Monday, 7 March 2016

The Invoice - Jonas Karlsson

Quite a long time ago now I went into Waterstones looking for a book to congratulate myself. I had finished exams and I really wanted to pick out a book I had never heard of and was super interested in. I picked up The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson. I wanted a happy and amusing book and this looked like it ticked both the boxes.

The Invoice is about an unnamed protagonist who lives what he would consider an "ordinary" life. He believes it's nothing special but it's his and he happily lives it. He works at a video game store, treats himself to his favourite ice cream and he contently does so. Until he is sent an invoice that states he owed thousands in tax calculated by his happiness. When our antihero finds out it wasn't a mistake and he investigates further, it all just doesn't go as planned.

The Invoice tells a very unique story with an intriguing idea that triggers it all. I've never read anything with such a different idea that is the base of the narrative. It's about a gentle character being penalised under a bizarre scheme- that of course must represent society and its unfair systems. The novel teaches us of how lucky some of us can be without realising and how we should be more appreciative or our lives. I must also speculate whether the protagonist is unnamed because we could essentially put our own names in his place. Yes our lives may not be similar; yes we may score our lives as happier or sadder. But we must all get something awesome from this story.

The protagonist is Swedish and I adored reading about another country. Combined with the unique and beautiful front cover (one of my favourite front covers of all time!), it has really encouraged my want to visit Sweden. It has also made me know I need to read more novels based in Sweden and other countries that are not England or the USA. The weather is also crucial to the protagonist's story. He enjoys considering the weather and all that the seasons bring. It elevates the character's endearing ways. It does also come with a message that I will not ruin for potential readers of this book.

I read The Invoice in one sitting. The endearing atmosphere and protagonist instantly had me hooked, and its message that is crucial to all of our perspectives on life is one I will never forget. The protagonist didn't evaluate his life as even half as happy as he realised it was when it was being measure by a "Experienced Happiness" score. It made for a much grateful and balanced protagonist.
Here is a short but happy review about an incredibly sweet, thoughtful and important story.
Ice Cream & Sunshine,
The Girl in the Moonlight.

P.S. I'm blogging twice every day this month; my last blog post can be read HERE!

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