Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson

This Swedish satire will have you pondering your own External Happiness score and the price due for the universe's pleasures.

A young man receives an extraordinarily large bill from a vaguely governmental-sounding agency. Of course, it's junk mail and he ignores it. Until the next bill comes with an additional service charge added.

He soon strikes up a strange friendship - maybe even flirtation - with the woman at the agency who's assigned to his remediation call. But the more they talk, the higher and higher his bill total climbs.

It's an odd, intense little book (pocket-sized and just 200 pages). I wanted to know what would happen, but I was at the same time off-put by the seriousness of the story's oppressive bureaucracy. It's a nightmare: he can't escape an enormous government bill despite the fact he knew nothing about it. Will they kill him? What is the punishment for exceeding the threshold?

No comments: