The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window and Disappeared.

This novel is about an elderly man named Allan Karlsson, whose adventures as a centenarian make up the crux of the story, alongside with enthralling descriptions based on events that he’s experienced. He lives a lonely life in an old people’s home and on his hundredth birthday, climbs out of the window and disappears (as the title suggests, of course). This novel by Jonas Jonasson has been translated from Swedish and has been widely acclaimed throughout the world. As the novel proceeds, we find out that Karlsson had helped in the making of the atomic bomb, befriended Harry Truman and General Franco, was acquainted with Stalin, Kim Jong-il and Soong Mei-Ling, foiled an assassination plot against President Winston Churchhill, and was a participant behind the scenes in many of the main events of the twentieth century.

Not only has this novel by Jonas Jonasson has been translated from Swedish and has been widely acclaimed throughout the world. As the novel proceeds, we find out that Karlsson had helped in the making of the atomic bomb, befriended Harry Truman and General Franco, was acquainted with Stalin, Kim Jong-il and Soong Mei-Ling, foiled an assassination plot against President Winston Churchhill, and was a participant behind the scenes in many of the main events of the twentieth century. Not only has Johansson made incredible use of subtle humour in this book, but it serves as a light read even with the many historical references that people without a knack for history may enjoy as well.

The narration is fluid, it’s momentum built with such subtlety that the reader cannot but help turning pages as quickly as possible. It brings together humour and politics in a way which very few books have done til date. The comic relief that comes with the commentary of a slightly dystopian novel leaves the reader awestruck.

Some of my favourite quotes from it are;

• “Allan thought it sounded unnecessary for the people in the seventeenth century to kill each other. If they had only been a little patient they would all have died in the end anyway. Julius said that you could say the same of all epochs.”

• “Revenge is like politics, one thing always leads to another until bad has become worse, and worse has become worst.”

• And finally, as Allan rightly puts it, “Allan Emmanuelle Karlsson closed his eyes and felt perfectly convinced that he would now pass away for ever. It had been exciting, the entire journey, but nothing lasts forever, except possibly general stupidity.” 

“Allan thought it sounded unnecessary for the people in the seventeenth century to kill each other. If they had only been a little patient they would all have died in the end anyway. Julius said that you could say the same of all epochs.” • “Revenge is like politics, one thing always leads to another until bad has become worse, and worse has become worst.” • And finally, as Allan rightly puts it, “Allan Emmanuelle Karlsson closed his eyes and felt perfectly convinced that he would now pass away for ever. It had been exciting, the entire journey, but nothing lasts for ever, except possibly general stupidity.” 

 

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