Your weird Friday Read is The extraordinary journey of the fakir who got trapped in an IKEA wardrobe

fakirI know what you’re reading this weekend. It’s about Ajatashatru, an Indian fakir (rough translation: con man) who travels to France to buy a bed of nails (I guess he never received word that IKEA now offers online shopping) but gets sent off course and finds himself on a jaunt around the world.

Need more?

It was written by a dashing-looking Frenchman who looks great in a scarf.

Need more than handsome Frenchmen wearing cold-weather accessories?

It sneaks in a bit of social conscience. Specifically around the question of illegal aliens and border crossings. Ajatashatru finds himself crossing borders illegally and ponders the fates of the stowaways he met along the way.

Need more than European immigration politics?

It is Friday after all. How about humor? The wordplay is masterful and much credit should go to Sam Taylor, who translated the novel from the French, as he did a fantastic job of capturing Puertolas’s playful use of sentence construction and sound-a-likes. If my French were a little bit stronger I’d re-read the book as it was written to see how these jokes were first conceived (actually if my French were a little bit stronger I’d immediately pack my bags and move to Paris, lovely though Toronto is).

Need more than puns?

Pop culture humor! IKEA setting! Big font for easy reading in the sun!

Just read the damn book and have the loveliest of weekends.

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