BOOK REVIEW: Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All – by Jonas Jonasson

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Title: Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All
Author: Jonas Jonasson
Genre: Fiction, Humor, Contemporary
First published: September 16th 2015
Publisher: Fourth Estate
Finished reading: June 25th 2016
Pages: 400
(Originally written in Swedish: “Mördar-Anders och hans vänner (samt en och annan ovän)”)
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“If only children could be free of all that crap previous generations had gathered up for them, he said, perhaps it would bring some clarity to their lives.”

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I should have been warned sufficiently by the low Goodreads rating, but I thought this would be one of those unpopular opinion books. Why? Because unlike most book bloggers out there, I absolutely loved Jonas Jonasson‘s other novel The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared and I was hoping of having a similar experience with this new book. I guess I was wrong. While The Hundred-Year-Old Man was interesting, fast-paced and laugh-out-loud hilarious, Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All was simply painful to read. In fact, I have been considering a DNF at various points in the story and decided to skim-read the last part because I just couldn’t take it any longer. Such a shame, because I really wanted to enjoy this book! Why is Hitman Anders nothing like his other novel? First of all: the story simply isn’t funny. Instead of laughing out loud, my eyebrows worked overtime as I became more and more annoyed by the plot and characters. Or should I say: lack of plot and character development. Seriously, the plot just doesn’t make any sense and the religious elements really started to get on my nerves. I mean, a former hitman finding Jesus and wanting to start his own church?! Sorry, that just isn’t doing it for me. I felt no connection whatsoever for the characters and the only reason I was able to finish this book is because I skim-read the last 40% of the book. As you might have guessed, I wouldn’t recommend this book. Make sure to try his other book The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared though!

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Hitman Anders has been having a problem with drugs and alcohol most of his life, making him quite violent and earning him a few prison sentences. Now he is fresh out of prison yet again, he decides to stay away from the hard stuff so he won’t end up right back inside… And then he meets a receptionist at a 1-star hotel and a female Protestant vicar who happens to be an atheist. The three get together and put together a very unusual business plan that is supposed to make them all very rich. It seems to work for a while, until their most important asset of all of a sudden finds Jesus. With Anders no longer wanting to do his job and focussing his day on his new religion and drinking ‘the body of Jesus’, the receptionist and vicar will have to find a new way to get their money… And the new plan is even more ludicrous than the last one. Will they be able to succeed against all odds?

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I really wanted to enjoy Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All despite the negative feedback, but unfortunately I will have to agree with the mayority on this one. Unlike Jonas Jonasson‘s other novel, this one didn’t manage to impress me and I even thought about DNFing it at some points. Both the lack of character development, the uncredible/poor plot and the fact that this story isn’t funny at all unfortunately just made me feel really disappointed by this book in general.

WWW Wednesdays #97 – June 29th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have actually almost finished All The Missing Girls by Megan Miranda already and will do so after finishing this post, but technically I’m still currently reading this… This book is without doubt one of the best mystery/thriller books I’ve read so far this year and a must-read for fans of the genre! I’m also in the middle of Seven Ways We Lie by Riley Redgate, which I picked up on a whim and I’m enjoying so far despite a few flaws. I haven’t made much progress with Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain due to the Netgalley books, but I’m continuing it as soon as I finish the other two current reads! And I’ve decided to put all fantasy reads on hold until I’m in the mood for the genre again…

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I already knew Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All probably wasn’t going to be as good as Jonas Jonasson‘s other book The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared, but that doesn’t take away the fact that I was REALLY disappointed by this read. It was boring, had flat characters, wasn’t funny, it took me ages to finish and I actually thought of DNFing it at one point. More details in the review that will be published later today.
* I also read We Awaken by Calista Lynne, which unfortunately turned out to be another disappointing read. I loved the cover, the blurb and the fact that it talks about asexuality, but the rest of the book just didn’t convince me. It was a fast read, but that didn’t make up for the flaws. More in my review…

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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As soon as I finish my current reads, I will pick up my oldest ARC: Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), so I’m definitely looking forward to it. I also still want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys… And the Netgalley ARC Last To Die by Arlene Hunt is also on my list. My newest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

WWW Wednesdays #96 – June 22nd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I know, I know, I have been (shamelessly) posponing A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas for the last couple of weeks. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy and the book is quite big in the first place… I did read a few pages yesterday, but I will probably not finish it before the end of the month unless I’m in the mood for fantasy again. Meanwhile I started reading Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain, which is the second book in a thriller/serial killer series and hopefully just as good as the first book.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I finally managed to finish The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, a historical fiction read I ended up really enjoying. The story has a fast pace and switches between contemporary scenes and the notes of the main character’s mother. I particularly enjoyed reading the historical section and the fact that the story is about the role of women during WWII (something you don’t see often). The only thing I wasn’t convinced about were the contemporary romance scenes, but the rest of the story makes up for it.
* I picked up The Ex by Alafair Burke afterwards, which had been recommended to me by various bloggers. It turned out to be a really fast-paced and entertaining thriller, although some of the scenes/plot twists might be a bit too farfetched (think Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train vibe). The end came as a surprise though.
* After hearing repeatedly I just HAD to read this book, I decided to read Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum next. And I’m glad I did, because I really loved it! The only thing that was slightly annoying would be the love triangle (rectangle?!) and the idea itself might not be that original either, but I still loved this book anyway. Without doubt a great summer read!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I still have an ARC pending: Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), so I’m definitely looking forward to read it soon. I also want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, since I really enjoyed her other novel Between Shades Of Gray. Same goes for Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All by Jonas Jonasson, although I’ve already learned it’s not as good as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared… My newest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz.

Friday Finds #87 – May 20th

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FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Babs Book Bistro and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last week and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads. Below a selection of my newest additions; click on the book descriptions to go to its Goodreads page! 😀

My finds:

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BOOK REVIEW: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared – by Jonas Jonasson

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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
Pages: 396
(Originally written in Swedish: ‘Hundraåringen som klev ut genom fönstret och försvann’)
Rating 5

“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.”

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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!

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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.

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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!

WWW Wednesdays #24 – January 28th

wwwwednesdays Originally featured at Should Be Reading and now hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words, WWW WEDNESDAYS is still about answering the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?

andthemountainsechoedtuckerpeakI started Khaled Hosseini‘s newest novel And The Mountains Echoed the other day. This novel has been on my Goodreads list for ages and I thought it was about time to finally tackle it. I’ve had great experiences with his previous work and so far And The Mountains Echoed is living up to expectations. I’m also in the middle of Tucker Peak by Archer Mayor, a crime paperback that has been on my TBR shelf for too long… I’m about halfway done and so far it is ok. The pace is a bit slow and I don’t really like the characters, but is is good enough to continue reading.

  • What did you recently finish reading?

????????????????????????thehundredyearoldmanwhoclimbedoutofthewindowanddisappearedI have been away on vacation and I didn’t manage to read that many books, but I was still able to finish both Paper Towns by John Green and The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. While the prose and teenage dialogues in Paper Towns were great as usual, I wasn’t really able to connect to the characters. Also, I can fully understand the those who say that there are way too many similarities between the various books that John Green has written… I think I will take some time to ‘de-Green’ and put his other novels on hold for now. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared was simply brilliant and I have a feeling it will appear on my favorite 2015 reads list in the future…

  • What do you think you’ll read next?

underdarkskiesthesecretgardenI’m not sure yet, but it will probably be Under Dark Skies by A.J. Scudiere, a forensic mystery novel I have received for review and I’m looking forward to be reading. Either that one or The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett; the outcome of my latest attempt of using the TBR jar… I know I will read this classic at some point this year because it’s also part of the two TBR reading challenges I’m participating in, but I’m not sure if I’m in the mood to read it right now. Who knows?

Top Ten Tuesday #8 – September 23rd: Books On My Spring TBR

toptentuesday The Broke And The Bookish presents us every week a new top ten with a different theme. And this Tuesday’s theme is the Top Ten Books On My Fall Spring TBR list. Since I live in Argentina and the seasons are different here, I made a little alteration so the list will fit in with the current season I will be enjoying. (Spring is my favorite season! 😀 ) I tried to put together a varied list with a lot of different genres and themes:

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