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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

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The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared PDF, ePub eBook It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages.

30 review for The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    And the title was so promising... Dumb. Oh so dumb. The humor, if it could be called that, is roughly on par with children's knock knock jokes. And this feeble comedy is hammered on with an incredible relentlessness over 400 pages. Ha ha...people drink vodka! Ha ha! A man who doesn't like politics meets every important political leader over 5 decades...ha ha! Religion and politics are dumb. Guffaw guffaw. I actively groaned more times than be counted. I suppose this title will be the And the title was so promising... Dumb. Oh so dumb. The humor, if it could be called that, is roughly on par with children's knock knock jokes. And this feeble comedy is hammered on with an incredible relentlessness over 400 pages. Ha ha...people drink vodka! Ha ha! A man who doesn't like politics meets every important political leader over 5 decades...ha ha! Religion and politics are dumb. Guffaw guffaw. I actively groaned more times than be counted. I suppose this title will be the darling of book groups comprised of older ladies (centenarians?) but it's a horrid mashup of Big Fish and Forrest Gump. Appalling. Readers are also expected to be dumb enough to swallow the idea that Sweden does not have access to forensic science in the year of our Lord 2005. *Very slight spoiler alert below* I found myself wondering at the "ho-hum" attitude of our "hero" in the face every every major event of his life...who the fuck would want to live 100 years with that kind of blase feeling about everything?! Are we supposed to root for a man who can't even be bothered to care that he spends a large portion of his 100 years behind bars?

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robin Webster

    I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the title so sums up what the book is all about. The story is set in Sweden and is about the life and adventures of our hero Allan Karlsson who on his hundredth birthday climbed out the window of his old people’s home and disappeared. He then sets out on a journey where he steals a suitcase which turns out to contain a fortune that was paid over to a group of bikers by a Russian organized crime syndicate as payment for a drug deal. There then follows an I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the title so sums up what the book is all about. The story is set in Sweden and is about the life and adventures of our hero Allan Karlsson who on his hundredth birthday climbed out the window of his old people’s home and disappeared. He then sets out on a journey where he steals a suitcase which turns out to contain a fortune that was paid over to a group of bikers by a Russian organized crime syndicate as payment for a drug deal. There then follows an unlikely but very amusing story of drug dealers trying to track the money down and the police starting a nationwide hunt for Allan after a warrant is issued for a triple murder. As the book progresses, Allan collects a motley crew of really interesting but flawed characters plus an elephant, that somehow all manage to stay one step ahead of the police for much of the book. The book is also interspersed with flashbacks of Allan’s life and how he inadvertently managed to be in the right place at the wrong time and helped influence a number of events and changed the course of twentieth century history. This book is pure entertainment as far as I am concerned. I wouldn’t say I was finding myself exploding into fits of hysterical laughter as I read the book. However, I found myself smiling as I turned the pages and couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the situations that Allan and his group of friends found themselves in. A great feel good book that I would recommend to anybody.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Angela Oliver

    First it was funny, then it was tedious, then it was just annoying. The name dropping, the fact that one person could have such an influence on world politics. Very farcical. I think what bugged me the most was when they convinced the police officer to join them. Everything was just too smooth, too convenient. I struggled to finish it and I cannot understand what all the hype is about. The writing style seemed off to - aside from the lack of speech marks, there was a lot of repetition and unnece First it was funny, then it was tedious, then it was just annoying. The name dropping, the fact that one person could have such an influence on world politics. Very farcical. I think what bugged me the most was when they convinced the police officer to join them. Everything was just too smooth, too convenient. I struggled to finish it and I cannot understand what all the hype is about. The writing style seemed off to - aside from the lack of speech marks, there was a lot of repetition and unnecessary bits that I feel might have been the fault of the translator. Essentially this is a yarn. A really, really long yarn. A yarn that you could use to knit scarves for a whole classroom. And, it's kinda lame too. Not worth the effort, but hey, I only wasted two days on it. I'm just glad I read fast.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Pearl Ruled (p100)--coincidentally, the end of chapter 8! ***see update below*** Rating: 1.5* of five The Publisher Says: The international publishing sensation--over two million copies sold A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over... After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and one day, he turns 100. A big cel Pearl Ruled (p100)--coincidentally, the end of chapter 8! ***see update below*** Rating: 1.5* of five The Publisher Says: The international publishing sensation--over two million copies sold A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over... After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant). It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world. My Review: Seriously, Sweden? THIS is the best you've got to offer? I am not a charmed reader, I'm a ticked-off reader who does not wish to continue on the tedious journey between 2005 and, as of chapter 9 which I did not read, WWII. I've already been dragged back to 1905. Oh hell, I didn't like this “utterly unique” (someone needs to explain the concept of a superlative, therefore unmodifiable, part of speech to the copywriter) bag of doorknobs and frankly can't see why anyone would. It's ponderous, it's got disagreeable people practically bursting from it, and it's supposed to be charming? And Winston Groom's people should be examining the damn thing right close. That Forrest Gump comparison sounds to me like the sound of a gun being spiked: “Look! We admitted it was a lift! No one's hiding it!” I'll say not. Not hiding the dullness, either. Yeccch. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. ***UPDATE 5/6/2013*** Disney Nordic and Studiocanal are releasing a film at Christmas. Everyone but me, it seems, loves the thing: “The book is already establishing itself as a major brand around the world. For us as theatrical distributors, we think we have a winner based on what we saw so far of the powerful film adaptation the producers and our partners at Disney will be delivering at the end of the year,” said Harold Van Lier, exec VP international distribution at Studiocanal. “It is an incredibly cinematic story that is very warm and filled with feel-good humor. It will undoubtedly be one of the major films coming out of Scandinavia at the end of this year.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caz (littlebookowl)

    This was fairly enjoyable and funny, but a little out there for my taste. While I understand that a lot of the crazy and unrealistic things that happen were for comedic effect, I tired of it eventually. If you are looking for a witty, funny, light-hearted tale, maybe give it a try!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Ansbro

    "I bear a charmed life." -William Shakespeare. Oh, what a fun read this was! A real delight. My wife was the first to devour it on a recent holiday and while doing so she chortled, chuckled and cackled with such gusto that I imagined someone had let a hyena and a kookaburra loose in our hotel room! "Oh, you must read this, Kevin! You must read it!" She urged. (And so I did). Allan Karlsson absconds from an old people's home on the eve of his hundredth b "I bear a charmed life." -William Shakespeare. Oh, what a fun read this was! A real delight. My wife was the first to devour it on a recent holiday and while doing so she chortled, chuckled and cackled with such gusto that I imagined someone had let a hyena and a kookaburra loose in our hotel room! "Oh, you must read this, Kevin! You must read it!" She urged. (And so I did). Allan Karlsson absconds from an old people's home on the eve of his hundredth birthday. He's on the run from the authorities in his urine-stained slippers, like a geriatric Jason Bourne. This is a centenarian who has nothing to lose. He's previously led a mercurial existence and this last hurrah is the cherry to crown a life of hurrahs. Crazily ludicrous and delightfully hilarious, we watch this man's Quixotic quest unfold at a snail's pace, though he is the tortoise to his trackers' hare. 'Bolt & Bucket' might sound like a great name for a hardware store, but these are in fact the idiot henchmen who have a part to play in the story. In his youth, Karlsson had already used up each one of his nine lives, at one stage daring to suggest to Stalin that he might look better with his moustache shaved off! I too chortled, chuckled and cackled while reading this inoffensive little novel, and it may tickle your funny bone too. The only thing that I don't like about the book is that it takes the best part of the day to type the title! : ) UPDATE: If you've already enjoyed the book, I'd like to recommend the movie DVD/Blu Ray, which I watched today. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Hundred-Year... https://www.amazon.com/100-Year-Old-C...

  7. 5 out of 5

    Libbeth

    If I could have read this book at school instead of dull text books 'O'level history would have been brought to life. I enjoyed the way historical figures and events were tied in with Allan's remarkable life story, I enjoyed the characters, the daftness of it all and of course what's not to love about an elephant.

  8. 5 out of 5

    F

    I loved this book! I have a soft spot for old men so maybe that helped! I totally adored this old man! Such a sweetie and lead a very interesting life being involved in key points in history. (although I did find one or two of these historic chapters dragged on a bit) Went straight into the story and the story was brillant. Had so many unexpected events and moments in this book. Great characters including the chief inspector. Was brillant and kept me hooked the entire I loved this book! I have a soft spot for old men so maybe that helped! I totally adored this old man! Such a sweetie and lead a very interesting life being involved in key points in history. (although I did find one or two of these historic chapters dragged on a bit) Went straight into the story and the story was brillant. Had so many unexpected events and moments in this book. Great characters including the chief inspector. Was brillant and kept me hooked the entire way through it. If in all honestly I did prefer the original story compared to the lengthy historic parts but they were very much enjoyed too. Loved it!

  9. 4 out of 5

    leslie hamod

    A debut novel by Jonas Jonasson, this book is laugh out loud funny! General fiction, easily read, a wonderful imaginative plot and... What characters! Oh indeed, the characters! This book is highly entertaining and thoughtfully designed to be particularly poignant and meaningful. The humour of the story is a guise, and a good one on the state of how we treat our elder!y. Allen Karlsson is 100 years old. He is the man who plans his escape. Why? He is not stupid, nor can he be stereotype A debut novel by Jonas Jonasson, this book is laugh out loud funny! General fiction, easily read, a wonderful imaginative plot and... What characters! Oh indeed, the characters! This book is highly entertaining and thoughtfully designed to be particularly poignant and meaningful. The humour of the story is a guise, and a good one on the state of how we treat our elder!y. Allen Karlsson is 100 years old. He is the man who plans his escape. Why? He is not stupid, nor can he be stereotyped as well. He may be old but he has many adventures left to live! It takes his 100th birthday for him to realize that he must leave! Although he literally climbs out a window to find more of life, I honestly believe the 'window ' is a dichotomy. The window may not literally be a window, as in the story, but may represent our need for more. Life, or social standing and title, as we become older becomes less important, less influential than it was during the peak of our lives and careers. I believe that Allen simply wants a way out of being obsolete. Allen is not done with life! He yearns for life. There are many symbolic and incredibly thoughtful expressions of interest in this literary revelation! When one reads about a hundred year old man climbing out a window, should the reader simply picture a window? Or is it so much more? What does the window now symbolize? And why are we laughing?! This book is a box of treasures! As soon as the reader thinks he is simply reading an amusing story, one realizes that another analogous door has opened and yes, in we go! Because who amoung is can resist! Wonderful! A MUST READ!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Simonne

    Totally bizar book :) A Forust gump kind of feeling. I've never read any kind of book like this one. The author made me wonder many times what to expect next and often I had a smile on my face. A bizar great fun kind of book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    My first thought upon finishing this book (and the thought will sound negative but it's really not) is that it was much longer than I thought it would be. And I say that, not negatively, because truly, how much can you expect from an 100-year-old man who climbs out of a window? Well, Allan Karlsson is not your typical 100-year-old man, and this book will prove it to you. I read some of the reviews before I started it, and many people compared the book to the movie Forrest Gump. After My first thought upon finishing this book (and the thought will sound negative but it's really not) is that it was much longer than I thought it would be. And I say that, not negatively, because truly, how much can you expect from an 100-year-old man who climbs out of a window? Well, Allan Karlsson is not your typical 100-year-old man, and this book will prove it to you. I read some of the reviews before I started it, and many people compared the book to the movie Forrest Gump. After finishing the book, I realize I hadn't once thought of Forrest Gump, nor made any comparisons. (Maybe I haven't seen Forrest Gump enough times). I enjoyed reading this book because it's very cleverly funny, and with so many historical figures thrown in you'll lose track of how Allan came into contact with them. From President Truman/Johnson/Nixon, Mao Tse-Tung, Kim Il-sung AND Kim Jong-il, Stalin, and Brezhnev, Allan's story is unbelievable and over-the-top. But the fact remains that, sometimes, life can be so unbelievable, it has to be true. The narrative goes between Allan's history and what happens to him after he climbs out of the window of the elderly folks home on his 100th birthday. The fact that Allan is in an old folks home would lead you to believe he's a doddering old man who has been deteriorating there for some time, but in fact he'd only been in the home for a few months, and only then because he'd blown his own house to the sky. Sound interesting? The book follows Allan through his past and present adventures and makes the reader feel kind of bad that they haven't had a coffee with at least ONE former communist leader (what kind of life have I been leading, anyway??) unlike Allan, who has sung, danced, drank, ate, AND had coffee - with a lot of them. I enjoyed Allan as a character who is extremely mild-mannered, with absolutely no interest in politics or religion, and thus ends up working and travelling to any number of political and religious places. The storyline and characters blend and flow very well, and while this wasn't a book I couldn't put down because I HAD to know what was going to happen, it did keep my interest and I enjoyed it. Plus...wouldn't you hope that - if you had the misfortune to make it to the age of 100 - you would be brave enough to climb out of a window and start over again?

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson Allan Karlsson is about to celebrate his hundredth birthday, and his retirement home in Malmköping is planning to throw a party. Allan is alert despite his age, but is not interested in attending the party. Instead, he climbs out the window and disappears. He walks to the nearest bus station, intending to travel as far as his available cash will allow. While at the bus station, he meets an angry young man The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson Allan Karlsson is about to celebrate his hundredth birthday, and his retirement home in Malmköping is planning to throw a party. Allan is alert despite his age, but is not interested in attending the party. Instead, he climbs out the window and disappears. He walks to the nearest bus station, intending to travel as far as his available cash will allow. While at the bus station, he meets an angry young man with a suitcase which he cannot bring into the toilet as it is too large, so he desperately asks Allan to take care of it. However, Allan's bus soon arrives and Allan boards it, taking the suitcase with him onto the bus. The suitcase turns out to be stuffed with drug dealers' money; Karlsson is chased by the dealers trying to recover their lost cash. Meanwhile, the retirement home calls the police to search for Allan. The police have no knowledge of the money and are only looking for Allan, who is known to be somewhat absent-minded. He gets caught up in criminal activity by accident and ends up, unknown to him, being hunted by both the police and a gang of murderous criminals. Allan manages to outwit one of the criminals with a help of a thief; the criminal freezes to death in a cooler and his body is later thrown into a container heading for Ethiopia. During his escape, Allan meets a few other people, including one who owned an elephant. Allan then outwits another gang member by getting the elephant to crush him to death; the gang member's body is inadvertently sent to Latvia in the boot of a Ford Mustang. ... تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانزدهم آگوست سال 2014 میلادی عنوان: مرد صد ساله‌ ای که از پنجره فرار کرد و ناپدید شد؛ نویسنده: یوناس یوناسون؛ مترجم: فرزانه طاهری؛ تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ سوم 1393، در 372 ص؛ شابک: 9789644485978؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئدی - سده 21 م در سال 1392 با عنوان: پیرمرد صد ساله ای که از پنجره بیرون پرید و ناپدید شد انتشارات به نگار؛ داستان زندگی پیرمرد قهرمان داستان، از ورای تاریخ سده ی بیستم میلادی را، البته به‌ طنز مرور می‌کنیم. در حقیقت نویسنده کتاب هر بار به بهانه‌ ای قهرمان داستان را در یک رشته رخدادهای تصادفی درگیر می‌کند، تا او با تعدادی از مهم‌ترین شخصیت‌های سیاسی سدهٔ بیستم میلادی دمخور شود: «استالین»، «فرانکو»، «ترومن»، «چرچیل»، «مائو»، «کیم ایل سونگ» و …، از این راه و با مرور یادمانهای پیرمرد، خوانشگر به صورت طنز، در بطن رویدادهایی همچون: «ساخت بمب اتم»، «جنگ‌های داخلی اسپانیا»، و «انقلاب چین»، قرار می‌گیرد. نویسنده حتی، قهرمان داستان را در سال‌های دهه ی 1320 هجری خورشیدی به ایران هم میآورد، و باعث میشود او توسط سازمان امنیت وقت دستگیر هم بشود. در این میان، نه راوی و نه آدم‌های اثر، هیچکدام در پی ارائه ی تصویری درست و واقعی، از زندگی و رخدادهای گذشته و حال نیستند: آن‌ها، واقعیت را در هم می‌شکنند، آن را به بازی می‌گیرند، و از نو بنایش می‌کنند. این ویران کردن و دوباره ساختن، در سایه ی طنز رخ میدهد؛ و طنز است که ماجراهای گذشته، و حال را، به هم پیوند می‌دهد، و ماجراها را پیش می‌برد. نویسنده در این اثر از: «رخدادهای تاریخی»، «اندیشه»، «فلسفه»، ک«تاب مقدس»، تا «مظاهر روزمره ی زندگی» را، به بازی طنز می‌گیرند، و دنیایی می‌سازند که به گفته ی خود ایشان به نحوی هوشمندانه، ابلهانه است. ا. شربیانی

  13. 5 out of 5

    Hal

    This novel is absolutely insane! It destroys any image you may have of the stoic, humorless Swede. You may want to avoid reading this book in public. Your guffaws, snickers and smiles are apt to draw weird looks from folks around you. "The 100-Year-Old Man..." was a hit when first published in Swedish and continued as a comedic smash when translated into English. It is certainly a rewriting of history. You meet a Franco, a Truman, a Mao, a Nixon and others along the way who This novel is absolutely insane! It destroys any image you may have of the stoic, humorless Swede. You may want to avoid reading this book in public. Your guffaws, snickers and smiles are apt to draw weird looks from folks around you. "The 100-Year-Old Man..." was a hit when first published in Swedish and continued as a comedic smash when translated into English. It is certainly a rewriting of history. You meet a Franco, a Truman, a Mao, a Nixon and others along the way who are nothing like the historic personages you think you know. Throw in a bunch of Swedes, some would-be criminals, a dull-witted prosecutor and an elephant and you have a story that is zany, hilarious and any other adjective you care to ascribe to it. And it all begins with a centenarian in a retirement home who couldn't/wouldn't face the hullabaloo over his 100th birthday and climbed out the window and disappeared and left hilarity in his wake.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Catriona

    A charming, sweet and often hilarious black comedy. Enter the world of Allan Karlsson - the 100 year old explosives expert who, during his rather extraordinary century, has met some of the most influential of world leaders, stolen from a ferocious gang member whilst he was in the toilet, developed an affinity with Sonja (who doesn't often take to people - she's quite a discerning elephant) and is a very loyal and protective cat owner. Not one for sitting quietly when it's time to do somethi A charming, sweet and often hilarious black comedy. Enter the world of Allan Karlsson - the 100 year old explosives expert who, during his rather extraordinary century, has met some of the most influential of world leaders, stolen from a ferocious gang member whilst he was in the toilet, developed an affinity with Sonja (who doesn't often take to people - she's quite a discerning elephant) and is a very loyal and protective cat owner. Not one for sitting quietly when it's time to do something, Allan decides to leave his old folks home on the day of his 100th birthday. Chaos ensues as Allan decides to leave the home, pick a direction and see what will happen next. After all, things are what they are, and whatever will be will be...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charlotte May

    2.5 stars. I really had to push myself through this. The premise was great - a one hundred year old man climbs out of the window in his old people's home and goes on an adventure, meanwhile we follow a separate timeline of his life before the home - Forrest Gump style. I genuinely thought it would be great, and actually the present day parts were quite funny sometimes albeit just plain ridiculous everywhere else! But the parts that flashed back to his past, where he seemed to meet every politica 2.5 stars. I really had to push myself through this. The premise was great - a one hundred year old man climbs out of the window in his old people's home and goes on an adventure, meanwhile we follow a separate timeline of his life before the home - Forrest Gump style. I genuinely thought it would be great, and actually the present day parts were quite funny sometimes albeit just plain ridiculous everywhere else! But the parts that flashed back to his past, where he seemed to meet every political leader and contribute to both sides in nearly every war was just too much for me. I love a bit of madness and things that are obscure don't bother me, but I just couldn't work out how I was supposed to process this. As humorous craziness? Or just mad old coincidences? Believable but unlikely stories told by a senile old man? I just couldn't make it fit in my mind, not to mention all the name dropping and political alliances that my poor brain just couldn't follow and frankly didn't care about either! Not for me I'm afraid, I'll give an extra half star for creativity but I don't think I'll be reading anymore of Jonasson's books.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    My first impulse was to give this a one-star rating, and after about two seconds of thinking, I did exactly that. However, after a more careful revision and after re-reading a couple of passages, I decided this should get a solid two-star rating. The reason is simple: a one star rating, by my mind, is for a book I deem incomparably stupid and written by an imbecile who can't put a couple of words together to form an at least decent story. I have given one star ratings before, and after looking t My first impulse was to give this a one-star rating, and after about two seconds of thinking, I did exactly that. However, after a more careful revision and after re-reading a couple of passages, I decided this should get a solid two-star rating. The reason is simple: a one star rating, by my mind, is for a book I deem incomparably stupid and written by an imbecile who can't put a couple of words together to form an at least decent story. I have given one star ratings before, and after looking through them, I have to admit that, in my opinion, they were totally deserved. "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared" is not that bad. I didn't find anything I particularly liked about the book, or anything that would be considered "good" in terms of fiction, but one of my criteria for giving something one star is that it has to have horrible writing. The kind filled with adverbs (Stephen King is right, you know), where there's no sentence longer than four words, where there's no development in style or even a good old fashioned bit of text that sorta-really-actually resembles another piece of writing. It wasn't like that with Jonasson's book; the writing isn't especially disgusting or in any way a horrible experience. Most of it could be turned on to the decent side, if he would just pay more attention to details. That's why, in the end, this gets two little golden shining stars. For starters, this book is absurd. And not absurd in the fictional way, not fantasy-absurd. No. Real absurd. There's nothing plausible about this work. I know, after reading it, that it was probably meant to be absurd and that in general fiction is supposed to touch on situations that might not be real, but Jonasson went out of his way to make this one really test your patience! And, frankly, it does just that - it doesn't appeal to your imagination, rather it punches your endurance right in the face and yells at her until you finally decide you've had enough. Now, don't bust my balls over this. Fiction - I do know - is not real. But at least with good fiction, the author tries to make it as plausible as possible. In here, the absurdity was multiplied by the horrifying sense of humor that the author seemed to enjoy. I won't even bother with a full synopsis, I'll just strike through what I though were really bad moments. Apparently, Allan (the centenarian the title of the book is referring to) saved and had an eccentric dinner with general Franco, during which they came to be on first-name terms. After that, he was commanded by Roosevelt to create a bomb (hello there, nuke); he spent some time in libraries, researching in order to understand the chemical reactions that Americans were using for their weapons, and he single-handedly solved the biggest problem they had: controlling a nuclear fission. Between two sessions at that most secret library, he would serve coffee at Oppenheimer's table. While being there, as a waiter, he decided to suggest to Oppenheimer to split the uranium in two equal parts and detonate the bomb before it reached the destination. At the exact same time, Vice President Truman sort of walked into the room, found out what happened and declared Allan hero of the day, asking him to join in for a bite in Washington, at his favorite Mexican restaurant. After they drank a dubious amount of tequila, Allan and Truman were, of course, best buddies. The Vice President apparently amused Allan by imitating the pathetic attempts Roosevelt made when he tried to get up from his wheelchair. Funny, really, because some minutes later, the centenarian was there to hear the first announcement of Roosevelt's death. Does this whole scene seem plausible, in any way, to you? While we're on the subject of world leaders that Allan had dinner with, let's not forget to include Stalin and Mao; they really entertained him with amazing dinners, with the exception of Mao, who only had noodles to offer him. I mean, that always happens in normal life, right? At one point, it's also suggested that he was the one who ordered the bombing of Hiroshima, on the 6th of August 1945, though by my humble opinion, the author got the bomber model wrong. He says it's a B56, but it was a Boeing B29 Superfotress; the B56 is another kind of tactical bomber. Plus, Allan was apparently a highly intelligent man and could learn new languages in a matter of months. Originally, he was from Sweden. I understood the affinity for English, which is a simple language, for Spanish, which is not so simple but still a pretty straightforward one, but I stopped believing him at Chinese. For real, Jonasson? Also, because of how the 20th century went, I was positive he would also get to learn Russian - and I was in no way wrong. He picked it up, by his own saying, in a school named "Gulag". Nice joke, Jonasson. You're really making me laugh. It was never funny. Not even "sarcastic-smile" funny. Not even "you-should-smile-at-this-because-the-author-tried-to-be-witty" funny. Never. Let me give you an example of what I had to sit through, page after page: "The bad news", said Julius, and lowered his voice a little, "the bad news is that when we were well and truly pissed last night, we forgot to turn off the fan in the freezer-room." "And?" said Allan. "And... the guy inside must be dead cold - or cold dead - by now." With a worried look, Allan scratched his neck while he decided whether to let the news of his carelessness spoil the day. "Oh dear," he said. "But, on the other hand, I must say that you've got these eggs just right, not too hard and not too runny." Yes. That is the wit this author brings to the table. Can't make much of it. I doubt many people can make much of it. It's nonsense, it's empty blabber, his dialogue is composed mostly of useless, senseless jokes that are supposed to evidentiate his character's philosophy of life. Which is, basically: "it is what it is, therefore, what will be will be." I can't think of anything stupider than that. I'm ok with accepting what comes your way in life, but extending that philosophy to anything and everything in your path is mentally unhealthy and doesn't make for a very good fighter when life throws you something you have to struggle with. The characters' conscience seems to have been thrown out the window, because killing people becomes just a minor deficiency of their trip and is dismissed as unimportant. They never panic - they don't even scare at the sight of human bodies and they're as comfortable when disposing of them as a 50 year old experienced Russian mercenary. Then there comes an even more confusing part to the story - the elephant. Sonya (the elephant), seems to be an enriching element. Was it put into the story to give it depth? I don't know. But related to her was this book's funniest moment: the death of Bucket, a petty thief and a certified idiot. He threatened Allan with a gun, but then the centenarian man had the brilliant idea to make him slide and fall into one of Sonya's dumps and command the elephant to sit down... on top of the poor guy. Consequently, Bucket died, squashed by an elephant's butt. What was this particular Scandinavian smoking when he wrote this?!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Supratim

    Allan Karlsson is the hundred year old man who climbed out of the wind of an old age home and disappeared. He had actually fled from the restrictive confines of the old age home. On a whim, he would also steal a bag full of cash from a gang member and thus begins his adventures. He would make friends, both humans and animals, and a few enemies as well. We would also get to know about the incredible life Allan had led. The chapters would alternate between his past and the present adventures. Allan Karlsson is the hundred year old man who climbed out of the wind of an old age home and disappeared. He had actually fled from the restrictive confines of the old age home. On a whim, he would also steal a bag full of cash from a gang member and thus begins his adventures. He would make friends, both humans and animals, and a few enemies as well. We would also get to know about the incredible life Allan had led. The chapters would alternate between his past and the present adventures. If you can suspend your disbelief , then you might enjoy the story. Why did I say this? Because, Allan had not only been involved in some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but had rubbed shoulders with some of the most powerful people in the world such as Stalin, Mao, Truman and General Franco. The adventures are very difficult to digest but fun. Allan had a particular skill – he was a very competent explosive expert, and intentionally or unintentionally people around him were often blown up. Now, Allan was a “politically blind” person without the slightest intention in religion. But, always found himself in situations where he was forced to use his deadly skills. Allan’s exploits reminded me of the adventures of Forrest Gump. But, unlike Forrest our protagonist was not a socially awkward person, rather he knew what to say and what to do. Though somewhat laid back and not devious, Allan knew when to change sides when it suited him. Allan’s present adventure was fun, but I enjoyed the adventures of his past life more. Some people have called this novel a “dark comic” but the story had a bit too happy ending for most of the characters in the story. If you can digest absurd adventures and do not mind a lot people being shot or blown to bits, then you might want to check out the book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Margitte

    This is the most hilarious, off-the-charts, tragicomedy-idea I have read in a long time. Probably the most outrageous bucket list in motion ever constructed as a plot. I felt a little bit psycho for sniggering where I should not. And laughing out loud made me question my own levels of emotional intelligence! But really, the book is written so bizarrely funny, I just could not help myself. Did I stop reading when I thought to rather see a shrink than continue? Of course not! The action-packed mur This is the most hilarious, off-the-charts, tragicomedy-idea I have read in a long time. Probably the most outrageous bucket list in motion ever constructed as a plot. I felt a little bit psycho for sniggering where I should not. And laughing out loud made me question my own levels of emotional intelligence! But really, the book is written so bizarrely funny, I just could not help myself. Did I stop reading when I thought to rather see a shrink than continue? Of course not! The action-packed murder, suspense, thriller had me tied to the characters, of which Sonya the elephant was my favorite, like a desperate closet-masochist! It is not really a murder | Suspense | thriller, but it contains many of the elements there of. You not only have to think outside the box here, you will have to stand outside it as well and make sure to drag a ton of salt with you. You won't make it otherwise! Everything in the book could have happened, but not with the satirical twist it was done with. Crazy, obscene, and cynically brilliant. It is more or less a hundred years of world history summarized in one aged old man's life story. Just imagine if it all could have been true! Indeed, an unusual rendition of the question 'what if'! The book reminds me so much about the Broadway black comedy play, which became a successful motion picture "The Little Horror Shop". In the one scene a masochist is waiting in the dentist's office for his turn, when the sadistic dentist comes out with a huge bore machine yelling "who wants to have a slow...painful...bridge!" The little masochist excitedly jumped up and down on his chair, pleading "Me!....Do Me!....oh please do me!" - or something like that. And the audience fell down laughing, including yours truly, scared into anaphylactic shock! Yes, as someone commented elsewhere, it can be Forest Gump on steroids, and in my humble opinion, it would have taken a few truck loads of the stuff for Forest to become Alan Emmanuel Karlsson. It is the same idea as "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" Yes, very much the same, come to think of it! Only this time the bus accommodates the one-hundred-year-old Alan Emmanuel Karlsson, who decided to elope from the old-age home in his Swedish town, and his cronies, whom he met on his new adventure: Julius Johnsson(67), eternal student Benny Ljungberg, the red-haired Gunilla Björkund, newly-religious food-wholesaler Bosse(Benny's brother), gangster-boss Per-Gunmar Gerdin, Sonya the elephant and the Alsation dog, Buster. In hot pursuit was Chief Inspector Göran Aronsson, the police dog Kicki, and prosecutor Ranelid. This is social commentary at its most bizarre, which makes it even more hilarious. Hilarious in the sense of plot and the execution there of. The two parallel stories, told in alternating chapters, both revert the ordinary into the extraordinary in consistent high drama. Most of this book can be offered as stand-up comedy and it will raise the roof of the venue with hysterical laughter. But, you must have a healthy sense of humor to appreciate it. In the end, I walked away with a smile and will forever do so when I see this book on my shelves. It made me laugh at the world. For today it is okay. Tomorrow is another day. But right now the world is a much better place because this story made me laugh for everything that is wrong with our human existence. Just for once. Kudos to Bobby McFerrin's song: Don't worry, be happy!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Maybe he thought the window was the bathroom door? Just sayin…. After all, he’s 100 years old--he's probably down a few pints by now and the bathroom may not be where he thinks it is. Nah, in truth I don't think the guy thought the window led to the bathroom; I think the old fool really did want to escape. But let’s get real—this guy was nuts! You wouldn’t see me climbing out of any damn window if I were 100! I’d want to stay inside, installed on my comfy recliner, staying warm in my turquoise, Maybe he thought the window was the bathroom door? Just sayin…. After all, he’s 100 years old--he's probably down a few pints by now and the bathroom may not be where he thinks it is. Nah, in truth I don't think the guy thought the window led to the bathroom; I think the old fool really did want to escape. But let’s get real—this guy was nuts! You wouldn’t see me climbing out of any damn window if I were 100! I’d want to stay inside, installed on my comfy recliner, staying warm in my turquoise, moth-eaten socks. I’d have my BP meds, big-print book, and cup of lukewarm tea on the table next to me (they wouldn’t allow my shaky 100-year-old hand to hold a cup of scalding hot, now would they?), while I rocked on out to Judge Judy. Now, me, I probably would mistake the window for the bathroom door. But even if I made it outside without breaking a hip, I’d make a beeline to the front door and pound like mad, begging to be let back in, yelling for someone to open the damn door before I peed my pants. But not this guy, oh no. He ran for the hills. Okay. Enough of this silliness, on to the book. I like funny, I got funny, big time. So what’s with the 3-star rating? I say rip out all the chapters of the back story, and we have us a deal. Seriously, this book was a kick but it needed to be half as long. The story is about the escapades of a 100-year-old geezer, Allan, who escapes out the window of his nursing home. The second his feet hit the ground, the fun starts. He gets himself in all kinds of trouble with all sorts of people (and one elephant—seriously, the author pulls this off so it seems only funny, not stupid). The story is action-packed and Allan is a riot. I couldn’t take my eyes off the show, but oh no, I had to, because that was only half the book. Man was I pissed I had to keep leaving the party! The other half (whose chapters alternate with the here-and-now story) is about Allan’s wild and crazy days of the past. Like I said, I wanted to rip out all the chapters about his past life. It seemed to me, in my snit, that there were way more pages telling of the past. I am not a skimmer, but skim I did, in several places. It wasn’t that Allan’s past was boring, it for sure wasn’t—the author is forever clever. Allan is such a weird guy. He knows how to make atomic bombs (which interests many of the world leaders he meets), but his claim to fame is his easy-going, fearless, wheeler-dealer personality, which always gets him out of jams. But two things about this back story: First, I never thought I’d say this, but I now think there is such a thing as too much jam in the jam-packed. Allan had so many exciting things happen to him, he got himself into so many pickles, I found myself saying, oh here we go again—please, enough already! Allan may be a whopping 100 years old, but I was more focused on the fact that the book is a whopping 400 pages. Too long to laugh! Maybe it’s not possible to sustain funny for that many pages. Imagine watching a stand-up comedian for hours; you’d probably get bored after a while, or your brain would just stop paying attention because it would be too much work. The author was trying to cram the whole cake down my throat, but I kept begging him to cut me just a little piece—I don’t want to get sick! And the second reason I didn’t like the back story, and this was the biggest reason, was that it was all about Allan’s encounters with world leaders. He had run-ins with Truman, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and Churchill, among others. I hate reading about politics and history. If I were a politico, knew more about world leaders, I probably would have appreciated it. My bet is that the author had a blast writing this book—I don’t think it could be so funny, otherwise. And I’m guessing that while he was writing it, he had absolutely no idea where it was going; he let the characters guide him rather than the other way around. I’d be surprised if he worked from much of an outline; the absurdities felt like they appeared out of nowhere. I say this because goofing around (and with questionable talent), I’ve written something in the same vein (with my daughter, and we did it all through texting!) and the fun was in watching where the story would go. It’s surprising where your head goes when you let it all hang out! When you get somewhere, you’re left scratching your head, wondering how you got to this weird and wild and wonderful made-up place, but then there’s a little voice that says Top That! And you’re off to the races again, creating more and more outrageous scenes. As a reader, I loved going on the exciting and bizarre ride with this author. This guy is brilliant and funny. I mean really funny. My favorite kind of funny is absurd, and he has absurd down pat. The book was like an adult fairy tale that was firmly based in the absurd. But whenever I went into the world of famous leaders, I was taken out of fairy-tale land. I don’t think fairy tales and politics go together, at all! I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m frustrated that this wasn’t two separate books: A book about Allan’s adventures now, and a book about Allan’s adventures back then. I would buy the first book, but not the second. And that first book would get 5 stars. Meanwhile, I sort of have a stomach ache from too much cake!!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Elyse Walters

    Want to know where 'the old man' went when he climbed out of the window? Curious? Stop reading the reviews --trust your friend --and take the journey yourself. [MANY other great reviews if you 'must' read some]. This book is priceless! 'Dudes' too will enjoy this book, also! Reading this, *Gary*! lol

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    “… if you couldn’t know for sure then there was no point in going around guessing.” “The 100-Year –Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared” is a novel that should not be taken to be more than it is. Do not expect this book to be great and you will be pleased. I don’t recall how it got on my ‘too read’ pile, I assume it was heavily discounted at the bookstore. Reviewers keep comparing it to “Forrest Gump” and having seen the movie, but never read that text, I assume it is. T “… if you couldn’t know for sure then there was no point in going around guessing.” “The 100-Year –Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared” is a novel that should not be taken to be more than it is. Do not expect this book to be great and you will be pleased. I don’t recall how it got on my ‘too read’ pile, I assume it was heavily discounted at the bookstore. Reviewers keep comparing it to “Forrest Gump” and having seen the movie, but never read that text, I assume it is. The protagonist of the title is centenarian Allan Karlsson, who in the course of stumbling quite complacently through life has played a role in some major events of the 20th century. The novel is told from the present day, where the 100 year old walks out of his nursing home to avoid a 100th birthday party, and in flashbacks that details the events of the last century that brought him to that nursing home. That’s it, that’s the book. It took me about 60 pages or so to not be annoyed with the text (something about the style irritated me, but that might be the issue of translation from the original Swedish) but I eventually got over it. The novel’s humor is absurdist, and often quite clever. Although it did seem a bit redundant at times I enjoyed that aspect of the text. The author, Jonas Jonasson, also brings the story full circle with some clever plot machinations and that is also fun. “The 100-…Disappeared” is a quick read, and if there is any big “message” it is that sometimes when we just accept life as it comes we can handle it better. Being content in most circumstances is not a bad lesson to learn. Plus, the novel is so relentlessly upbeat! And that is a nice thing. I enjoyed the read, and expect no more from it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Sven

    This book is in need of a better, more descriptive title than The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. Seriously, it's about as imaginative as "Jonas Jonasson." Here is a list of some alternative titles for your consideration Jonas son of himself - how about The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Went on a Killing Spree or The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Likes to Blow Stuff Up or The Hundred-Year-Old/>The/>The/>The This book is in need of a better, more descriptive title than The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. Seriously, it's about as imaginative as "Jonas Jonasson." Here is a list of some alternative titles for your consideration Jonas son of himself - how about The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Went on a Killing Spree or The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Likes to Blow Stuff Up or The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Influenced the Major Political events of the 20th Century Then there are all the "How to" type titles like... The Hundred-Year-Old Man's DIY guide to building an Atomic Bomb and The Hundred-Year-Old Man's guide to making 50 million in 50 seconds What about my personal favourite The Hundred-Year-Old Man's Tips on How to Train your Elephant - From Toilet Training to Assassination...or How to Bury Your Enemies in Shite This book appealed somewhat to the inner Swede in me. Not that I grew up in Sweden but I have visited just about all the Swedish places mentioned in the book. The story is a black comedy - or at least as black as a Swede can get. I think I was more amused at what Swedes find funny than the humour itself. Anyway, Allan Karlsson, a Centenarian (Hundred-year-old) escapes from his nursing home and goes on an adventure that will see him tangle with thieves and drug lords, all while staying one step ahead of the law - more by accident than design. We then get Allan's backstory which covers his life and influence on a swag of the politics and politicians of the mid to late 20th century. Allan Karlsson has rubbed shoulders with the likes of Mao, Stalin, Truman and a heap of other notable world leaders - And why would any of them be interested in Allan? Because Allan likes to blow things up. He's very good with explosives - from little ones to the very biggest of all. At some point the backstory becomes the main story with the present day adventure being more of an interlude - which was a shame because I preferred the present day Hundred-year-old Allan's story. Allan mixing it up with notable world famous characters was cute the first couple of times but after that it was starting to get old. The story ended well, though the very last lines did nothing to easy my Australian paranoia of an Indonesian invasion. Overall a fast fun read even though it's not something I would usually go for. That's the benefit of group reads. 3 stars

  23. 5 out of 5

    Steven Godin

    Abandoned p/77. Couldn't connect with it at all, Allan Karlsson, the one hundred year old man in question was a pain in the bum, even in the brief time I spent in his company. The writing also felt lackluster and lazy. If Jonasson set out with the good intentions to pen a warm-hearted, funny and feel good novel then fair enough, he has probably achieved this for the vast majority. Well, I am not in the vast majority, as in my eyes it was just plain bad, but at least I gave it a s Abandoned p/77. Couldn't connect with it at all, Allan Karlsson, the one hundred year old man in question was a pain in the bum, even in the brief time I spent in his company. The writing also felt lackluster and lazy. If Jonasson set out with the good intentions to pen a warm-hearted, funny and feel good novel then fair enough, he has probably achieved this for the vast majority. Well, I am not in the vast majority, as in my eyes it was just plain bad, but at least I gave it a shot.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    It reminds me a lot of Forrest Gump in that we've got a a goofy character who is edited into a ton of 20th-century historical landmarks; he is completely apolitical, loves to blow shit up, and is delightfully devil-may care. His elderly self hasn't changed in the slightest, and so we can continue to see the world through a pair of skewed eyes that are nonetheless quite fun. At first, I thought this might have turned into a modern-day Candide, but the story is still focuses very much on story and It reminds me a lot of Forrest Gump in that we've got a a goofy character who is edited into a ton of 20th-century historical landmarks; he is completely apolitical, loves to blow shit up, and is delightfully devil-may care. His elderly self hasn't changed in the slightest, and so we can continue to see the world through a pair of skewed eyes that are nonetheless quite fun. At first, I thought this might have turned into a modern-day Candide, but the story is still focuses very much on story and has veered away fairly successfully from allegory. So, after finishing the novel, I can say that it has successfully veered away from any type of overt allegory, may the allegorical heavens be praised. On the other hand, I enjoyed the way that our intrepid hero managed to comment about so many political features of the 20th century by being so apolitical. I personally enjoyed the progress, having read and enjoyed so much history in much the same way the author has. He stayed away from some hot topics of debate and blithely character-dropped the big movers and shakers and it was a blast. I understand there will be a movie? In that case, I certainly hope the cast of actors are up to the job or the CGI gives more than credible performances or else the movie will bomb very hard, otherwise. The novel's strength lies in the reader's nodding at events they've either lived or have a more than passing interest in. Otherwise, the novel becomes a novelette about the zany adventures of craftily created random characters that are so much larger than life precisely because they also have to stand up to real people in the past that did so many great things. (As we are made to believe for our intrepid hero.) If that's the case, then it's a decent enough comedy, but if you're taking the whole novel as a piece, then I'm sure you will be pleasantly surprised by the stroll.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Icewineanne

    This is such a fun book. The story begins with Allan Karlsson, running away from his nursing home on the afternoon of his 100th birthday - just before the celebration is about to begin (with the Mayor & local media in attendance no less). He makes his way to the local bus station. And while he's waiting for a bus to take him out of town, a young tough asks him to guard his suitcase while he goes to the bathroom. Of course the bus arrives while the man is in the bathroom, and Allan doesn’t he This is such a fun book. The story begins with Allan Karlsson, running away from his nursing home on the afternoon of his 100th birthday - just before the celebration is about to begin (with the Mayor & local media in attendance no less). He makes his way to the local bus station. And while he's waiting for a bus to take him out of town, a young tough asks him to guard his suitcase while he goes to the bathroom. Of course the bus arrives while the man is in the bathroom, and Allan doesn’t hesitate, he boards the bus with the other man’s suitcase, unsure what it contains, but really hoping for a pair of shoes because he left the nursing home with only slippers on his feet. Half the town is already looking for Allan Karlsson.......and now, so is the man who came back to find his suitcase stolen. He's furious, vowing to kill Allan when he finds him. This is just the beginning of his hilarious journey, while on the run he meets a variety of quirky characters and where he looks back at his adventures during his 100 year life (he was a bomb expert, present at most major historical events). The story goes back forth between Allan’s past & the present chase to catch up with him. And like cartoon characters, Allan takes a licking & keeps on ticking!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Carmen

    Hilarious book about a 100-year-old man who crawls out of the Nursing Home window and goes on many adventures involving, but not limited to: murder, elephants, and robbery. The chapters about what's going on with Allan (the old man) now, at age 100, are interspersed with chapters about his many adventures in the past as an explosives expert. In his extensive worldwide travels he meets and befriends Franco, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Presidents Truman and Johnson, Churchill, etc. etc. I lov Hilarious book about a 100-year-old man who crawls out of the Nursing Home window and goes on many adventures involving, but not limited to: murder, elephants, and robbery. The chapters about what's going on with Allan (the old man) now, at age 100, are interspersed with chapters about his many adventures in the past as an explosives expert. In his extensive worldwide travels he meets and befriends Franco, Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Presidents Truman and Johnson, Churchill, etc. etc. I love the bare-bones style Jonasson uses in this book, which reminds me of my beloved Karin Fossum. I also admire Allan's constant laissez-faire attitude about everything. He just goes with the flow and it usually works out to his advantage. I adore chill men, and I loved reading about this guy - he was like the epitome of chill. I laughed while reading this book. This book is sort of a fairytale for adults - it reminded me of THE MOUSE THAT ROARED, which is also a sort of adult fairytale in my opinion. June 2014: The REAL 100-year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared: Link in Spanish: http://www.bbc.co.uk/mundo/ultimas_no... Link in English: http://abcnews.go.com/International/b...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Noeleen

    I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. I did know that I was in the mood for a right aul giggle and this little gem of a story most certainly didn't disappoint. Taking us on a journey through the main historical events of the 20th century, Allan Karlsson has certainly lived an eventful, out of the ordinary, crazy life, meeting the top players in the political arena as he does so. Not only that, but our Alla I didn't know what to expect when I started reading Jonas Jonasson’s The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. I did know that I was in the mood for a right aul giggle and this little gem of a story most certainly didn't disappoint. Taking us on a journey through the main historical events of the 20th century, Allan Karlsson has certainly lived an eventful, out of the ordinary, crazy life, meeting the top players in the political arena as he does so. Not only that, but our Allan has had an enormous impact on many of these events. Taking it all in his stride, is he bothered? No, not really! Rather than being politically minded or politically persuaded one way or the other, his main concern appears to be when and where his next good meal will come from, when and where his next shot of vodka will appear Amongst all the fun within these pages, there are important underlying messages for the reader to consider...ageing, unlikely friendships that are sometimes found in the most unexpected ways, the importance of living one's life to the fullest, a life that you will only live once and therefore taking chances and grasping opportunities when they are presented to you In summary, this novel is weird, wacky and wonderful. There are many laugh out loud moments. Recommended if you are looking for a good giggle and an interesting and bizarre take on the main historical events of the 20th century

  28. 5 out of 5

    Victoria

    Let’s be honest, it’s a ridiculous title. I like ridiculous titles though, they breed curiosity at the very least (even if they do get shortened in discussion for ease and amusement – my favourite shortened title thus far is “Heartbreaking sh*tty sh*itness” – 5 points to the person who works out the full title first). So when Betty picked this for book club this month, I was at least drawn in by the title (and of course by the author’s fantastic name). And the ridiculousness of the title most d Let’s be honest, it’s a ridiculous title. I like ridiculous titles though, they breed curiosity at the very least (even if they do get shortened in discussion for ease and amusement – my favourite shortened title thus far is “Heartbreaking sh*tty sh*itness” – 5 points to the person who works out the full title first). So when Betty picked this for book club this month, I was at least drawn in by the title (and of course by the author’s fantastic name). And the ridiculousness of the title most definitely suits the equally ridiculous story. It does pretty much what it says on the tin (er…cover) – a centenarian climbs out of the window of his old-people’s home and vanishes. Except he doesn’t vanish, because we follow his adventure, as well as learning about all the fantastic escapades he had through his life. Fantastic they most definitely are, spanning almost the entire twentieth century and including lunch with pretty much every world leader going. The story itself gets quite absurd and I know that grates on some people – in fact, I’m surprised it didn’t grate on me (when I read the blurb, I was certainly expecting it to) but in fact, the more ridiculous the story gets, and the more that the reader is asked to suspend belief, the more wonderful the novel becomes. Its comedy starts out light but gradually becomes laugh-out-loud hilarity and my husband-to-be shot more than one glance at me for my random chuckles as he attempted to watch TV. In fact, when I related some of the tales and misadventures to him, they became even funnier and at one point, we were both creased over with happy tears in our eyes and I couldn’t get to the end of my sentence (he hadn’t read it of course, but laughter is contagious and some of the events are down-right riotous). Allan (the centenarian) is a magnificent character with a wonderful attitude to life, and I wonder whether a carefree and positive view on life is the way to get to that grand old age. That or the substantial amounts of vodka the characters here seem to drink. He wasn’t the only endearing character either – I loved them all, even down to the cartoon depictions of Stalin and Truman. Herbert Einstein is seat-wettingly funny, Benny is fantastically clever and the Never Again crew should win awards for cheesiest criminal gang in existence. This is a feel-good novel down to the ground. It’s a pleasantly light and humorous farce, interspersed with a brief history of communism and the atomic bomb. It’s the first book in a long while that has given me a good deal of a trance like ‘book hangover’ and has made me want to delve into the hitherto unknown (to me) world of Swedish literature. I just hope they don’t all spend so long naming the cars that their protagonists use!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ace

    I'm not sure what I was expecting the 'story' to be with this book that has such a great title, but I didn't enjoy it. I was not interested in the million things that had happened to Allan over the last 100 years. I thought it was all a bit ridiculous and I didn't connect with him or anyone else in the book, not even the elephant! I absolutely loved The girl who saved the king of Sweden, so I'm baffled as to why this one didn't do it for me. 2 stars.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Adina

    This weekend I saw the movie based on the book and I decided to upgrade my rating because I realized I enjoyed this book a lot. This is the perfect example of a well executed dark comedy. Jonas Jonasson sets the bar for humor literature for me. Such a a crazy, imaginative, delightful book this is.

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