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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
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    Sep 2012, 400 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Whitmore Funk

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There are currently 2 reader reviews for The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
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Mary (12/11/14)

Very engaging and funny
Loved this book. Great mix of history and fantastical fiction. A real treat!!
Power Reviewer Cloggie Downunder (09/27/14)

completely contrived and utterly delightful.
The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared is the first novel by Swedish journalist, media consultant, television producer and author, Jonas Jonasson. On the spur of the moment, Allan Karlsson resolves to skip his hundredth birthday party at the Malmkoping Old Folks’ Home, despite the presence of the Mayor and a cake. At the bus station, he decides to head out of town, but just before the bus arrives, he finds himself looking after a large grey suitcase on wheels. As Allan travels further and further from the Old Folks’ Home, he is gradually accumulates a band of well-intentioned followers (a hot-dog seller, red-headed divorcee, petty thief in his late sixties, hot-dog seller’s estranged half-brother, Alsatian dog and circus elephant) as well as some pursuers intent on getting a story, on malice or on prosecution (the members of a criminal gang, the police, a prosecutor and journalists). And as they travel, Allen, a seemingly unassuming man with a patent enthusiasm for explosives, relates the story of his long and interesting life, a life that involves worldwide travel, that includes encounters with various heads of state and famous people and that sees Allen experimented on, incarcerated, involved in a momentous discovery and recruited for espionage. There are plenty of laughs and “aha” moments as Allen manages to get himself into and out of some hair-raising situations, always working with the philosophy that “things are what they are, and whatever will be, will be.” This novel has deservedly won international acclaim and is translated from the original Swedish by Rod Bradbury. It is a riotous romp through many of the significant events and people of the twentieth century that is highly reminiscent of Forrest Gump: completely contrived and utterly delightful.
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