Hitman Anders, recently out of prison, is doing small jobs for the big gangsters, and would be doing them quite well if it weren’t for his drinking, which is affecting his professionalism. However, his life takes a new turn when he meets a female Protestant vicar (who is an atheist), and a homeless receptionist at a former brothel now turned into a 1-star hotel. The three join forces and concoct a business proposition based on Hitman Anders’ skills (threats and violence but no killing – he doesn’t want to end up in prison again) and his fearsome reputation. The vicar and receptionist will organise the gangsters’ commissions and work on PR and business strategies. By using the tabloids’ love for headlines they’ll attract customers.
If it weren’t for Hitman Anders’ curiosity about the meaning of it all. In conversations with the vicar, he turns to Jesus and, against all odds, Jesus answers him! The vicar can’t believe what’s happening. When Hitman Anders turns to religion, the lucrative business is in danger, and the vicar and the receptionist have to find a new plan, quick.
Fast-paced and sparky, the novel combines various motifs: the misinterpreted messages from the Bible turned into egoistic incongruities and the consequences of fanaticism and idealization in any religion, the sensationalist press, the entrepreneurial spirit and dumb human stupidity – and underlying it all is the tenuous hope that it’s never too late start again, to get a second and a third chance.
Jonas Jonasson has a personal yet recognizable style characterised by his satirically-humorous views about mankind’s shortcomings in history, in politics and in everyday life. In his third novel, Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All , set entirely in today’s Sweden, he shows how apparently normal people end up in absurd situations. We follow these funny, terrible but loveable characters on their quest to create a New Church with all of Sweden’s gangsters hunting them!


First published by Piratförlaget, Sweden, 2015

“... it’s an exuberant farce about people finding the happy lives they have missed. The subversive charm of it lies in the hints that God, or the Universe or whatever, is smarter and funnier than any of us”
- The Times, UK

“The book is distinguished by its dry humor … Hitman Anders is a bizarre hero with a heart much bigger than his wits and criminal ambitions.”
- Der Speigel, Germany

“Jonasson matches the irreverence of his debut The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (2009)…It’s a thrilling ride”
- Finacial Times, UK

“The Swedish author stays faithful to his style: eccentric ideas, a passion for storytelling and a maxim that imagination never should be restricted. “
- Focus, Germany

“Hitman Anders is characterized by biting intelligence and subtle irony. A comic novel that addresses some of the major social issues of this millennium. ”
- Il Tempo, Italy