Excerpt from The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man

by Jonas Jonasson

The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson X
The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson
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    Jan 2019, 448 pages

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Foreword

I AM JONAS JONASSON and I want to explain myself.

There was never meant to be a sequel to the story of the hundred-year-old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared. Many people wanted one, not least the protagonist, Allan Karlsson, who kept strolling around inside my head and calling attention to himself whenever he wished.

'Mr Jonasson,' he might say, out of nowhere, as I was busy with my own thoughts. 'Have you changed your mind yet, Mr Jonasson? Don't you want to have another round before I'm really old?'

No, I didn't. I'd already said everything I wanted to say about what was perhaps the most miserable century ever. The idea had been that if we reminded one another of all the shortcomings of the twentieth century, maybe it would make us better at remembering and less inclined to make at least those mistakes again. I packaged this message of mine with warmth and humour. Soon the book spread all over the world.

It sure as hell didn't make the world a better place.

Time passed. My inner Allan stopped getting in touch. All the while, humanity kept moving forwards, or whatever direction it was moving in. Event after event filled me with the sense that the world was more incomplete than ever. All the while, I was just an onlooker.

More and more I started to feel the need to speak up again, in my own way. Or Allan's. One day I heard myself asking Allan straight out whether he was still with me.

'Yes, I'm here,' he said. 'What might you have on your mind, Mr Jonasson, after such a long time?'

'I need you,' I said.

'For what?'

'For telling it like it is and, indirectly, how it ought to be.'

'About everything?'

'About more or less everything.'

'Mr Jonasson, you understand that won't help, right?'

'Yes, I do.'

'Good. Count me in.'

* * *

RIGHT, THERE'S ONE MORE THING. This is a novel about recent and present events. I make use of a number of public political figures in the plot, and of people in their immediate vicinity. Most of the characters in the book go by their real names. Others, I have spared.

Since these leaders sometimes look down upon, rather than up at, ordinary folks, it's reasonable to poke a little fun at them. But that doesn't make them less than human, every one, and as such they deserve a moderate amount of respect. To all these potentates, I would like to say: I'm sorry. And: Deal with it. It could have been worse. As well as: What if it is?

Jonas Jonasson

Indonesia

A life of luxury on an island in Paradise ought to be satisfactory to just about anyone. But Allan Karlsson had never been just anyone, and his hundred-and-first year of life wasn't the time to start.

It was, for a certain amount of time, gratifying to sit in a lounger under an umbrella and be served drinks of various colours at whim. Especially when one's best and only friend, the inveterate petty thief Julius Jonsson, was right next to one.

But soon old Julius and the much older Allan grew tired of doing nothing but frittering away the millions from the suitcase they'd happened to bring with them from Sweden.

Not that there was anything wrong with frittering. It just got so monotonous. Julius tried renting a fully staffed hundred-and-fifty-foot yacht so he and Allan could sit on the foredeck with fishing rods in hand. It would have been a pleasant break if only they enjoyed fishing. Or, for that matter, eating fish. Instead, their yacht excursions involved doing the same thing on deck as they'd already learned to do on the shore. Namely, nothing at all.

Allan, for his part, made sure to fly Harry Belafonte in from the United States to sing three songs on Julius's birthday – speaking of too much money and not enough to do. Harry stayed for dinner even though he wasn't paid extra for it. Altogether, this constituted an entire evening of pattern-breaking.

Excerpted from The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson. Copyright © 2019 by Jonas Jonasson. Excerpted by permission of William Morrow. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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