The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson 

Allan woke up and wondered whether it wouldn’t soon be time to go to bed.
— Jonas Jonasson
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I originally saw this book on a goodreads list about popular books and it's been on my list for a couple years since. When I saw it at a bookstore, I decided to seize the moment and read it. It couldn't have been a more appropriate start to this book. 

The 100-Year-Old Man follows the path of a centenarian who decides he doesn’t want to be around for his 100th birthday. So, he escapes his nursing home and goes on the adventure of a lifetime…except, as we will learn, he has already had adventures enough to fill several hundred lifetimes.

We cycle between Allan Karlsson's past and his current (maybe last?) adventure involving amateur gangsters, thieves, and an elephant. In his past, Allan had connections to the Russian Revolution, was involved in the Manhattan Project, rescued Chairman Mao's wife, became drinking buddies with Truman, rescued Churchill from a bomb attempt, and so much more. 

To be honest there isn't a lot to analyze about this book. Nothing 'deep' or mind-blowing. It just takes you for a really silly, enjoyable ride - Forrest Gump style.  It's a little bit ridiculous and a 'lotta-bit' amusing so go for it if you need a quick pick-me-up. 

What I liked about it: 

  • Quick read. Sometimes it's just fun to bang out a read and I really enjoyed doing it on this one. 
  • Allan's perspective. Allan is so funny and refreshing because he 'was' involved in so many crazy political moments but he doesn't care about taking sides or having an opinion on politics. While it's not a point of view I would ever be able to take, I enjoyed reading it. 
  • How everything tied together. There were so many random 

What I didn't like about it: 

  • Too unrealistic. One of Allan's experiences would have been an incredible story - when you tie it all together, it's a little too fanciful. However, if you get on the 'unrealistic train' and roll with it, it's still enjoyable. 

Favourite Quotes:

  • “There are undoubtedly advantages to being dead, said Julius.” 
  • "It had been exciting, the entire journey, but nothing lasts forever, except possibly general stupidity. "