The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson.
A title like that raises expectations of quirkiness and humour. In that respect this book doesn’t disappoint.
When life’s gone into overtime it’s easy to take liberties.
I imagined that the hundred-year-old man would be feeble and sort of innocent. We tend to forget, when we look at an old person, that they have, in fact, lived a whole life. We assume a return to naivety, a second childhood. The hero of this piece blows that assumption to smithereens. Allan Karlsson has lived a life and then some. This guy has lived a wild, century-long adventure. He has dined with the mighty and blown up a lot of bridges, literally. He decides to escape the boredom of his 100th birthday by climbing out of his nursing home window and walking into a ridiculous and convoluted caper.
This book is funny. I laughed out loud. I also thought it over-stretched credibility and borrowed heavily from Forrest Gump. A lot depended on my mood when I picked it up. The quirky writing style got on my nerves at times but it may have lost some subtlety in the translation from Swedish. It’s a feel-good book that’s pleasingly unpredictable and they all lived happily ever after. I’d recommend this as a beach-read for history buffs or the politically inclined.