Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of a Window and Disappeared



Title: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of a Window and Disappeared

Author: Jonas Jonasson

Number of pages: 400

Started: 8 October 2012

Finished: 16 October 2012

Opening words:

You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to inform his surroundings of his decision. But Allan Karlsson had never been given to pondering things too long.

So the idea had barely taken hold in the old man’s head before he opened the window of his room on the ground floor of the Old Folks’ Home in the town of Malmk√∂ping, and stepped out— into the flower bed

Read a longer extract here

Plot summary:

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.

What I thought:

I enjoyed this book, which was a trip through history through the unlikely adventures of an unknown Swedish man who stumbles across through different characters from history throughout his hundred year life.  That said, I thought that by the end it was beginning to lose some of its originality, but it was worth a read nonetheless.

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