Brief synopsis (from the inside cover): One day a fakir leaves his small village in India and lands in Paris. A professional con artist, he is on a pilgrimage to IKEA, where he intends to obtain an object he covets above all others: a brand new bed of nails. Without adequate euros in the pockets of his silk trousers, he is confident, all the same, that his counterfeit €100 note (printed on one side only) and his usual bag of tricks will suffice. But when a swindled cab driver seeks his murderous revenge, the fakir accidentally embarks on a European tour, fatefully beginning in a wardrobe of the iconic Swedish retailer. As his journey progresses in the most unpredictable of ways, the fakir finds unlikely friends in even unlikelier places. To his surprise–and to a Bollywood beat–the stirrings of love well up in the heart of our hero, as his adventures lead to profound and moving questions of the perils of emigration and the universal desire to seek a better life in an often dangerous world.
Rating: Travel companion
Long story short: I read this book while on my trip back from Seattle and couldn’t have asked for a better travel companion. Not only was Ajatashatru, the protagonist, doing a lot of traveling himself, but the story was easy to get into and difficult to put down because it was so unpredictable.
Despite being a light read, The Extraordinary Journey features an array of different personalities and even some character development. Ajatashatru goes from being a selfish trickster to somebody who starts caring for others, and shares some surprising words of wisdom.
I don’t want to give away too much of the story, because I think it’s best if you go in knowing as little as possible. Do you have a book that makes for good reading when you’re on the go?