Book #13: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

page-51-the-hundredBook #13 on my list is a book with perhaps the longest title I have ever heard of. It is truly ridiculous. Nonetheless, bemusing title aside, I enjoyed this book.

The Hundred Year Old Man (…) by Jonas Jonasson

I was lucky enough to be given this book as a Christmas present by Kellie, a truly wonderful friend of mine, who gave it with very enthusiastic recommendations.

This book is very difficult to describe. It’s just a bizarre trip with a hundred year old man through his entire history and the most incredible part of it when he, on his hundredth birthday, (you’ve guessed it) climbs out the window and disappears, picking up along the way a bunch of criminal associates, a suitcase full of cash and (thankfully) a replacement pair of shoes to subsitute for his piss-stained slippers.

This book is really quite unique – a little like a Swedish Forrest Gump, I think, but I say that having only seen the film and not read the book (although it is on my list…)

There’s not much point describing the plot of this book, because too much goes on. It is unbelievable, of course, but in a quite enjoyable way – old adventures circle around and place Allan, our hero, in new situations, leading to a sort of snowballing effect including inventing the nuclear bomb, making friends with dictators and presidents and, always, consuming copious amounts of alcohol.

Enjoying this book requires a large-scale suspension of disbelief, but if you can manage that, and just go along for the ride, it’s a rollicking whirl through the entire twentieth century and pretty much every important political leader you could think of.

Three stars


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