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

Jonas Jonasson , Rod Bradbury
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6,995 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

12 July 2012
It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not...Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan's earlier life in which - remarkably - he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun, feel-good book for all ages. Translated by Rod Bradbury.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hesperus Press (12 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843913720
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843913726
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6,995 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 76 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

'Imaginative, laugh-out-loud bestseller' The Telegraph

'Fast-moving and relentlessly sunny... Like Allan, the plot is pleasingly nimble and the book's endearing charm offers a happy alternative to the more familiar Nordic noir' The Guardian'

'A mordantly funny and loopily freewheeling debut novel about ageing disgracefully' The Sunday Times

'We can't wait to finally escape into this feelgood tale' Stylist

'Completely crazy, an incredibly funny story' Aftonbladet, Sweden

'First-rate' Der Spiegel, Germany

'Completely crazy, an incredibly funny story' Germany 'Swedish black comic novel that reads like a road trip with Forrest Gump at the wheel' NU.nl, Netherlands --Reviews

'First-rate' --Der Spiegel, Germany

'Completely crazy, an incredibly funny story' Germany 'Swedish black comic novel that reads like a road trip with Forrest Gump at the wheel' --NU.nl, Netherlands

About the Author

Jonas Jonasson was born in Sweden in 1962. He has a professional background as a journalist and media consultant. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is his first novel which Jonasson describes as 'an intelligent, very stupid book'. He is currently working on his second.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
364 of 388 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This old man has all his marbles... 27 Aug 2012
By Bizgen
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was completely blown away by this book. It brought to mind the early Tom Sharpe novels; irresistibly my mind kept floating away to a landscape peopled by eccentric old men, inefficient criminals, Peter Sellers in Pink Panther, all the caricatures of television farce.

I won't detail the plot, you can see that from the other reviews, and by reading the blurb, that it concerns an eccentric pensioner with attitude, with a life story to match, who holds one's attention all through the book. He needs his vodka and can't stand the thought of his Centenary party at the old people's home in which he has ended up where the Matron has been attempting to institutionalise him and take all the joy of choice from his life so, on a sudden whim, he hops out of the window and legs it to the bus station. The other sudden whim, nearly his undoing, was to then hop on the bus with someone else's suitcase, entrusted to him by the owner, who had popped into the loo. So the tale begins.

It is peopled by real political leaders acting in fairly unbelievable ways (at least, I hope they are !) and yet there is a warning message running through this book on several levels, the least of them being a warning not to take anyone too seriously. Especially leaders of countries, matrons of retirement homes, in fact, anyone in authority, whether voted in or not.

Some people won't like the way it goes from past to present, but when someone is one hundred years old, I am not sure there would be enough `present' to build the story on. And it is the past which is so interesting, from a world political point of view, to someone like me who hates anything historical and especially about war.
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68 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful romp of a novel 1 Sep 2012
By F. M. M. Stott TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Allan is a hundred years old today, but he doesn't want to stay around for his party in the home in which he is resident, so he climbs out of the window and escapes.

This is the start of Allan's journey (into perhaps a fourth age?), and he becomes involved with a variety of characters - some criminal, and some merely suspect - and is also involved in a several deaths along the way. All Allan really wants is somewhere to live, a bit of company and a plentiful supply of vodka, but he get a great deal more than he has bargained for as his adventures begin. The present-day narrative is interspersed with Allan's back story from his youth until the present, and he has led a very eventful life. His expertise in the field of explosives has led him round the world (sometimes accidentally), and he has come into contact with, among others, President Truman, Mao Tse Tung, and Stalin; all, again, accidentally. He has a charming, almost innocent approach to life, and is a most endearing character. While he has no interest whatsoever in politics, he somehow can't avoid becoming involved, and changes sides as fate dictates, with scant regard to his own safety.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable romp of a novel. What is particularly satisfying is that the humour (and at times, this novel is very funny indeed) translates beautfully from the Swedish, so full marks to the translator, who has done a wonderful job. My only (tiny) reservation would be that some of the descriptive passages are a little over-long, but I have no hesitation in recommending the book. I don't think anyone can fail to enjoy it.
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159 of 175 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 out of 5 28 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback
Whatever you're doing, stop it and read this book.

Without giving too much away, Allan decides to do a bunk from his nursing home on his hundredth birthday, accidentally stealing a gangster's suitcase containing fifty million crowns. He is thereafter sought out as a missing person, fugitive and target by the police and moneyless gang.

What unfolds is nothing short of the most fun, ridiculous and bizarre romp Sweden has ever seen.

Running parallel to the present day (2005) account is a retrospective on our hero's life, from 1905 to present. His adventures take him all over the world, hopping from the frying pan of one major world event and into the fire of the next. A plethora of world leaders feature, along with some other significant historical figures, which Allan happens upon in the most random way.

Because all of Allan's adventures are entirely accidental, and because he rarely recognises the significance of what he is doing, it's just mental enough to be more or less, almost credible. The absolute unlikeliness of one scatter brained, apolitical chap ambling across the globe, causing everything of relevance over the last one hundred years simply adds to the book's unique charm. Allan meets Stalin was a particular favourite episode of mine.

The modern-day (fictitious) characters are also a colourful bunch and compliment Allan in various, fitting ways. We are treated to a short backstory for each of them too, and their pasts contribute to their current function. Writers immediately command more respect when they acknowledge their characters had lives before the plot, and are not just the sum of events since page 1. Although there is rather a clump of histories presented to us early on, they're well worth reading.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Just not for me
I was recommended this book by several people, but I seriously wonder if I'm on another planet. I thought it was soooooo boring - yes - some very witty and amusing dialogue, but I... Read more
Published 8 hours ago by Lovejoy
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read!
Totally brilliant, entertaining and full of thought! If only we had the simple way of thinking as Allen's, life would be way more interesting!
Published 17 hours ago by Emily Spinks
4.0 out of 5 stars a good read
Real fun and some interesting characters. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to my reading group.
Published 19 hours ago by judi
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm
Good story. Very slow. Nearly stopped reading a few times. However entertaining the story is unrealistic. Good read for a lazy sunny day or a long flight.
Published 19 hours ago by cbrowne
4.0 out of 5 stars The one hundred year old man who climbed out of the window and...
I found the story farcical but amusing. Well worth a read for its light hearted approach and its unexpected turns of events.
Published 1 day ago by Arthur Bennett
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
The story was okay. I didn't like the fact that it just told me everything all the time and didn't give me any mystery. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Aishling Wray
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but very long
I was recommended this by my sister in law who had read it at her book club. Its a good book, just really really long!
Published 1 day ago by Lalapips
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
I absolutely loved this book. From the start it is full of improbabilities, and it got more and more unreal as it went on, but that was the fun of it. Definitely worth the read.
Published 2 days ago by Helen
5.0 out of 5 stars Book club loved it
Well written, hilariously funny, we don't agree on much but my book club all loved it, some giving it 9 for enjoyment and 9 for the writing.
Published 2 days ago by S. J. Agnew
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This Is
a real page turner from start to finish. Funny, historical in a way, though obviously fictional. Good reading.
Published 2 days ago by gordon f
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