Book Review: The Invoice

The Invoice
By Jonas Karlsson

My Edition:
Hardcover, 204 pages
2016, Hogarth
ISBN: 9781101905142

What if everything in life came with a price – in the form of a possible astronomically high bill, issued by the country you reside in? What if everything you’d experienced, and the feelings that came with them, were carefully tabulated by a seemingly all-knowing organization to calculate your overall quality of life? The Invoice is a lighthearted look at what might happen in this situation and what one man learns about his life based on how others perceive it.

Our narrator might be considered a slacker or loser by some; he lives life in the moment, working a part-time dead-end job at a movie rental store, single, living in a small apartment, only a few friends. He doesn’t have bigger life goals that many feel add purpose to our lives. Instead, he derives meaning from the little things in life that those around him seem to overlook and that’s what makes him endearing.

The way he expresses himself was very relatable to me:

“I pushed the door of the cupboard under the sink several times because it wouldn’t shut properly – it was missing its little magnet thing.”

“I slid into my gloomiest mood…sometimes I would put on particularly mournful music…so I could really wallow in pain and sadness.” (I feel you, bro!)

“I pulled on my jacket. Not because it was cold, but because I wanted to look a bit smarter.”

Rather than despise our narrator for having no direction in life, I envied both the simplicity in which he lived and his generally positive and meaningful outlook on life. His attitude keeps a potentially heavy book light and enjoyable. That’s not to say I didn’t imagine what price I would have to pay should my own life be evaluated. Perhaps smaller moments or luxuries that I take for granted impact my life experience more than I think, and would then raise my bill, because the better the life quality, the higher the bill.

The Invoice is a short, engaging, quirky little book that asks its readers what really makes them happy. It’s not the stuff and things, but our experiences, relationships with others and emotions that determine our quality of life. If you’re looking for a different take on the idea of big brother, give this a shot!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. All opinions in this post are my own.

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