, suggesting that he aught to work harder convincing his more eager supporters to not ta ...more
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After a long career as a journalist, media consultant and television producer, Jonas Jonasson decided to start a new life. He wrote a manuscript, he sold all his possessions in Sweden and moved to a small town by Lake Lugano in Switzerland, only a few meters from the Italian border.

The manuscript became a novel. The novel became a phenomenon in Sweden, and now it is about to reach the rest of the

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  Jordan Morris is a comedy writer and podcaster whose credits include @Midnight, Unikitty! and Earth to Ned.  The sci-fi comedy Bubble is his...
17 likes · 5 comments
“The priest and the receptionist joyfully and contentedly shared their genuine dislike of the world, including the entirety of the Earth's population. The burden was now only half as great, since each of them could take on three and a half billion people rather than seven billion alone.” 3 likes
“Humanity, in general, is a potpourri of many traits. For example: stinginess, self-involvedness, jealousy, ignorance, stupidity, and fearfulness. But also: kindness, cleverness, friendliness, forgiveness, considerateness -- and generosity. Not all of these traits find room in every soul.” 2 likes
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