I received an advanced review copy of tis book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Bjorn works in a non-descript, government office in Sweden simply known as “The Authority.” He is a self-important, regimented, quiet man who one day discovers a room in his office. He likes to visit “the room” during his breaks and it seems to give him a sense of peace and calm and it heightens his sense of self-importance.
Due to his lack of social skills, Bjorn makes his co-workers very uncomfortable. But when he insists that there is “the room” that no one else can see, they become even more agitated with him. THE ROOM is a comic illustration of the hierarchies, petty differences and bizarre social interactions that exist in the microcosm of an office.
The book is very short, it is really more of a novella at 125 pages. I do not want to say too much for fear of giving the plot away. But in the end, the symbolism of “The Room” and Bjorn’s occupation of its space turns melancholy; when Bjorn sees things that others cannot, names like “freak” and “daft” and “crazy” are thrown at him.
THE ROOM is a great choice for a book club to discuss because there are many layers of symbolism to unpack and dissect. If you read THE ROOM, please come back and share your thoughts in the comments. I am especially interested to see what other readers have to say about the ending of this thought-provoking novella.
About The Author:
Sven Bert Jonas Karlsson is a Swedish actor and author. He won a Guldbagge Award for Best Actor in 2004 for the movie Details. He published his first book, a collection of short stories, in 2007.