- 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.
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 !
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 ›
So overall, not bad for long journeys, but ultimately empty and unsatisfying.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My mother told me to read this book a year ago. I didn't get round to it. Now, some 12 months later, I happened to find myself in a coffee shop in metropolitan Warsaw with a great... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Kate
This was a fabulous easy quick read, in that I couldn't put it down.
I've read the little old lady book and it's simply as fantastic!
I couldn't get into this book at all. What was the point of it? Put it down several times and read other books in between. Eventually, decided to get on with it. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Alasdair Muckersie
A sweet, hilarious and at times throughly absurd book about a man who has seen it all and through the story's narrative reflects on his 100 year journey. Read morePublished 15 days ago by Slih