Title: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared
Author: Jonas Jonasson
Genre: Fiction, Humor, Contemporary
First published: 2009
Finished reading: January 25th 2015
(Originally written in Swedish: ‘Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann’)
“There are only two things I can do better than most people. One of them is to make vodka from goats’ milk, and the other is to put together an atom bomb.”
The first time I saw this book mentioned, I was immediately intrigued by both the cover, title and blurb. I remember adding The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared to my wishlist straight away and wanting to buy a copy as soon as possible. But even though I was able to get a copy not long after that, I somehow never came around actually reading this novel by Jonas Jonasson… Until now. Now that I’ve finished it, I can easily say this one will end up being of my favorite reads in 2015. I loved everything; the main character, the humor and prose, the altered historical references… The novel takes you on a journey through Allan Karlsson’s long and VERY interesting life where he played a role in various key moments in the history of the 20th century. Not only that: on his one-hundredth birthday he manages to escape the old people’s home and find a suitcase full of money before he disappears. How awesome is that?! There are a lot of funny moments in the novel that will definitely make you laugh. And Allan is a genius. Definitely recommended!
Allan Karlsson just reached his one-hundredth birthday, but he isn’t about to give up living and end his days in an old people’s home. Allan decides to escape his fate and climbs out of his bedroom window. Without knowing where to go, he ends up at the bus station. Just as he is about to take the first bus out of town, he decides to steal a suitcase that was left in his care by the only other passenger there. An unlikely journey starts where the old man is trying to escape the angry passenger, meeting a lot of interesting people on the way. The fact that the suitcase holds a lot of money does help…
We follow Allan and his new companies when they try to escape and hide from both the police and the owners of the suitcase. And not everybody comes away unhurt… We also learn more and more about Allan’s earlier life; a very interesting journey where he meets various important political leaders like Franco, Truman, Stalin and Mao. Allan doesn’t like politics and that is partly why he was able to survive for so long… That and the fact that he turns out to be an explosive expert and the different political leaders need his help. This way, he played a role in many key events of the 20th century.
People seem to either hate or love this book. I guess it depends on how you decide to read The One-Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared. If you are easily offended by certain historical facts being altered or don’t like comedy, don’t pick up this title. I think Jonas Jonasson ment this book as an entertaining and feel-good book where the actual facts of Allan Karlsson’s life aren’t supposed to be credible. It is ment as a fiction novel, so who cares if Allan really met all those presidents or if an elephant really can fit into a big yellow bus? The fast pace and easy-to-read prose just make you want to keep on reading… You won’t regret picking up this title!