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ROMAIN PUERTOLAS was born 39 years ago in Montpellier. He wrote The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir who got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe on his mobile phone whilst working as a French border guard. Romain has previously worked as a cleaner at the Brighton Palace Pier, where he learnt how to say 'Don't lean on the slot machine' without a French accent. This is his first novel.
Armed only with a counterfeit 100-Euro note, Ajatashatru the fakir arrives in Paris. His mission? To acquire a splendid new bed of nails. His destination? IKEA. Once there he finds an obliging wardrobe in which to lay his head, only to discover on waking that he is locked in and headed for England in the back of a truck. So begins a magnificent adventure for the intrepid fakir as he travels to Italy in a suitcase, writes a novel on a shirt, flees a revenge-crazed taxi driver, flies to Libya in a hot air balloon and finds love in the unlikeliest of places...
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 unlikely 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.