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

31 10 2018

The title really doesn’t give much away beyond the first page! Allan Karlsson doesn’t want to attend his 100th birthday party in the old people’s home, so he runs away – simple! Clearly there’s much more to it.

The book alternates between two stories.

  • Firstly, following on from Allan’s escape, he ends up accidentally involved in some criminal activity with someone he meets, and so they end up on the run. They meet someone else who joins them, the journey continues, and the group gradually grows, along with some other unfortunate mishaps.
  • Secondly, Allan’s life story up until his 100th birthday! It turns out he’s had a most interesting life, has met all sorts of world leaders and of some become their friend, and has influenced way more world events than you could imagine. And amongst all of this, he’s the most optimistic and relaxed person you ever did meet.

Because of the stories of his life, I ended up learning all sorts of 20th Century history – all about the Korean War, Stalin, General Franco, and many more This makes it sound like a serious book, but it also contains a large amount of absurdity, and a passion for vodka wherever he finds himself!

The book was actually originally written in Swedish and translated to English, but you really don’t notice that – it’s been done well.

It took me a while to get into the book, but once I got into it, it really did grip me, wanting to know how both stories would resolve!

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One response

2 11 2018
Toni

The film is fun to watch too, though I suspect it skims/tweaks the story considerably.

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