The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe

A novel

Publisher: Random House Canada
For readers of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, a funny, charming, feel-good story about a fake fakir from India who arrives in France to shop at IKEA and unwittingly embarks on a European tour like no other.
     Meet Ajatashatru Oghash Rathod. One day a fakir leaves his small village in India and lands in Paris. A professional con artist, the fakir 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, the fakir is all the same confident that his counterfeit 100-Euro 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 the 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 turbaned hero, even 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.
     The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe [pause for breath] is a hilarious tale that evokes the manic energy of a Marx Brothers romp and calls to mind the incisive social commentary of Candide. Pull up your Poang chair and take an unforgettable tour of Europe propelled by laughter, love and redemption. (Meatballs not included, but highly recommended.)


WINNER 2014 – Grand Prix Jules Verne
FINALIST 2013 – Prix Renaudot


“Destined to be a top pick at airport bookstores worldwide…. [The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe’s] charm is the sort that translates easily into film—relying on a cornucopia of cultural stereotypes, slapstick action and puns worthy of an Asterix comic…. But Wardrobe, surprisingly, has at its core a twist of real feeling; a humane political agenda…. Wardrobe is full of self-deprecating humour that makes it likeable against all odds. The book possesses plenty of flair.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“With his first novel, as sprightly as it is funny, Romain Puértolas adds one hell of a cheerful note to this fall season. Total nonsense? Yes, but developed at a brisk pace by Romain Puértolas, who piles up the vivid scenes along with oodles of puns.”
“This brilliant first novel…delivers a contemporary, off-the-wall version of Candide. It’s a fable, a farce, but also and above all, a delicious satire of the modern world, that we’ll have to read while cautiously holding our sides!”
“A gut-busting, picaresque first novel, that (just barely) hides an entreaty for tolerance, love of others and immigration.”  

“Wow, what a wild ride! By turns hilarious, picaresque and heartfelt, Romain Puértolas weaves a wonderful tale that will surely make you laugh, and should make you think.”
—Terry Fallis, author of No Relation and The Best Laid Plans

“This book is as sweet and funny as its title is long and strange. It also contains the most resonant social critique I’ve read in years.”
—Andrew Kaufman, author of Born Weird and All My Friends Are Superheroes

“How magical is this? If Slumdog Millionaire married The Intouchables, went on a road trip, and then had a baby, they could name it The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe.”
—Linda Svendsen, author of Sussex Drive