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on 12 January 2017
So disappointed with this book. I'm going to be generous and give it two stars as this may be down to the translation. It reads like it has been written by a child using extremely basic language. The first chapter seemed so full of promise, both humorous and with something to say about how older people are viewed by western society, but it went downhill fast from there. A lot of people have compared this book with The 100 year old man who climbed through the window and disappeared. To those who haven't read The 100 year old man, etc., I suggest you do and then compare the two books. For those that have read it and not yet read The little old lady who broke all the rules, I suggest you don't bother!
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Format: Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )|Verified Purchase
The title of this book appealed to me as I’m rapidly heading towards being a little old lady myself. Five friends in a retirement home in Sweden realise they are not being treated as well as they would be if they were in prison and they resolve to change the situation. They find a gym in their home which is out of bounds to residents for some reason and they work hard at getting fit before they ‘escape’ and go on a crime spree.

So far, so good and it is an entertaining read and it seems to have survived the translation process pretty well. I liked the characters of the friends and I sympathised with their boredom and their sense of injustice. I also liked the police inspector who was faced with trying to investigate their crimes and who spent his time tearing his hair out because nothing made sense to him. Elderly fugitives from retirement homes just do not commit crimes!

There was something which did not quite ‘gel’ with this book but I can’t put my finger on what exactly it is. I enjoyed it but found it a little long winded. There is plenty of humour, marvellous characters and situations but . . . You may love it but I was left feeling a bit disappointed.
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on 12 March 2014
I have read The Hundred Year Old Man... and thought it very engaging but wasn't sure if this wasn't going to be a copycat book. With my own mother in a retirement home, a story about five people who are in a very similar establishment in Sweden, living out lives they no longer feel they control, grabbed my attention. With cost-cutting moves by the care home led to restrictions on their movements and a decline in the quality and quantity of the food, the five began to think that they might get better food and better conditions if they were in a prison, so they planned a crime which would have them removed to just such a place. I would not like to spoil the many surprises by saying what happens, but one thing leads to another - and then to another and because they are just 'old people', they fall below everyone's radar. Nobody expects the old to break the law in any serious way. What? With grey hair and zimmers!

Apart from being great fun to read, this book says quite a lot about what it is to be old and regarded as generally stupid and useless and how people in retirement homes are just expected to doze in an armchair in front of the TV to while away the remainder of their days. Well, these five old people certainly were not prepared to do this. PerhapsI should give it to my mum to read!
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on 19 April 2014
I really, really enjoyed this story of five pensioners who are sick of the cuts in their retirement home and decide to take matters into their own hands. It was such a fabulous story, wittily written and very, very clever. I just hope that I end up like Martha (the ring-leader of the "League of Pensioners") and grow old disgracefully. There's not much else to say about this, without giving the plot away, which I really wouldn't want to do because one of the (many) strengths of this book was in all the convoluted twists and turns of plot. I did feel that the ending of the book wasn't quite as strong as the beginning although it does have a fabulous ending. It would, however, have been great if the ruthless director and nurse at the retirement home had got what was coming to them more and also the horrible criminal Liza - some payback there would have been nice too, although it didn't work out exactly as she wanted. Still, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this - I shall be looking out for more works by this author.
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on 22 October 2017
Absolutely fantastic - a must to read - make sure you have all your household jobs done before you start as you wont be able to put it down - its just hilarious - and everything was doable - nothing crazy in it!! Great to lift your spirits
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on 3 March 2015
I thought this book was going to be really funny...a load of old age pensioners going on a stealing rampage and doing a bank robbery but i have to say i was disappointed, there was no funny bits in the book at all, The book is just them doing one robbery after another and it is completely far fetched, not even half way through i have to say i was getting a little bored with it, its a shame really because it could have been so much better. There is a second book to this but i won't be getting it, its a book that's read and forgotten about the next day.
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on 8 March 2015
Imagine five elderly people breaking into the staff gym in their retirement home to do some workout so that they’re fit enough to break into the National Museum and ‘kidnap’ some of the finest works of art. Now, imagine the same five eldery people walking out of the museum, hanging onto their Zimmer frames, which are really only a cover for paintings worth millions (they don’t really need the Zimmer frames after all that workout in the gym!)… So imagine them leaving the museum while the alarms are blaring and no one even gives them a second glance. All the security guards are busy looking for the robbers (!)… That’s just a small taster of The League of Pensioners’ outstanding skills – and they didn’t even have to think very hard to come up with the robbery plan! At first I thought it was impossible, but the crime is so carefully plotted that you can actually believe it!
The League of Pensioners are such lovely characters that you really want them to succeed! It’s one of those sweet stories that won’t make you laugh out loud but it will make you smile :) Ingelman-Sundberg definitely succeeded in writing a crime novel that stands out – it’s a completely different take on the genre :)
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This ends my run of buying books for their cover and titles. It also ends my run of buying books at all and moving to my kindle where I can get a sample before buying. I have a scandalously high abandonment rate for books but this one holds my all time record. I know you should give books a chance in case they get better and I did just that when I overlooked the ridiculous first chapter but a few pages later and I knew I didn't want to spend the next few days stuck in a retirement home with the elderly behaving and talking like 10 year olds. Now where did I put my kindle....
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on 17 December 2014
This criminal capers of a gang of Scandi-octagenarians was refreshing and immersive - I enjoyed my little doses of escapism upon the frozen seas and grand hotels, and whilst at times the plotline was more than predictable, the author managed a refreshing take on your not-so-average capering comedy of misadventure.

I can imagine this adapted into a nice little movie - perhaps with the standard crew of Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and co... but then, I support the Silver Dollar, I pay the Grey Pound. Some very valid social commentary on the state of nursing homes and the treatment of seniors was well interspersed, and I for one thoroughly hope to break many more rules as I slide into my winter years... Hopefully with a couple of priceless paintings hidden in a buggy.
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on 23 August 2015
It's not a book that you can't put down, more the opposite trying to bring yourself to pick it up. Once I start a book I like to finish it, even if I am finding it a struggle its the only way to review it fairly. Its very long winded and there are some completely unbelievable ideas that run through out the entire book. It's true nobody likes to get old and be stuck in a home but the lengths this oldies go to to escape is slightly over the top. I would love to say its a great summer read but I certainly wouldn't recommend it to any of my fellow book worms, unless you would like to unnecessarily lose some hours of your life that you will never be able to get back.
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