Thursday, January 23, 2014

The 100-Year-Old Man...

...Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, by Jonas Jonasson.

This book was written in Swedish and translated into English, and I think it is probably a lot funnier in Swedish, but still very captivating and funny, in a "dry humor" sort of way. The movie version came out in Sweden last month. I wonder if I'll ever get to see it.

It's about a 100 year-old man named Allan Karlsson who climbs out his nursing home bedroom window on the afternoon of his 100th birthday in order to escape the birthday party that the nursing home director, "Director Alice", has planned for him and accidentally begins a grand adventure wherein he is charged (quite unfairly and hysterically, I might add) with the murder of 3 people. The chapters jump back and forth in time but I didn't have any trouble keeping track of what time it was as I read from chapter to chapter - it is clear from the story what time it is. Allan meets all sorts of real-life famous and influential and important people throughout his life, and has an impact on world history and events without ever having to care about anything. Naturally he would rather not be locked up in a Russian work prison for 5 years, but as long as they keep him busy and supplied with vodka every now and then, he doesn't find too much to complain about.

It is a long book - 516 pages in the large print edition I ended up with from the public library. But the story moves along at a brisk pace and the only reason I noticed the length is because there are more books in my queue that I am anxious to get to before I have to return them to the library.

I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a lighthearted and unique story that takes license with history. How funny and interesting to think about the possibility of it being true!

1 comment:

  1. I just got it for my kindle. Saw that he also wrote one called, "The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden", so you might want to check to see if the library has it. :)