TITLE: The Invoice
AUTHOR: Jona Karlsson
SUMMARY: A man literally has to pay for all the happiness he’s ever experiences in his life.
GENRE: Contemporary | Satire | Fiction
NOTE: I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com
There are two lessons I learned from reading this short novel.
- Happiness is not related to money or material things.
- It’s impossible to put a price on happiness.
This is the only story that I’ve ever read that the main problem is happiness. It’s absurd right? But it makes you think about what if we had to pay for our experienced happiness? It’s impossible to not wonder about the things that make someone genuinely happy. For our protagonist, Mr. John Doe (I’m calling him that because they never say his name), it doesn’t take much to make him happy. He lives in a small apartment, part time job at a video store, no kids, no wife or girlfriend, but he’s perfectly content with his life. Even when he tries to find the heartache in his life, he fails feel any remorse or sadness. If it weren’t for his millionaire debt, I would be jealous. It makes you wonder why he’s so resilient and other people are not. This is what I mean by a thought provoking story.
One of the blurbs on the back cover say:
“[In The Invoice] you will find the humorous surrealism of Amelie Nothomb, the intrusive bureaucracy of George Orwell, and the desperate fates Kafka’s chracters suffered.”
While I can’t speak of Kafka or Amelie, I can talk about George Orwell. Reading Karlsson’s story I did get 1984 vibes because of that “intrusive bureaucracy.” And if you’ve been following me for a while, anything George Orwell related is a plus on my book.
I read it in one day, so it’s a fast read. One that I may not have fallen head over heels in love with, but a good book overall.