Article first published as Book Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson on Blogcritics.
The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson is a fictional book which follows the adventures and mis-adventures of its protagonist. So far this book has been translated to 29 languages and has been a best seller in many countries.
- 400 pages
- Publisher: Hachette Books
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1401324649
My rating for
The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared – 5
The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (website | Facebook) is a hilarious romp through the 20th Century. The book is very enjoyable and doesn’t take itself seriously.
The book’s characters focus on lampooning the espionage genre and parody the mystery/chase genres as well. The important people Allan Karlsson, the protagonist, has met and influenced (Truman, Churchill, Mao, Lenin and more) shines a light on their dark side rather than the pillars of world affairs we have built them to be. Allan’s contribution to the Manhattan Project doesn’t get bypassed either.
While I did get the feeling that the book was very much influenced from Forrest Gump and/or Woody Allen’s Zelig. Allen Karlsson is the eternal optimist, half way through the book it is clear that nothing will happen to him, but it is how he gets out of trouble and his unbelievable luck and improbable coincidences which makes the book so entertaining and endearing.
The characters are not as well defined as they could be, but I still enjoyed this book very much, especially since it doesn’t take itself seriously.
Jonasson’s 2010 book has been a best seller in many countries, translated to 29 languages, Disney bought the rights to the movie yet it has still not been translated into English. With the huge influx of Scandinavian literature it is amazing to me that this hasn’t happened yet.
It’s wonderful to be able to read in more than one language.
So tell me, what languages do you read in or if you could pick one other language, which one would it be?
Allan Karlsson’s health is good, so good that to his dismay he is facing the horrors of putting up appearances for this 100th birthday. Leaving the mayor, the press, his friends and the bane of his existence – the nurse – behind, he escapes moments before the big celebration. When a young man asks Allan to keep an eye on his suitcase at the train station, the centenarian steals it and sets the ball rolling on a month long chase involving the police, the underworld and a handful of accomplices.
Parallel to the escape, Allan’s long life is revealed to the reader. As it turned out, Allan is not just an old man with a suitcase, but one of the most influential persons to ever walk the face of the earth in the 20th Century. Alas, through the comedy of life, Allan is only remembered for his age.
Zohar – Man of la Book
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BOOK BLOGGERS – Have you read The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared? If so link up your review below: