Saturday, 21 June 2014

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared Creating Possibly One of the Longest Book (and blog post) Titles Ever.

*catches breath*

Ok, so I definitely bought this book because I thought the title was cool. Also possibly because I got an Amazon voucher for Christmas when there just happened to be a crazy sale on tonnes of ebooks (only 20p each people!!!!) So yes, I bought this book then, at around the same time that I discovered the true extent of the dangers of Amazon 1-Click purchasing to my bank balance. Anyway, I digress, the book is (in case you hadn't worked it out)...

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

So I might also have fallen in love with the cover!


Jonas Jonasson


I don't know... why did I decide it was a good idea to put genres in the review anyway?

One-sentence summary:

100-year-old Allan Karlsson climbs out of the window of his Old People's Home and adventures ensue, which are told in parallel with the adventures of his life up to that point.


As I mentioned before, I basically just bought this book for the title and the ridiculously cheap price, then didn't actually sit down to read it until over a year later, due to my debilitating condition called Toomanybooks-itis (tragic, I know). But when I actually did pick it up, I was pleasantly surprised!
The quirky, matter-of-fact writing style more than matches that of the title (not always the case!), and while I know some reviewers found the style to be too minimalist, preventing them from getting invested in the story, I actually preferred it to a lot of the over-flowery language I find in books sometimes. Events are presented simply, and it's up to us as the readers to decide what we think of them.

The same can be said for the main character, Allan, who we gradually learn more about as the story progresses. He is also presented plainly and without judgement, allowing us to decide for ourselves what we think of him. The result: I kinda liked the old guy! Even though we don't exactly get to delve deep into his psyche, I felt as though I gradually got to know him as I read about his life leading up to his 100th birthday. Interesting food for thought about how we view old people perhaps?

And the story itself? Pretty off-the-wall to be honest, and totally implausible! But of course that's deliberate, and for me that just formed part of its charm. Who doesn't want to read about a 100-year-old man and his antics involving world leaders, multiple murders, treks across continents, and atomic bombs???

Final thoughts:

Hmmm... well, I found this a fun and interesting book to read. But that was sort of it. It didn't wow me with clever writing. I wasn't blown away by a fantastic new insight or revelation about life. But that's not what this book is trying to do. It is unapologetically what it is: the story of an old man's life. And very entertaining it was too!

Soooo, it's getting:

What did you think of the book? Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments!

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