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The Invoice

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  2,246 Ratings  ·  538 Reviews
Hilarious, profound, and achingly true-to-life, Jonas Karlsson’s novel explores the true nature of happiness through the eyes of hero you won’t soon forget

A passionate film buff, our hero’s life revolves around his part-time job at a video store, the company of a few precious friends, and a daily routine that more often than not concludes with pizza and movie in his treasu
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published July 12th 2016 by Hogarth (first published 2011)
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Amy Nope! At least it wasn't mentioned at all in the whole book.

Community Reviews

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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book is cray! And a little scary when I actually think about it!

So this nameless dude works part time in a video store. He has an average life. He doesn't do too much. He has a sister and his parents are deceased. He has a friend.

And then one day he gets an invoice in the mail saying he owes 5,700,000 kronor. Now I'm not going to tell you what this money is for but it's crazy train and I'm sure glad it's not real. Lol

He thinks this is a joke at first but then he decides to call the number
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cute-funny
Παρόλη την πρωτότυπη ιδέα και την φιλοσοφία του "καλυμμένου" μηνύματος που εκφράζει δεν ήταν αυτό που περίμενα. Το επαναλαμβανόμενο μοτίβο της πλοκής (στις 190 σελίδες ο ήρωας δύο διαφορετικά πράγματα κάνει εναλλάξ ξανά και ξανά) κάνει το ενδιαφέρον του αναγνώστη να ξεφουσκώνει σελίδα με την σελίδα. Δεν είναι κακό, καθώς έχει ευχάριστη αφήγηση και έναν πάρα πολύ συμπαθητικό ήρωα, απλώς πιστεύω πραγματικά πως μια τόσο ωραία ιδέα θα μπορούσε να εξελιχτεί σε μία μοναδική ιστορία και σίγουρα τελείως ...more
Larry H
Jun 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
How much would you pay for happiness, for special memories, for a reasonably pleasant life? Is a placid existence worth more than a turbulent, more passionate one?

In Jonas Karlsson's new book, The Invoice , the unnamed main character lives a simple life. He's a film buff, working part-time in a video store in Sweden, where he likes to talk to people about movies, although he rarely gets the chance. He has a few friends whom he sees periodically, but since a relationship ended some time ago, he
Apr 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel brought to mind, “The Stranger” by Albert Camus, a novel I read back in high school, due to the absurdity of the premise and the situation of the protagonist. “The Invoice” is not nearly as dark and in fact this novel has everything to do with happiness. The protagonist is a 39-year-old single male living in Sweden who works part-time in a video store. His only friend, Roger, seems to be pretty miserable. He has a sister who seems overrun with her family life. His parents are deceased ...more
Lark Benobi
What if the best things in life weren't free? There is an utter sweetness to this novel in which Karlsson explores exactly this question. The protagonist isn't an especially good person. His life is not particularly well-lived in terms of experiences or relationships or achievements. And yet in each of the every-dayness of his experiences he manages to find great pleasure. There are such delightful details in the writing where the narrator recounts what should have been a dull experience in obse ...more
Jonas Karlsson's second novel to be translated into English is the charming, funny and surreal tale of a man – our unnamed narrator – who is sent an invoice for a huge amount of money. At first he ignores it, assuming it's a clerical error. But then he overhears other people talking about the amount they owe, and it turns out he's missed an 'information campaign, all the discussions... the whole debate'. Swedish citizens are being invoiced for, basically, everything – the whole experience of the ...more
(2.5 Stars) It didn't stir any strong emotions in me, but it was an extremely quick read.

A part-time employee at a video shop receives an invoice for 5,700,000 kronor (≃671,635 US Dollars) from World Resources Distribution. Surely it must be a mistake, so he calls the company to inquire about the absurd bill. WRD informs him that it is the debt he owes based on his 'Experienced Happiness' score (E.H.). Every attempt he makes to lower the score just makes the situation worse! There is nothing sp
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ένα τιμολόγιο με ένα εξωφρενικό ποσό είναι ο πρωταγωνιστής του βιβλίου θα έλεγα. Η εμπειρία, τα περιουσιακά στοιχεία, οι διαφορές καταστάσεις, ο τρόπος που ο καθένας αντιμετωπίζει τα προβλήματα της καθημερινότητας κ ο βαθμός αυτόαξιολόγησης της προσωπικής ζωής, βαθμολογούνται και υπόκεινται σε καθεστώς"άτυπης" φορολόγησης.
Ένα βιβλίο, που με τον αστείο αυτό τρόπο, μας δείχνει πως οι πολύ καλά οργανωμένες κοινωνίες, ενδέχεται να μας υποχρεώνουν να πληρώνουμε επειδή..... υπάρχουμε.
George K.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 21st-century
Συμπαθητικό, αστείο και σχετικά σουρεαλιστικό μυθιστόρημα, με τον ανώνυμο πρωταγωνιστή και αφηγητή της ιστορίας να δέχεται ένα τιμολόγιο από έναν μυστηριώδη οργανισμό, ο οποίος τον καλεί να πληρώσει ένα ιλιγγιώδες χρηματικό ποσό για την ευτυχία που βίωσε μέχρι την ημέρα παραλαβής του τιμολογίου. Τι στο διάτανο είναι ο οργανισμός "Κατανομή Παγκοσμίων Πόρων" και γιατί καλείται να πληρώσει τόσα χρήματα για την απλοϊκή και μονότονη ζωή του; Είναι τόσο ευτυχισμένος και ικανοποιημένος από τη ζωή και δ ...more
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Only I knew that I was probably the happiest person in the country. And at absolutely no cost.
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Για μένα είναι ένα βιβλίο υπέροχο. Πρώτα από όλα από την κεντρική ιδέα αλλά και από την εξέλιξη της υπόθεσης. Ένα βιβλίο που αξίζει να διαβαστεί από όλους μας για να μας κάνει να εκτιμήσουμε αυτά που έχουμε στην ζωή μας και τελικά τι είναι αυτό που αξίζει να αναζητάμε και να κυνηγάμε. Μου έδωσε ένα συναίσθημα Οργουελ αλλά στο πιο θετικό. Μπορώ να πω ότι νιώθω τυχερή που αυτό το βιβλίο βρέθηκε στα χεριά μου. Δεν βρίσκω καμία αδυναμία. Είναι ένα βιβλίο που μπορείς να πάρεις πράγματα, να σκεφτείς κ ...more
Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
I received this via GoodReads FirstReads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

(more about the line below than the picture)

This book was very charming, intriguing and gets you thinking. How much would we pay for a happy life? What are the different meanings of a "good" life? What would that take into account exactly? If you went to a lot of concerts, had a large family and circle of friends you were close to and had great memories with? The fact that you enjoy sitting on the porch in
Roberta Frontini (Blogue FLAMES)
Nem tenho palavras! Fabuloso!!!!!!! Logo de início nos prende! E depois, há tanto para ler nas entrelinhas. Queria mais! Não queria que tivesse acabado! Vou recomendar ao mundo inteiro porque preciso de falar sobre ele! Leiam! Post em breve no FLAMES!
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Read all my reviews on

Some time ago I read The Room and based on that reading experience I wanted to read The Invoice. Besides, the premise was also very interesting.

The nameless main character suddenly gets charged a huge sum of money in Swedish kronor for the happiness he's experienced in his life. Convinced some kind of mistake must have been made he tries to show the agency just how average and unhappy his life so far has been. But in doing so... You'll
Vasco Simões
Aug 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
Quanto é que a vossa vida vale? Quanto pagarias pela Felicidade Experimentada? É este o ponto de partida para o romance de Jonas Karlsson que se passa num mundo fabulado no qual as pessoas são obrigadas a pagar pela boa vida que tiveram, cada um mais ou menos consoante as suas vivências positivas ou negativas. O livro é curto mas muito agradável de ler até porque Jonas é um contador de histórias e não tenta embelezar ou engalanar as frases para ser profundo. A história por si já vale. Gostei mui ...more

«Το να είσαι ζωντανός κοστίζει».

Το τιμολόγιο (εκδόσεις Παπαδόπουλος, 2015) του Jonas Karlsson ήταν ένα από τα βιβλία που με συντρόφευσαν στις χριστουγεννιάτικες διακοπές μου· ήταν μια γρήγορη και απολαυστική ανάγνωση που μας καλεί να αναλύσουμε πόσο ευτυχισμένοι μπορεί να είμαστε σε μια κοινωνία που φαίνεται να χάνει τις ισορροπίες της.

Καταρχάς, είναι ένα βιβλίο που σε κερδίζει από την πολύ πρωτότυπη ιδέα του, η οποία μου θύμισε την απόγνωση του ήρωα στο κ
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc, fiction
Our nameless narrator gets an invoice in the mail for a giant, ridiculous amount of kronor. (He lives in Sweden). Surely there must be a mistake! He calls the number for the company and finds out he's been charged for all the happy (or at least somewhat affirming) moments in his life. But how can that be? He isn't that happy, he claims. But as he walks through each (boring) life moment with the customer service representative, his eyes are opened and now he sees how blessed he's been.


Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A proposta do livro é interessante: e se, num determinado momento da nossa vida, uma organização mundial fizesse um balanço de toda a felicidade e sofrimento que experenciámos e lhe atribuísse um valor? E se recebêssemos em casa uma fatura com o preço a pagar por todas as oportunidades de vida que nos foram proporcionadas, que resumisse num número a forma como encaramos o passado, presente e futuro e o facto de considerarmos que existe, ou não, um sentido para a nossa existência?
Sendo este o núc
Paula Vince
This narrator never divulges his name, but he's become one of my heroes. His story is a great example of why some of the most memorable books about happiness need to be told in story form rather than self help or non-fiction.

Imagine that happiness is no longer a free commodity. The government suddenly decides to make it a revenue raiser, and citizens are asked to pay for all those moments of contentment and satisfaction we've enjoyed all our lives. Invoices are sent out which carefully take into
Radmila Marković
Zanimljiva prica o momku koji zivi savrseno srecan zivot, a da toga nije ni svestan.
Jednog dana stize mu racun od 5.7 miliona kruna koje treba da plati. Ne znajuci o cemu se radi istrazuje i shvata da postoji kompanija koja se bavi procenom dogadjaja u zivotima drugih koji se vrednuju i naplacuju. Spletom okolnosti njegov dug se uvecava. Da li ce uspeti da vrati dug kompaniji ili ...?

Da li smo svesni srece iako je ne osetimo uvek? :)
Jun 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: gave-up
Is it just me, or is this book really badly written? Maybe something got lost in translation, but honestly, reading this book was like pulling teeth! It might have worked better as a short story, because even though this isn't a long read, it sure felt that way. I really like the concept and I figured the extremely dull protagonist was almost like a plot device to really drive a point home, but unfortunately I lost interest before finding out what that point was :(
Preface to review: Before you discard this book due to my 2 star rating, bear in mind that I normally give satires only one star because I don't like satire, so this book fared quite well.

Quite without the protagonist noticing it, a tax has been imposed on life experience (not sure why people say happiness tax, since even the unhappy are taxed; but the happier you are, the higher you are going to be taxed, but anyone who gets to see blue skies, ever, and nature, or food, or just about anything i
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Wow. I loved this book! It made me think. Now that I've finished it, I want everyone else to read it too so that I can talk about it. What would happen if we were charged money for being happy and for positive experiences? How much is happiness worth? I really enjoy books in which I am presented with an outlandish idea and then I get to see how it all plays out. This book is quirky and unusual and I think if it were read in a book club there would be a lot to discuss. Thanks to NetGalley and Cro ...more
Apr 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Invoice is a journey of self discovery which we take right along with the main character. What is more important for our happiness? Reality or perception? Is it more important if their hands really touched or is it enough if we just believe they lightly touched?
An entertaining book with a satisfying ending. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
Num livro cheio de humor requintado vamos podemos acompanhar o protagonista, alguém satisfeito com a vida que tem apesar de esta não ser preenchida com aquilo que realmente é mais valorizado: amor, dinheiro e bens materiais.

O seu nível de felicidade dependerá da sua capacidade de adaptação às circunstâncias da vida e a forma como isso ocorre agravará o valor da factura da FE (Felicidade Estimada).

Um livro inteligente, que nos faz pensar no preço de uma vida e naquilo que fazemos no decurso da n
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Když vám nějaká podezřelá agentura spočítá ve švédských korunách všechny radosti vašeho života a opomine odečítat vaše strasti. Absurdní a výborné.
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Absurdný námet - dostať faktúru za život, ktorý ste žili doteraz. Rátajú sa všetky výnimočné okamihy! Dobré, aj zlé. Podobný dojem som tuším mala aj z knihy Čitateľ z vlaku o 6:27, alebo z filmu Amélia z Montmartru... Je to také zvláštne a zároveň aj pekné, miestami až filmové...
Keď nad tým teraz premýšľam, asi by som bola tiež miliónová dlžníčka... ;-) A vy?
Amy Sunshine
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Amy Sunshine by: The Reading Room
Shelves: netgalley
Disclosure: I received this book as an ARC from The Reading Room.

I really loved the premise of this book, but I was a little disappointed in the execution. The main character (never identified by name) is an ordinary guy leading a relatively simple (some might call it boring) life. He has a few friends, a part-time job he enjoys and his own flat - but he's not in a relationship, he hasn't traveled and both his parents are dead. So imagine his surprise when the WRD (World Resources Distribution)
Dana Pencu
Όχι, περίμενα κάτι εντελώς διαφορετικό, το οπισθόφυλλο είναι παραπλανητικό. Περίμενα μία ευχάριστη εξωπραγματική περιπετειούλα, αλλα…… βγήκε κατι άλλο τελικά. Η ιδέα ήταν καλή και το μήνυμα που προσπαθεί να περάσει πολυειπωμένο αλλα ΟΚ, η απόδοση όμως ήταν κάκιστη. Αν και 190 σελίδες είχε τόσες επαναλήψεις και οι διάλογοι ηταν… πώς να το πω... μισοτελειωμένοι, μη ρεαλιστικοί και μονότονοι. Ο ήρωας μέσα από τις διάφορες κουβέντες συνειδητοποιεί ότι είναι μάλλον ευτυχισμένος και όχι μίζερος όπως ν ...more
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Play Book Tag: The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson 2 stars 1 9 May 08, 2016 12:53PM  
το τιμολόγιο 1 5 Feb 03, 2016 12:45PM  
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Sven Bert Jonas Karlsson is a Swedish actor and author. He won a Guldbagge Award for Best Actor in 2004 for the movie Details. He published his first book, a collection of short stories, in 2007.
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“Ik probeerde me te herinneren wanneer ik voor het laatst woedend was geweest. Vorige week had ik hardop gevloekt toen het hengsel van mijn papieren boodschappentas kapotging en alle boodschappen eruit vielen en op de stoep terechtkwamen. Ik moest alles in mijn armen houden en was behoorlijk geïrriteerd toen ik in mijn flat kwam. Maar op de een of andere manier ging dat over en raakte ik alweer in een goed humeur toen ik bedacht dat ik nog drie Metro's had liggen met onopgeloste kruiswoordpuzzels.” 0 likes
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