Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All – Jonas Jonasson

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Hitman Anders and the Meaning of it All – Jonas Jonasson

Post by Graham on Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:05 pm

A hapless hotel receptionist* and a seedy priest firstly find love and then a hitman who has himself found Jesus. Thus is founded the Church of (Hitman) Anders. In the mold of money-making evangelists everywhere they rake in millions while spending very little on anything other than themselves and copious communion wine. They have however earned the murderous attention of the Stockholm underworld whom they bilked of fees once Hitman Anders stopped hitting, on the instructions of Jesus.

I was looking forward to Jonasson’s third novel but confess I am disappointed. It may be that the protagonists are not as endearing, perhaps it is because there are three of them. They are, to begin with, entirely self-centred and frankly not up to much. The receptionist’s hotel is at the lower end of the market. He sleeps behind the desk. He meets the priest when she tries to con him out of a few kronor for a prayer. The hitman is an incompetent, alcoholic recidivist whom they serially exploit.

After the hitman and the evangelical phases of their joint career there is an epiphany of sorts which renders the trio a little more socially responsible but morals aside there is something else lacking here. According to his website his theme in this book is victimhood. This is a more nuanced target than the apartheid and nuclear profligacy of his previous novel and not so well suited to his scattergun prose. The plotting is predictable and his style slightly annoying, full of clever-clogs sentences like my opening one here. Then again perhaps I am simply more jaded this week. If you liked his first two give it a try.

*I now know Scandinavia has run out of names. He is called Per Persson.

Graham
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