Photo Courtesy of Goodreads
Title: The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of a Window and Disappeared
Author: Jonas Jonasson
A story of a one-hundred-year-old man who climbed out of a window. Really, the title says it all. It starts as it does with the title, of Allan Karlsson, climbing out of a window. The adventure then begins as you traverse Sweden and the world with him, through the 20th century and all the history it contains and the 21st century and all Sweden has to offer.
The details, you will have to read for yourself.
Eaten Thru At: 11:45am on March 17, 2014 (Beijing time)
What a fantastically unique novel!
I was first drawn to it because of its ridiculously long and funny title, as I’m sure a lot of people who read it were too. I didn’t know what to expect from it because I have never heard of this book until I happened upon it on one of my searches for new books to add to my ebook collection.
What a lovely surprise I got!
Before even opening the book, you already know that the protagonist is 100-years-old. Jonasson takes you through the centenarian’s adventure outside of that window, intertwined with stories from the main character’s past through the 20th century.
It’s incredible how Allan’s life is interwoven with 20th century history. Being a political science and international history student, this was extremely enticing. The number of times Allan could have died is absolutely shocking. Even though you know he survives (because he lives to be 100!) and the ending is pretty spoiled from you from the very beginning, you can’t help but read on because you are so curious as to how in the world he lived through all those imminent deaths and threats to his life.
Allan is an incredible character. His carefreeness and even temper are very admirable, especially considering all that he had to face and endure. He really doesn’t give a hoot about anything or anyone, no matter how historically important they were as a figure. He’d probably maintain the same neutral attitude if he had met God himself! It was definitely a very endearing characteristic. The fact that he was an old man throughout most of the book sucked me in as well. I have a horribly soft soft-spot for old people.
The language Jonasson used is simple and smooth. Some of the Swedish names bogged me down slightly but I can’t blame my lack of an ability to understand or read Swedish on the author. How was he supposed to know I am completely incapable of overcoming my laziness, going on the Internet and looking up how to properly pronounce the name of towns, villages and cities in Sweden.
It was a great, fun, feel-good read and I enjoyed every minute spent with Allan.
If you want something different, exciting, hilarious, over-the-top, and incredible, pick up this novel.
Final Verdict: 4.5/5 history buffs
Next Target: Damned by Chuck Palahniuk
You may or may not have observed the fact that I skipped right from book 4, Fangirl to this one, book 8. Where are the 3 books in between? You might be wondering. Well, I didn’t feel like I’d write a worthwhile enough review for them to warrant a whole post, so I skipped them altogether.
Here they are in quick format:
Book 05: How Reading Changed My Life By Anna Quindlen
Good, quick read to pick up if you are in a reading slump with no motivation to thumb through any papers.
Book 06: What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast By Laura Vanderkam
It didn’t bring much inspiration to wake up early and become a new person. So it wasn’t all that effective. Nonetheless, read it if you’ve got some time and may want to improve yourself. Just because it didn’t work on this lump of coal doesn’t mean it won’t work on you!
Book 07: Hyperbole and A Half By Allie Brosh
Hilarious, fast read. It does get uncomfortably serious in the middle, but her humour carries you through. Pick it up if you want something super light, if you haven’t smiled or laughed in a while (and by that I mean, more than 12 hours because no one should suffer through life without a good hearty har-har every few hours or so), if you just aren’t ready to dive into that daunting classic literature you’ve been meaning to read for the last few months or so.
All photos courtesy of Goodreads.