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Monday, June 8, 2015

Good Reads

There are good reads, fun reads and sometimes there are wildly absurd reads.
The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared fits into all of those categories.
This bestselling 2009 debut novel by Swedish journalist and novelist Jonas Jonasson chronicles the (very) highly improbable misadventures of centenarian Allan Karlsson, who decides there’s more to life than the nursing where he currently resides.
Allan is no ordinary or reluctant senior citizen.
He’s also an explosives expert, who started out in munitions as a boy, blew up his neighbor’s cow, and later his own home. That explosion was on purpose as you learn.
Perhaps that’s WHY the novel has become a worldwide bestseller and is considered Sweden’s answer to Forrest Gump, the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. And, it too has been made into a feature film. 
But unlike Forrest who is moody, Allan is upbeat and sees the good in most people. But very unlike Forrest, he prefers vodka shots to boxes of chocolate.
Swedish fiction like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larssson, has focused on grim thrillers. The 100 Year Old Man propels Scandinavian fiction to an extremely light-hearted direction, which is OK with me as I could never get through Larsson's trilogy.
Allan skips out as the press, residents, and the town’s Mayor await his entrance. He exits his bedroom window, goes to the bus station and buys a ticket based to the farthest destination he can afford. A young man asks him to temporarily mind a suitcase. The bus comes before the man returns and Allan leaves with the suitcase hoping it contains a change of clothes; instead it’s full of a LOT of cash. Soon, Allan finds himself pursued by the police as a missing person and by a biker gang who want the suitcase back.
Jonasson moves through Karlsson’s life recounting the fugitive centenarian’s explosive career. 
Allan has witnessed or participated in noteworthy bombings of the 20th century and traveled the world sharing meals and vodka shots with Truman, Stalin, Churchill, Franco, de Gaulle and Mao’s third wife. In a Soviet Gulag, he befriends Herbert Einstein, described as “Albert’s idiot half brother,” and spends months trying to explain an escape plan to him.
In addition to being pursued by the biker gang, he teams up with dubious characters, including a hot dog seller, eternal student and feisty woman with a pet elephant. And along the way is involved in a couple of (accidental) murders
Ridiculous and absurd you think? Yes, it's all that and more.
Curious?  You can either read the book, see the movie — or both,

13 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

This does sound real good!

Sandra said...

this is not one i will be reading or watching... but just the fact a 100 year old can climb out of a window is amazing.

Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines said...

Sounds interesting!

Daisy said...

Sounds like a fun one. Thanks for the review.

Emma Springfield said...

This is my kind of book. I hope it will be available on my reader. I am going to check right away.

Emma Springfield said...

Great news! It was available and I now have it ready to read.

Anvilcloud said...

Looks like good summer reading.

thecottagebythecranelakethree said...

I haven't read this one even if I know it's very funny. I think I hesitate because fun and Swedish novel sort of is an odd and very rare combination :-) :-) :-) and the Girls with the dragon tattoo trilogy is impossible to get through so I have't read those either :-)

I'll better myself and read this one soon!

Have a great day!
Christer.

Gill - That British Woman said...

that sounds like a good book.......

William Kendall said...

Ah, so that's the root of the movie!

William Kendall said...

I saw your comment at Gill's blog- if you're into a hike, I would recommend some spots on the Niagara escarpment near Mississauga, like Rattlesnake Point, Hilton Falls, or Crawford Lake. I used to live in the area.

New Jersey Memories said...

I've been meaning to read his books (I'm half-Swedish) and now it looks I really need to!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Since I love to both read and watch movies...I've a feeling I'm going to do both on this book. It really does sound like something I would enjoy. Thanks for sharing..
I hope you two are doing great in your new home. :) Are you ready for the long hot summer? I'm not! 105 for the past couple of days! :(

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