Excerpt from The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

By Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback: Sep 2012,
    400 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Malmköping is not what you’d call a bustling town, and this sunny weekday morning was no exception. Allan hadn’t met a living soul since he had suddenly decided not to show up at his own hundredth birthday party. The station waiting room was almost empty when Allan shuffled in. Almost. On the right were two ticket windows, one closed. Behind the other sat a little man with small, round glasses, thin hair combed to one side, and a uniform vest. The man gave him an irritated look as he raised his eyes from his computer screen. Perhaps the current crowd was too much for him, because over in the corner stood a young man of slight build, with long greasy blond hair, a scraggly beard and a jean jacket with the words Never Again on the back.

Perhaps the young man was illiterate since he was pulling at the door to the handicapped restroom, as if the sign “Out of order” in black lettering against an orange-colored background had no meaning.

After a moment, he did move to the door to the restroom next to it, but there he faced a different problem. Evidently he didn’t want to be parted from his big, grey suitcase on wheels, but the restroom was simply too small for the two of them. It seemed to Allan that the young man would either have to leave the suitcase outside while he relieved himself, or allow the suitcase to occupy the restroom, while he himself remained outside.

But Allan had more pressing concerns. Making an effort to lift his legs in the right sequence, he shuffled with small steps up to the little man in the open ticket window and enquired as to the possibility of public transport in some direction, any at all would do, within the next few minutes, and if there were, what would it cost?

The little man looked tired. He had probably lost track of things halfway through Allan’s inquiry, because after a few seconds, he said:

“And where is it you want to go?”

Allan took a deep breath, and reminded the little man that he had already stated that the actual destination, and for that matter the means of transport, were of less importance than a) the time of departure, and b) the cost.

The little man silently inspected his timetables and let Allan’s words sink in.

“Bus number 202 departs for Strängnäs in three minutes. Would that work?”

Yes, Allan thought it would. The little man told him that the bus departed from outside the terminal door and that it would be most convenient to buy a ticket directly from the driver.

Allan wondered what the little man did behind the window if he didn’t sell tickets, but he didn’t say anything. The little man possibly wondered the same thing. Allan thanked him for his help and tried to tip the hat he had in his haste not brought along.

The 100-year-old man sat down on one of the two empty benches, alone with his thoughts. The wretched birthday party at the home would start at three o’clock, and that was in twelve minutes. At any moment they would be banging on the door to Allan’s room, and then all hell would break loose. He smiled at the thought.

Then, out of the corner of his eye, Allan saw that somebody was approaching. It was the slightly built young man heading straight for Allan with his big suitcase trailing behind him on four small wheels. Allan realized that he might not be able to avoid engaging the long-haired youth in conversation. Perhaps that wasn’t so bad. He might gain insight into what today’s young people thought about this and that.

A conversation did take place, but without the depth of social analysis Allan had anticipated. The young man came to a halt a few yards away, seemed to study the old man for a moment, and then said:

“Hey.”

Allan replied in a friendly tone, saying that he wished him a good afternoon, and then asked him if there was some way he could be of service. It turned out that there was. The young man wanted Allan to keep an eye on the suitcase while the owner relieved himself. Or as he expressed it:

Excerpted from The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. Copyright © 2012 by Jonas Jonasson. Excerpted by permission of Hyperion. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pope and Mussolini
    The Pope and Mussolini
    by David I. Kertzer
    The Pope and Mussolini is a riveting account of the parallel rise to power of the authoritarian ...
  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Sailor Twain
by Mark Siegel

Published Mar. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and amibtious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.