The 100-Year-Old Man

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I had no choice but to read this book.

I admit that I had tried to put it aside, to choose other books that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time, but for whatever reason, this one always seemed to find its way back into my hands. Because of its title, I had been a little sceptical about the story, but I was also curious to know how a fictional work based on the life of a centenarian could garner such great reviews. Despite my scepticism, Jonas Jonasson’s novel, “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared” was a surprisingly good read.

On his one hundredth birthday, Allan Karlsson decides to climb out the window and run away from the old people’s home where he is currently a resident. He steals a suitcase and gets on a bus. The suitcase happens to belong to a criminal, who understandably, wants to get his suitcase back.

Alternating between a Forest Gumpish past and a present punctuated by intrigue, crime, and a cop-and-robber chase, we learn that Allan has managed somehow to infiltrate into several key historical moments like the rise of Franco in Spain and the building of the atomic bomb, as well as into the lives of several historically significant characters like Truman, Stalin, Mao and Kim Il Sung. Regardless of these encounters with fate, Allan appears nonchalant and detached in every scene in the novel, which makes the story hilariously ironic.

(In my opinion, the story would have been so much better if Jonasson had concentrated more on Allan’s fascinating past instead of on his adventurous present.)

Overall, “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared” is a wonderful read. Funny, captivating and informative, it a reliable addition to your summer reading list.

Athena

Grab yourself a copy here!

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