Review: The Invoice – Jonas Karlsson

The Invoice 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 treasured small space in Stockholm. When he receives an astronomical invoice from a random national bureaucratic agency, everything will tumble into madness as he calls the hotline night and day to find out why he is the recipient of the largest bill in the entire country.

What is the price of a cherished memory? How much would you pay for a beautiful summer day? How will our carefree idealist, who is content with so little and has no chance of paying it back, find a way out of this mess? All these questions pull you through The Invoice and prove once again that Jonas Karlsson is simply a master of entertaining, intelligent, and life-affirming work.

This is a very quiet, contemplative novel and unlike any other book I’ve read. It’s such a strange premise for a novel. This book revolves around the idea that depending on the quality of your life and your experiences, you have to pay a one-time fee. This book really made me ponder how much money I would have to pay and what I would do in the same situation as the narrator.

This book also raises some really interesting questions about how happiness is relative and how people can see their lives in a subjective way. The idea that a person’s happiness is dependent on how they view their experiences is something I always try to keep in mind, even though it’s really hard to remember at times. This book forces you to examine your life and how you’ve viewed the experiences you’ve had.

My only issue with this novel was that because it was so quiet, it was never really exciting to read. I also didn’t feel much connection to the main character. His role and personality wasn’t really fully developed and the book wasn’t about him or the plot. They were secondary to the message the author was trying to convey.

I felt the writing style and the translation from Swedish was fine, but once again, it didn’t elicit much of a reaction from me. Overall, this is a lovely short novel, but I wish it had been slightly more powerful and memorable. However, I still think it’s extremely unique and I definitely recommend it.

I received a copy of this book from Blogging For Books. This has affected my review in no way.


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