Book Review

April '15

The Room (Hardcover)
Jonas Karlsson

This little book, 186 pages, was originally written in Swedish, and well translated into English.  It was published as a paperback original in February of 2015.  The author, one of Sweden's most prominent actors, became a playwright, and fortunately for us, has recently turned his considerable talent to fiction writing.

The Room is set in a Swedish office, and our main character is a new employee named Bjorn.

Bjorn has particular work habits that run counter to the norm, and do not ingratiate him to the longtime employees.  He works for exactly 55 minutes of each hour, then takes precisely 5 minutes for a break.  Each break is carefully designated for a visit to the restroom, or a small snack, and no variations to the schedule are allowed.  Therefore, he does not participate in group coffee breaks or lunches with his co-workers, and if that were not enough to make him stand out, he says he does his best work in - THE ROOM.  This room has the perfect desk for him, the most modern and efficient file cabinets, just the right lighting, formal artwork, and lush carpet. Vastly superior to the standard issue desk and seat sprung chair adjoining other employee's work space that he is expected to use.  Except - that- Bjorn is the only one who can see THE ROOM.  Everyone else sees Bjorn standing and staring at a blank wall just past the restrooms for minutes at a time.  They complain that he is crazy and needs to be fired - but when Bjorn starts turning out superior quality reports that draw the attention of the higher ups, and says that he produces them in THE ROOM that no one else can see, you begin to wonder who is crazy.

Great fun, and a nice small size that you can throw into your purse.