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A quirky and unsettling tale, of dark humour and strange realities, about a bureaucrat, an open plan office and a secret room...

The Authority looks favourably upon meticulousness, efficiency and ambition. Bjorn has all of this in spades, but it's only in the Room that he can really shine. Unfortunately, his colleagues see things differently. In fact, they don't even see the Room at all.

The Room is a short, sharp and fiendish fable in the tradition of Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett and Charlie Kauffman. If you have ever toiled in an office, felt like the world was against you or questioned the nature of reality then this is the novel for you.


A gripping, tense, demonic fable in which the unease is precision-tooled and the turns of the screw wholly unexpected.

Neel Mukherjee

The Room is the most effective chapbook on workplace comportment since Glengarry Glen Ross. Hats off!

Nick Offerman, Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation

Thoroughly enjoyable… If you read only one novel by a famous Swedish actor translated into English this year, make it The Room

Ian Sansom, Guardian

Kafka meets The Office in this hilarious and chilling Swedish fable of workplace politics

Kate Saunders, The Times

A brief but brilliant tale

Stephanie Boland, Financial Times

surreal, funny and unsettling

Arifa Akbar, The Independent

The novel works both as a glorious satire of the modern workplace and as a psychological drama played through the eyes of Bjorn, a pedantic and thoroughly unreliable narrator. As entertaining as it is disturbing to be in his mind, I was both intrigued and entertained.

Fanny Blake, Daily Mail

This is a very funny book about a magical room, but it is also a familiar, humane story about alienation and intolerance, set during a bleak Swedish winter

Jonathan McAloon, The Times Literary Supplement

brilliantly deadpan...often very funny

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

The Room deftly creates an intense mood that remains unbroken for the short, enjoyable period this novella takes to read

Jane Graham, Big Issue

Witty, clever, quite possibly brilliant

Sunday Sport



It’s a brilliant nightmare with a terrific ending

Theo Hopper, Big Issue

For all its sinister Kafkaesque traits, Jonas Karlsson’s The Room…packs several hilarious punches.

Ann Morgan

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    January 15, 2015


    176 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    January 8, 2015

    Vintage Digital

    176 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

Also by Jonas Karlsson