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Reading guide for The Accidental Further Adventures of the Hundred-Year-Old Man by Jonas Jonasson

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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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Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. The book opens with Allan and Julius enjoying the rich life on the beach at Bali, their wealth resulting from their previous adventures. They're getting bored however. If you had an unlimited amount of money, what would you do with it? Do you think you'd get bored eventually?
  2. At a previous birthday party Allan mentions that he thinks singer Harry Bellefonte is just a youngster. Do you think "young" and "old" are relative terms? Has your perception of who's young and who's old changed over time?
  3. Allan's love of his new iPad is a running theme throughout the book. What's your relationship with technology? Do you think the instant access to information we have today is a good thing or a bad thing?
  4. The book's action is kicked off when Julius and Allan get stuck in a hot-air balloon while celebrating Allan's 101st birthday. Do you celebrate your birthday? Which was the most memorable?
  5. Allan always looks on the bright side and believes things will work out while Julius frets non-stop. Do you think their attitudes toward life have helped or hurt them over the course of the novel? How about you? Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
  6. The author touches on several historical events, such as the CIA's involvement in the Congo. What did you think of his take on these incidents? Were you aware of these events?
  7. Do you think the fact that the author is Swedish gives him a different perspective on world events than a U.S. citizen might have. If so, what examples did you notice?
  8. How would you describe this novel to a friend? Is there a specific category or genre to which you'd assign it?
  9. Which parts of the novel did you find particularly funny or insightful?
  10. In the book's introduction, the author claims the initial entry in the series was an attempt to remind people of how horrible the 20th century was and to hopefully make society "less inclined to make at least those mistakes again." He goes on to acknowledge the book "sure ash ell didn't make the world a better place." Do you think any novel has the power to make the world a better place? Are there any modern novels that come to mind that might have this capability?
  11. Did you read the first book in the series, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, and if so, how does this novel compare to that one?
  12. As Allan and Julius are escorted to a meeting with Kim Jung-un, he hopes the Supreme Leader will be more talkative than their driver, or the afternoon will be boring. Julius thinks that "anyone who could use the word 'boring' in their current situation must be missing a considerable part of his common sense." Do you think Allan lacks common sense?
  13. Upon reading the headlines on his iPad, Allan quotes Swedish playwright August Strindberg, asking, "Wasn't there someone who wrote that humans are to be pitied?" What do you think he meant? Do you agree?
  14. Sabine's mother claimed to be able to communicate with ghosts, although Sabine clearly thought that was nonsense. Have you ever attended a seance? Do you believe that people who have died can be contacted?
  15. Among Julius's business schemes is his thought about making custom coffins, such as one decorated in the deceased's favorite sports team. If you were to have such an item made for you, how would you like it decorated? Is there a theme you'd select?
  16. What does the author's think about today's world leaders and their relationship with each other?
  17. The author has Russian Gennady Aksakov admiring a technique that inflated a "simple case of arson to an international Communist conspiracy," which eventually resulted in almost four thousand citizens incarcerated without trial, emergency laws put in place, competing political parties banned along with parts of the press. He states, "Fright demands might." What do you think he means? Do you think he's correct? Can you think of other instances throughout history where fear has been stoked to make a situation appear worse than it is?
  18. The author characterizes Russia's use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter as a war designed to "set Americans against Americans." Do you agree? Do you think it was effective? Do you believe Russia is employing this tactic in other countries, as the author maintains?
  19. Alcohol plays a prominent role throughout the novel. Why do you suppose the author included references to it so frequently?
  20. At the end of the novel, Allan feels use of technology has increasingly allowed people to let others think for them "to the extent they were on their way to becoming stupid," and became concerned upon realizing that, "Truth was losing ground along with intelligence. It used to be easy to know what was true and what wasn't." Do you feel this statement is true? Why or why not?

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Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of William Morrow Paperbacks. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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