A big celebration is in the works at the old folks’ home for Allan Karlsson’s 100th birthday, but he wants nothing to do with it. Just as partygoers are arriving, he climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious journey full of antics and escapades. Allan has a larger-than-life backstory. By comic twists of fate, he played key roles in some of the most important events of the 20th century: Harry Truman’s presidency, the Communist Revolution, the Russian Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean war, and the Manhattan Project just to name a few. Chapters alternate between Allan’s storied past and his present adventures mixed up with a wacky group of Swedes as they try to avoid both law enforcement and gangsters.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a quirky, utterly absurd novel filled with delightful, larger-than-life characters and outlandish storylines that gave me some big smiles and a few genuine chuckles. Jonas Jonasson’s snarky, tongue-in-cheek writing style has given him millions of loyal fans the world over. He has a fun, backhanded way of presenting world history—I didn’t expect to learn anything when I picked up this book, but I sure did! In real life, Jonasson must be a hoot, the kind of guy you’d like to hang out with while enjoying an adult beverage or two. The plot was so ridiculous, however, that I can only give the book 3.5 stars. A few too many historical references, a few too many plot twists, and too much adolescent humor. Still, it tickled my funny bone and I recommend it when you’ve got the blues.
Published Date: September 2012
Genre: Adult fiction
Read-alikes: Forrest Gump by Winston Groom, The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman