Unique, intense and addictive are the first words that I think of when I’m discussing the Swedish Jonas Jonasson’s book: The 100-year-old man who climbed out of the window and disappeared. When I first heard the title of this book I knew I was gonna like this story. I read the 400 page book last week in like 4 days. Sometimes you can’t stop reading. This time I didn’t wanna stop reading because I was too excited about the next events.
What’s the book about? Well basically it’s about a 100-year-old badass who climbed out of his window and disappeared. The title covers it all! Allan Karlsson is tired of his dull life in a nursing home. On his birthday, right before his anniversary party starts, he decides to climb out of his window and disappear on his slippers. His body is old but mentally he feels young and he’s excited to go on any kind of trip with anyone he meets. On this trip he ‘finds’ a suitcase full of money, makes a bunch of new (criminal) friends and hides for the police because he’s accused of being a triple-murderer. I know this doesn’t sound super original, but it certainly is! Jonasson brings it all so cool and funny and I busted myself over and over again laughing while reading the book.
The book contains two story lines: young Allan and old Allan. Young Allan is adventurous. He has dinner with people like Staling and Churchill, gets drunk with Truman and saves one of Mao’s wives. Meanwhile he crosses the Himalaya, learns fluent Spanish, English and Chinese and finds out how to make a nuclear bomb. It’s ridiculous to think one could’ve done this all, but Allan is such an amazing character that you’ll believe it right away.
This book came out in 2009. A year later it was the best-sold book in Sweden. The story is translated into 30 languages and the film rights are sold!
I’d give this book a 9 out of 10. For me there’s no perfect book (except maybe Harry Potter…) but this novel comes freaking close! You must be crazy in order to have a fantasy like Jonasson.
And the best part? Well, besides that I almost got jealous of Allan’s amazing life, I started to think that I was reading a non-fiction book while actually reading the biggest nonsense ever!
PS: When you take the paper cover off the Dutch version you’ll have a very pink book 😀 !!