The Room (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Bjorn is a new employee with plans to climb the corporate ladder quickly. Soon after his arrival at the Authority, Bjorn discovers a room by the elevator. The room contains a classy and serene office, serving no apparent purpose. After spending time in the room, Bjorn feels revitalized and his production at work increases. His fellow employees start to grow concerned, because nobody else can see this room, except for Bjorn. Should he be forbidden to access the room, even if there is no room?   

— From Mark B.

March '15 Indie Next List

“An employee at a mundane office in Sweden, Bjorn knows that he is better than his contemporaries and does whatever it takes to get the recognition he feels he deserves. He finds that recognition in 'the room,' an otherwise unremarkable space between the elevators and the toilets, except for the fact that it seems to exist only for him. In 'the room,' Bjorn feels more powerful, more attractive, and able to take control of the work environment he finds upsettingly sloppy. Unfortunately for Bjorn, his coworkers only see him as a man staring at a wall for inordinate periods and try to keep him from this unsettling behavior. Brilliantly crafted and sharply funny.”
— Kelsey Myers, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO


Funny, clever, surreal, and thought-provoking, this Kafkaesque masterpiece introduces the unforgettable Bjorn, an exceptionally meticulous office worker striving to live life on his own terms.

Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works--a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn's bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.
Debut author Jonas Karlsson doesn't leave a word out of place in this brilliant, bizarre, delightful take on how far we will go--in a world ruled by conformity--to live an individual and examined life.

About the Author

JONAS KARLSSON writes plays and short fiction. One of Sweden's most prominent actors, Karlsson has performed on Sweden's premier stage and in several acclaimed feature films and television series. In 2005, Karlsson made his debut as a playwright, earning rave reviews from audience and critics alike. Spurred by the joy of writing for the stage, Karlsson began writing fiction.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780804139984
ISBN-10: 0804139989
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Publication Date: February 17th, 2015
Pages: 192
Language: English