The second of those amazing debut novels, also from my TBR pile, I am moving through my challenge there well:) This also ticks the New Author challenge box
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Translation Rod Bradbury
This tale is translated from a Swedish novel but do not imagine for one nano second that this one of those dark, gloomy, introspective Nordic books. This an amazing romp of delight. And what a title – how can one resist reading a book with a title such as this:)
An old man, Allan Larlsson, sits alone in his room, contemplating the birthday party which in a very short while will be presented to him, a party to celebrate his 100th year. It will be a grand affair. For a moment, one believes Allan is an ordinary 100 year old.
That moment vanishes in a second, as he escapes. Climbs from his window to land in a flower bed in his slippers (what is with these men who keep setting off on adventures with inadequate footwear?:) From now on we follow his elderly steps, not just forward on his adventures but also backwards, as a hundred years of history unfolds.
Allan it appears has played a major role in that history, indeed it seems we owe him a great debt:) His presence has helped to define every major event in that time. From the Russian revolution to President Regan’s policies, Allan has had a finger or even whole hands in the making of history. Helping wars to be won, aiding rebels and establishment, nothing has happened without his valuable presence. A Wheeler Dealer par excellance.
This part of Allan’s life unrolls as we follow his misadventures after his escape from the care home. He becomes an unwitting participant in a crime and finds that he not only escaping from the search parties, the media but also a ruthless gang of crooks. Along his way he picks up followers as off the grid as he is, including an elephant. In Sweden?
Allan’s adventures turn into a hilarious crime spree with so many rogues and corpses, it makes ones head spin. The police are not the quick solvers of crime usually portrayed in Nordic novels – the kindest thing to say is they could have been brighter.
Although it is running two timelines traveling in different directions and the pace is fast, swifter than one could expect from such an old man, it is not a confusing book. I hesitate to say it is funny as everyone’s idea of humour is different but this old lady found it so enjoyable I read it in one sitting (suffering the next day:(