- 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
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 ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Interesting, inspiring, detailed book. An incredibly endearing man you can't help but love. Sometimes, the tales of times gone by were a bit long winded but were told in such a way... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Cheryl Hillyard
One of my favourite books ever & definitely Jonasson's best book. Proving that you don't have to be young to have a great adventure!Published 12 days ago by Jules
One the best stories I have heard in a long time. Deffinately recommendPublished 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
I loved the unexpected twists and turns of this story; simply yet complex, accidental but planned. A lovely read that made me smile and chuckle all the way through to the end.Published 17 days ago by Kindle Customer
Great book! Light and easy read and taught me a bit of history in the process!Published 17 days ago by M. Crean
A lovely little book! Very easy to read and a real page turner. Amazing how many connections one man can havePublished 17 days ago by Natalie harrison
Much enjoyed. Well written and interesting story. Humorous and touching as well.Published 17 days ago by Baz