I'll admit it: try as I may to be open-minded about the aging process, I am still a vain American who attempts to moisturize away wrinkles and scrupulously pluck every strand of gray hair. So I was intrigued when I heard about a novel that stars a spunky geriatric protagonist. For the past few years this debut novel from Swedish author Jonas Jonasson has been a European bestseller, and now it has finally been translated from Swedish and is available to English readers. Any seasoned reader will assume that this work is riding off the laurels of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy, but this novel offers an entirely different Sweden from the dark, crime-ridden one we have come to associate with Nordic novels.
The story opens on the 100th birthday of Allan Karlsson, an elder care resident with nerves of steel and a penchant for vodka. Allan refuses to be defined by his age alone, so he ...
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