The writing flows at a wonderful pace – it is hard to put down. Although it has numerous characters both current and historical and flicks back and forth between his “escape” and his early life it does not puzzle or confuse the reader.
Allan Karlsson – the said one hundred year old man – is totally believable and quite endearing in the present but has plenty of incidents in his early life to give his character an edge which shows how his own self-absorption has allowed him to survive his past and to cope with his current adventures.
His links to so many of the major events in the twentieth century beggar belief but you do so want them all to be true. The telling of each event is very clever and makes the reader feel part of history.
This is a book for everyone. It raises so many issues – both historical and modern day – that I can see it becoming a “classic”.
It will be the kind of book that everyone says “Have you read…….?” Book clubs be warned!
Review by Patricia Purcell
(BBGuru: Thanks mum!)
The One-Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
by Jonas Jonasson
After a long and eventful life Allan Karlsson is moved to a nursing home to await the inevitable. But his health refuses to fail and as his 100th birthday looms a huge party is planned. Allan wants no part of it and decides to climb out the window… Charming and funny; a European publishing phenomenon.
Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn’t want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not . . .
Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving a suitcase full of cash, a few thugs, a very friendly hot-dog stand operator, a few deaths, an elephant and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan’s earlier life is revealed. A life in which – remarkably – he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.
The One Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a charming, warm and funny novel, beautifully woven with history and politics.