Sunday, 13 January 2013

The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared - book review

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

I haven't done many book reviews but as part of my New Year promise to myself (and because I do read books albeit on my Kindle) I am now going to start telling you about the one's I like. The one's you shouldn't bother with are not going to be reviewed just the one's I would recommend.

To start with I must tell you about The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson and translated by Rod Bradbury. I loved this book so much I have bought and given it to my husband and one of my best friends. Don't think because this book is by a Swedish author that it is similar to Larsson (who wrote the superb Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest etc) or Mankell (who wrote the Wallender series) because it's a completely different type of animal entirely.

The protagonist, Allan Karlsson, is 100 years old and we meet him bored and lonely in an old peoples home.  Being livelier than his years would normally dictate, he decides to do a runner and climbs out of the window, across the flower beds to freedom.

We follow Allan through the story of what happens next while visiting his past life where, due to being in certain places at certain times, he becomes embroiled in some of the most exciting and historic events of the 20th Century from the Russian revolution through to saving Franco's life and getting drunk with President Truman.

It's a surreal crime novel and a surreal historical novel. The characters are mad, the situations even more so. Our hero unwittingly becomes involved in problems with drug-dealers after taking their suitcase full of money at a local bus station, and is soon being chased through the countryside where he teams up with a small-time thief called Julius.

This book is pacy and will have you hooked after the first couple of chapters as you really can't believe that things can get any more bizarre - and yet they do. You will laugh and will be amazed at the genius of the author who ties in so many varied events of huge significance in a way that is highly entertaining and infinitely readable.

I loved reading it and finished it in about a week. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared is available in paperback and ebook.

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