- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 11 hours and 3 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Strathmore Publishing
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 14 Aug. 2012
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008XL4L80
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared Audio Download – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
But this does take up large, key sections of the book and it breaks the pace of the story, so I can see that some readers would find it distracting and even dull. But if you have the patience, an odd sense of humour and a little bit of interest in the past 100 years or so of history, it is a very rewarding experience.
The odd events that befall Alan on his travels are the more interesting sections of the book and will be the most rewarding for most readers, certainly I found them the most humorous, but I was pleasantly surprised by the chapters that jump back into Alan's bizarre past.
I would recommend this book to a lot of my friends, but not to all of them, the same would apply to the good folk of Amazon - don't try it if your easily distracted but if your a more . . . tolerant (yes, that's the word) reader then I think your in for a rewarding experience !
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.
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.Read more ›
I started this book with optimism, when I read the opening couple of pages I thought that I would like it - then it went downhill! I laughed maybe twice throughout the whole book, not my sense of humour at all. I do have one, but not this! I sensed some satire in it but I found myself saying "Oh no!" many times and the story just got more and more ridiculous!
I enjoyed the Harold Fry book, although that one was a bit improbable, but it redeemed itself in other ways - perhaps because the humour was more British.
The only positive to say about The Hundred Year Old Man was that it was easy to read!
I am of the mind that when a book has rave reviews it becomes a bit like The Emperor's New Clothes" no ones want to dispute the generally held opinion in case people think they "don't get it"!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm glad to have finished this as I bought it in 2013 and my first attempt at reading it I only managed 17% I enjoyed it this time around but just feel that the flashbacks were too... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Homeburd