Book Review: The Prophet and the Idiot by Jonas Jonasson

April 9, 2024

About:

The Prophet and the Idiot (Profeten och idioten) by Jonas Jonasson is a novel telling of an absurd adventure of an astrophysicist, a rich widow, and a genius chef/moron going on a road trip. Mr. Jonasson is a best-selling Swedish author known for showing the absurdities of normalcy.

  • 448 pages
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ HarperVia
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0063371669

Book Review: The Prophet and the Idiot by Jonas Jonasson
My rating for The Prophet and the Idiot –4
Buy The Prophet and the Idiot from Amazon.com*
More books by Jonas Jonasson*

Thoughts:

This is the author’s sixth novel, and the ones I’ve read I always enjoyed. Like his other books, The Prophet and the Idiot by Jonas Jonasson (translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles) is an exciting romp involving international politics, fraud, corruption, the mafia, and throw in Barack Obama for good measure.

In true Jonasson manner, the book is well written, satirical, quirky, and a lot of fun to read. The first half is excellent, but I felt the second half fell flat when the schtick was up. It was not as funny, not as interesting. The theme of an ordinary person ending up in the middle of world politics gets lost amid the absurd chaos.

The book combines a fast narrative with humor, touching pop culture, and current events so almost everyone can be “in the know”. This makes the stories, regardless of the old clichĂ©s, something that many could enjoy.

This approach, as with many things in life, is both the strength and weakness of Mr. Jonasson’s books. Keeping up the fast pace for over 448 pages is tiring for both the author and readers. Absurd things are happening right after the other, and the novelty of an idiot doing idiotic things wears off after 200 or so pages.

Now, I have to go find some VĂ€sterbotten cheese to try.

Synopsis:

Petra, an astrophysicist, calculated that the world will be on 12 September 2011. No one believes her but a few days before “the end”, she meets Johan, an idiot and a self-taught master chef.

Johan’s plan is to go and punch his older, abusive brother before the world ends. Joined by Petra and Agnes, a rich widow, the three drive Johan’s mobile home across the globe.

Buy The Prophet and the Idiot from Amazon.com*
More books by Jonas Jonasson*

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Wrap Up

The Prophet and the Idiot by Jonas Jonasson

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