Title: The Room
Author: Jonas Karlsson (translated by Neil Smith)
Published: February 17, 2015 (originally published in Swedish in 2009)
Publisher: Hogarth Books
Publisher Link: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
When Björn takes a new job with the Authority, he sees himself on the rise. He was encouraged to make the change by his old boss and he has a plan to make a splash among his new colleagues. But when he discovers a secret room that no one else is willing to acknowledge, his plans are thrown off–especially when his office mates begin to see his behaviors as bizarre, concerning, and even a bit threatening. Will he be able to discover the truth of the room? Will Björn find a way to strike a balance between being productive and giving in to the demands of his coworkers?
As this is quick and easy read, I found myself quickly pulled into Björn’s world. The story is broken down into short scenes as chapters–almost a bit like journal entries, but not really framed that way–and it allows the story to keep a unique and appropriate pacing and momentum throughout. There are definitely moments when I didn’t want to like Björn, but just as many when I didn’t want to like is colleagues, either. The whole idea of “the room” is an intriguing one and there are many layers of metaphor and allegory here that I expect will have me thinking for days. Highly recommended and both enjoyable as well as thought-provoking.