Wednesday, December 4, 2013
The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Paperback: 394 pages
Publisher: Hesperus Press 2012
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentence: You might think he could have made up his mind earlier and been man enough to tell the others of his decision.
Favourite Quote: “Things are what they are, and whatever will be, will be.”
Review Quote: 'A mordantly funny and loopily freewheeling début novel about ageing disgracefully' The Sunday Times
My Opinion: If you are a fan of farce this may well be a five star read for you, if not just give it a miss and find something else to read.
I read this for the Book Club Group I belong to and to be honest although I found it amusing, it was hard work. It is well written but was not for me the pleasurable read I am looking for when I choose a book to read. Billed on its front cover as an International Bestselling Sensation it seems mine is a minority opinion. Although I admit there were moments I laughed out loud, for example one character an idiot half brother to Albert Einstein, provided a few, as did the encounter with an air traffic controller in Bali. As a matter of fact writing this review I have realised why I did not enjoy this book, it is farcical and I am not a fan of farces, so no surprise really! One thing it did remind me of was the fact that despite our age we should still treat life as an adventure, just maybe not such a far fetched one!
The novel starts on the 100th Birthday of Allan Karlsson as he waits in his room at the old peoples home for his party to begin. A big event has been planned with press and the Mayor planning to be in attendance, most important guest though decided to disappear by climbing out of the window. This spritely centenarian then begins a series of episodic adventures involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his antics unfold, we learn about Allan’s earlier life in which he was involved in a ridiculous number of major historical moments of the twentieth century. He helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders.
As mentioned already very far fetched, but if you are a fan of farce this may well be a five star read for you, if not just give it a miss and find something else to read.
Jonas Jonasson was born Per Ola Jonasson in Vaxjo, Sweden on July 6th 1961. The son of an ambulance driver and a nurse, who raised their son in Växjö Southern Sweden. After studying Swedish and Spanish at the University of Gothenburg, he worked as a journalist for the Växjö newspaper Smålandsposten, and for the Swedish evening tabloid Expressen, where he remained until 1994. In 1996, he founded a successful media company.OTW, In 2005 due to ill health he was forced to change his lifestyle. He sold his business and moved to a remote part of Södermanland on the south coast of Sweden, with his cat Molotov. After living on his own for a couple of years, he married a Norwegian woman in February 2007 and they moved to Ticino, Switzerland, where he concentrated on the book he had long wished to complete, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared. It was published in Sweden in 2009. The marriage was not a success and soon ended in divorce. His son had however been born in the meantime and, after a gruelling time trying to gain custody of the child in both Switzerland and Sweden, he was finally successful. Since 2010 he has been living with his young son on the Swedish island of Gotland.
The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and his writing.
Goodreads - Author Profile Jonas Jonasson - Author's Official Website Facebook Profile
Jonas Jonasson - Wikipedia Amazon - Jonas Jonasson Books