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


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.”


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 I loved everything; the main character, the humor and prose, the altered historical references… The novel takes you on a journey through Allan Karlsson’s long and VERY interesting life where he played a role in various key moments in the history of the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!

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:




Friday Finds #8 – August 29th

fridayfinds FRIDAY FINDS is originally featured at Should Be Reading and showcases the most interesting books I’ve encountered during the last two weeks and have added to my neverending TBR list on Goodreads.  I know the list is already exploding, but I can’t help myself and don’t want to miss any potential treasures. So I’ve just accepted the TBR list will always be bigger than the amount of books I’ve read… Sigh. Last week was all about the Bout Of Books read-a-thon and I wasn’t able to find a lot of new titles, but the most interesting books are listed below:

My finds: