Posts Tagged ‘bildungsroman’

The 100-year-old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

The 100-year-old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (Find this book in our catalog)

I zipped through this book and highly recommend it for all who love dry and searching humor.

I think The 100-year-old Man would appeal to fans of Forrest Gump by Winston Groom or of  The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  The three books have humor in common, all are quests, in all three the protagonists meet interesting and quirky characters.

The book has sold very well around the world.  The Swedish translates into a spare and matter-of fact prose that really goes with the character – a really old man who has seen it all and believes in just going with what life dishes out.  Cheerfully!

With modest common sense and deadpan humor he sums up the world leaders he has come across in his accidental tour through the political hotspots of the Twentieth Century.

He also meets a cast of far from ordinary ordinary characters as he goes philosophically on his way. For me, as well as the humor, the charm of the book is the sense of real friendship and love that develops between the most unpromising people.

The publisher’s blurbs do not do this complex and totally adsorbing book justice, but here is a taste of what it says in our catalog:

“After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.”

You can also read more for yourself when you go to our catalog to place your hold.

Editor