I so wanted to love this book. I paid full price for it, for goodness’ sake.
I adored ‘The Hundred Year Old Man…’, and my excitement at finding a second novel by Jonasson involved dancing round the shop. Seriously.
It was perhaps this anticipation that signalled the book’s death knell for me. The formula from the first book was pretty closely followed; lots of quirky characters each bringing their diverse family history across the world into one massively convoluted storyline spanning a few decades. Yet I missed the historical jumping around from the first book, and didn’t care about any of the characters as much. The humour was present, but generated far fewer belly laughs than the previous book.
So what was positive? As ever, the research that had been put into the maths, physics, and history across two continents was phenomenal. I genuinely did want to know what happened to the characters and how all the storylines could tie together. The writing persuaded me to suspend logic numerous times at the more ludicrous points, and I honestly enjoyed it; I just wanted more.
I doubt this book will follow its predecessor into a film deal, unless they really work on the characterisation.
I will always want to read Jonas Jonasson’s work, as I relax while enjoying it and yet feel like I’m learning things at the same time. However I worry that he will always be an author who suffers from having done too well initially.