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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (original 2009; edition 2012)

by Jonas Jonasson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8322901,346 (3.67)222
Member:pinkozcat
Title:The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
Authors:Jonas Jonasson
Info:Hyperion (2012), Edition: Original, Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:1/2
Tags:e-book, mystery, Jonasson

Work details

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson (2009)

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» See also 222 mentions

English (207)  Spanish (20)  Dutch (17)  French (13)  German (12)  Catalan (5)  Norwegian (3)  Finnish (3)  Danish (3)  Italian (3)  Swedish (2)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (289)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
“Things are what they are, and whatever will be, will be.”

A quote that sums up my opinion of this book almost as neatly as the title sums up the plot. *Resists the temptation to launch into a rendition of Que Sera, Sera.* Shh, Doris Day, just shh.



Dammit, Doris!

Don't get me wrong, I get the criticism of this book. It is quite coincidental, there's a lot of historical name-dropping, and the scope of the political influence of one politically ambiguous man is... well, I believe quirky is the word used in most descriptions so we'll stick with that. Around the midpoint I was pretty focused on the penchant of Sweden's fictional gangs to sew their names on their jackets, or pass the task on to a nimble-fingered girlfriend. I now have the need to experience a West Side Story-esque battle between the past Violins and the current Never Agains. Snap Snap Snap. I feel like there's a distinct possibility that in Bosse's next batch of bibles we will find that the parties of the aforementioned gangs that are unfortunately deceased will be able to grace us with their presence in a suitable way for this to take place.

Criticism and musical needs aside, I liked this book. I figured it would be more like a renewed Bucket List and while I'd like to think that the character bearing the bucket moniker was a nod to this practice and Morgan/Nicholson movie I was pretty happy it wasn't. Mainly because I always feel guilty that I don't have the desire to jump out of a plane. Or, for that matter, out of or off of most objects unless absolutely necessary. All I can imagine coming of such an attempt is that my body would play host to any number of steel rods and then, through some unforeseeable circumstance, I would meet up with a particularly pesky magnet. Whoompf!

I agree with those that said they felt a Forrest Gump vibe to the story. I was also reminded of Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-five actually. More in its appreciation as a SciFi novel than its alternate perception as a view into PTSD. There's a similar flow to things, in my opinion. As well as a similarly wise perspective offered up by author and plot alike for the taking.

"So it goes."/"What will be will be."

( )
  lamotamant | Sep 22, 2016 |
Allan has had enough of the nursing home on this 100th birthday, and escapes. And steals. And steals from the wrong person. He relates his life even as he is continuing to live, and his adventures are very Forrest Gump-like. Lots of improbable (but who cares that they are improbable?) adventures with major historical figures of his lifetime, changes in history due to his hapless adventures, lots of heart. Allan is apolitical who takes everything in stride, especially if there is a glass or two of vodka handy, but who manages to get involved in political chaos.

When delving into historical events, I was greatly entertained and enjoyed this silly, heartfelt adventure.

I listened to an unabridged Audible edition, and the narrator was very good. ( )
  TooBusyReading | Sep 10, 2016 |
Whimsical, humorous book. It is enjoyable to read about an elderly person who is active and independent, who isn't done with living and is looking for new beginnings. Life isn't limited by years and there is no need to depict elders as being weak or helpless, but people each with their own interesting histories if we seek to hear them. Also, remarkable lack of greed and selfishness among the main characters. ( )
  Luke_Brown | Sep 10, 2016 |
I listened to this book as an audiobook and really liked it, actually.

Jonasson has a style of writing that's quite dark and full of black humour and strangeness and wit and it's so lovely.

The premise is bizarre, but I think Jonasson makes it work pretty well. There's a cast of ridiculous characters who are just strange enough to be real. And while it's not always completely realistic, that didn't matter to me.

I was carried away by the story and, at the beginning of each chapter, a thread would emerge. More than anything, I wanted to know how Jonasson resolved it all. Perhaps a little too neatly, but I think it's pretty awesome.

It's funny, it's witty, it's light, it's an easy read, but it had enough plot for me to enjoy it. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson, author; Steven Crossley, narrator
When I started to read this, I enjoyed the humor and the premise of the story. Who wouldn’t love a man who wanted to escape the confines of an old age home where he is no longer treated like an adult, where he is unable to make decisions for what he wants to do with his own life, eat what he likes, when he likes, and sleep when he likes? He is fit and has all of his wits about him so he decides to run away. I thought to myself, kudos to him!
The novel begins on May 2, 2005. Allan Karlsson, born on May 2, 1905, is 100 years old today. A celebration, complete with local celebrities, including the Mayor, is being set up at the same moment he decides that he will not attend his own party. Instead, he slips out of the window, in what he calls his “pee slippers”, to escape his confinement and Alice, the Director, who appears to run the place with an iron hand, treating him like a disobedient child who won’t follow her rules. He is obviously in great shape for anyone of that age, and he makes his way to the bus station where he meets a rude young man who asks him to keep an eye on his suitcase. Because he views the young man distastefully, when Allan’s bus comes, without giving it much thought, he steals the suitcase, taking it with him onto the bus. Throughout his life, as the story progresses, the reader learns that Allan often gives little thought to his actions or to their consequences afterwards. He simply makes decisions, almost on a whim, and proceeds from there, letting the cards fall where they may, and then deals with the results.
What seems like a simple act of theft sets the story in motion. As Allan’s previous long life is explored and exposed, it goes off in all directions, involving many countries of the world and many major leaders, especially during their moments of crisis. His life had been very unconventional. Through a serendipitous set of events, he often found himself globetrotting to unusual places, meeting with heads of state, and although, pretty much unaware of the fact, he was influencing world events. Because of his seeming innocence and lack of concern for what happened to him and around him, he also wound up spending years in prison in many foreign countries, as well.
The people he meets are as quirky as he is, and if the book hadn’t gone on as long as it did, it would have been far better, in my opinion. It was very imaginative but it got a bit bogged down in the multitude of events presented. It required even more than a suspension of disbelief when the reader sees him sitting down with Truman, Stalin, Franco, Kim Jong-Il, a not too bright step-brother of Albert Einstein, and others, influencing events far beyond his capabilities. It seemed to spiral out of control, almost as if the author didn’t quite know how to end it so he just kept on writing hoping it would end of its own volition.
At the same time as the reader is treated to Allan’s various escapades, there is also a wide, and more or less incompetent, search for the centenarian who has somehow disappeared leaving a trail of dead bodies in his wake!
The story is told with wit and a heavy dose of sarcasm. All of the unusual incidents and remaining questions are eventually explained to the reader and to the investigators being led on a merry chase. However, the explanation is very convoluted and will take the reader’s imagination to its limit. For awhile the reader will chuckle, but after awhile the reader might be inclined to go ho hum. The narrator did a very good job of presenting the humor and derision as he portrayed each character, but I thought, even he must have eventually tired of the story. ( )
  thewanderingjew | Aug 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Fast-moving and relentlessly sunny, the novel quickly develops into a romp that takes in all the major events of the 20th century. . . the plot is pleasingly nimble and the book's endearing charm offers a happy alternative to the more familiar Nordic noir.
added by mysterymax | editThe Guardian, Jane Housham (Jul 24, 2012)
 
Stalin synger svenske drikkeviser, og Truman blir dritings .Forrest Gump som hundreåring i ny bok.
ANMELDELSE: Han redder general Franco, riktignok etter først å ha plassert en bombe for å drepe ham. Han avverger et attentat mot Churchill, og gir Oppenheimer den endelige løsningen på formelen for atombomben.

Det rene soap altså. Samtidig er det — på sin høyst skakke og fantasifulle måte — en fantastisk reise gjennom forrige århundre.

Jonas Jonassen er intelligent, vittig og systemkritisk, der han harver over alt fra fjollete politifolk, rasehygienikere og despoters ideologiske paranoia. I en bok som gir håp om at alle har en fremtid, også hundreåringer.
added by annek49 | editDagbladet, Cathrine Krøger (Jan 18, 2011)
 
Nästan frustande av alla förvecklingar som ryms i debuten släpper jag snart taget en bit in i läsningen. Jag inser att precis vad som helst kan hända och kommer att göra det. Författaren tycks bubbla av infallsrikedom strösslad med lite sensmoral.
 

» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jonas Jonassonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Černík, ZbyněkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bjørnson, ElisabethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bradbury, RodTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bree, Corry vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Podestà Heir, MargheritaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"Things are what they are, and whatever will be will be."
Dedication
Ingen kunde trollbinda sin publik bättre än morfar där han satt på ljugarbänken, lätt framåtlutad över sin käpp och med munnen full av snus.
– Nej men... är det sant, morfar? sa vi häpna barnbarn.
– Di söm bara säjer dä söm ä sanning, ä inte vär' å höra på, svarade morfar.
Den här boken är till honom.
An extra thank you to Micke, Liza, Rixon, Maud and Uncle Hans.
- Jonas
First words
Monday, 2nd May 2005

You might think he could have made up his mind earlier, and been man enough to tell the others of his decision. But Allan Karlsson had never been given to pondering things too long.
Quotations
Allan Karlsson to Prosecutor Ranelid: "You can never have too much clarity."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Confined to a nursing home and about to turn 100, Allan Karlsson, who has a larger-than-life back story as an explosives expert, climbs out of the window in his slippers and embarks on an unforgettable adventure involving thugs, a murderous elephant and a very friendly hot dog stand operator.… (more)

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