The One-Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

A short history of the 20th century (sort of). 100-year-old Allan Karlsson is dissatisfied with his existence and has decided to die.

A series of unfortunate events (re:blowing his home up for the second time) has lead Allan to living in an old folks home, with the despised director Alice and his comforting pee slippers. Allan, never one to accept circumstances when he can’t get a good meal and nice drink decides just hours before his one hundredth birthday party to slip out the window and make his way back into the world.  Unfortunately, while making his escape, he steals the suitcase belonging to a criminal organization. Less unfortunately, it is full of money. What ensues would be, for most of us, the adventure of a lifetime but for Allan is just one more odd occurrence in the long line of odd occurrences in the search of vodka.

I loved this book.

Spending time with many of his peers in my line of  work I inherently fOne Hundred Drinking Gameind Allan was a very likeable character. The writing style reminded me a bit of Janet Evanovich where odd behaviors are explained in simple statements.

Every evening while reading this book I’d describe to my husband where Allan had been that day and what he had done, my husband responded “he sounds like Forest Gump”. Indeed, Allan  has the ability to find unique situations, but the story is less serious and more whimsical than Forest Gump.

For the most part the book has received rave reviews; however, the negative reviews I have seen often describe it as “boring” which I don’t quite get. It’s quirky, odd, funny, strange but definitely not boring.

Read this book if:

  • You wished Forest Gump was a bit… funnier.
  • You want a fun read that doesn’t feel completely trashy.
  • You like the idea of combining James Bond with the movie Dick (not a porn.  It’s a comedy about Nixon.  See below)

Skip this book if:

  • You can’t let go. This book requires imagination and humor. If you need to stick to facts and deep character development  it’s best to move along.
  • You go to Amazon’s “Look Inside” and don’t like the first couple pages.  You’ll either get it or you won’t.
  • You spend a lot of time yelling at a TV screen “THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE”

If You Loved The 100 Year Old Man Try:

  •  Mrs Queen Takes the Train  by William Kuhn if you loved Alan’s story but disliked the flashbacks.
  • Kimjongilia by Victor Fox if you want a (supposedly) true story that is just as unbelievable and dealing some of the same people.
  •  Where’d Yo Go Bernadette by Maria Semple if you want Allan in a uber-intelligent child-like form.

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About Kaitey Moore 40 Articles
Kaitlin Moore Morley is passionate about storytelling, the kind of our imagination and the kind of our experiences. She works as a hospital chaplain where she collects love stories and as a pastor where she collect biblical narrative. She holds an undergraduate in Social Anthropology from the University of Manchester in England and a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. She lives in Evansville, Indiana in an old (very cold) Victorian house with her husband, Darren and their dog Olga.

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