Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (Trasnlated by Rod Bradbury)


Summary (from Goodreads):

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.


I received this novel as a gift a few months ago, added it to my TBR pile and became distracted by other books. I didn’t give the novel another thought, that is until one of my students demanded that I read it because, “It’s SOOO good!” So, I did.

And the verdict … is that it was a good story. Allan’s past is extraordinary because not only does he have adventures like crossing the Himalaya’s on foot, but he becomes friends with presidents and dictators, and influences decisions that shape the twentieth century (very much in the vain of Forest Gump). However, Allan’s present adventures are equally impressive considering he’s one hundred years old when by sheer accident events happen to him leading to a very confused investigation by the police, and Allan making new friends.

Overall, while this is not my usual type of read, it was interesting and kept me engaged and amused (there’s a bit with an elephant and things being squished that I particularly enjoyed). Recommended.




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