Swedish actor Jonas Karlsson’s brisk fable The Room is narrated by the ruthlessly ambitious Bjorn as he takes a new job at an organisation called The Authority.
Bjorn is convinced that his rise through the ranks will be swift, especially when he discovers a mysterious room down a nondescript corridor, a meticulously ordered, calming sanctuary where he carries out his best work.
Yet none of his colleagues seem to be able to see it, and the more that Bjorn insists upon the room’s existence, the more they doubt his sanity.
Kafka it isn’t, but Karlsson does succeed in capturing the tedium and pointlessness of bureaucratic life, and the banality of office banter.
Yet the intrigue is never enough to elevate the book beyond what is little more than a character study of an aloof, dispassionate individual.
It remains a light and predictable tale with little ambition beyond its central idea.