The title of this book gives you a little glimpse on just how unusual this story is going to be.
The story begins with a Fakir, or in other words, an entertainer, a trickster, usually seen on Indian streets wearing close to nothing, playing the flute for a dancing snake or lying around on a bed of nails. That bed of nails being the main reason everything happens in this story precisely when an Indian Fakir decides to travel to Paris to buy a bed of nails from IKEA . Along the way he finds himself in a wardrobe, a truck, in a bag, on a plane and hoping from one European country to another in the most unthinkable ways.
It is not your typical story, originally written in french and translated to English it is filled with quirky situations and lots of humor. Yet, Puertolas does touch on the important topic of immigrants in Europe. Characters our protagonist meets along the way shed some light on how harsh the journey to Europe can be for many of these immigrants,the lives they leave behind and the uncertainty and rejection they are faced with. He poses questions of cultural misconceptions and the West’s views and attitude towards the rest of the world.
It is one of those books, where you either love it or you hate it. Which was the case with our Citizens, some couldn’t stop laughing and are anticipating the movie version to be released next year, where as the others couldn’t read past the first half .
If you are looking for an easy, light read with an unexpected story line then this is the book for you. If you lean more towards a deep story line and meaningful events then this might not be a book you will enjoy.