Monday, February 24, 2014

THE ONE HUNDRED YEAR OLD MAN-------





"The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson is the most delightful read I have enjoyed in a long time.  Thank you  Djan   for turning me on to this book.  You always finds great books but this one is exceptional. I even paid full price for it which as most of  you know, I am primarily a freebie reader. Not cheap, just no longer in the work force. It took a while to make it to the top of the "read now" list but it was worth it.  

Allan is a nice, apolitical Swede who just wants to avoid his 100th birthday party in the nursing home so he climbs out the window and takes one more fling at life.  Barely out of the home, he becomes unwittingly involved with and the target of some nasty gangsters who want what he absent mindedly has stolen. 

As he runs ("run" might be a bit ambitious of a word for a 100 year old) from gangsters or worse being forced to return to the home, the characters he meets and becomes involved with are as delightful as he. 

There is the aging thief who offers him friendship and refuge from the weather.

The hot dog stand proprietor  who went to college for 30 years.  He kept changing majors right before graduating to keep the money flowing according to his inheritance stipulations. Thus he became an "almost" everything. Almost veterinarian, almost architect, almost lawyer, etc. 

The middle aged lady harboring a runaway elephant, who falls for the "almost everything" guy.

Mr. Jonasson is a delightful story teller. As  people enter and alter both Allan's former and current life, they are nicely fleshed out. Were they stand alone and taken out of context you probably wouldn't like most of them. However,he makes them lovable and funny as well as quirky with sometimes iffy morals. However, with most of the gangsters he does nothing to make them lovable, just hapless and not too bright. 

The author takes you back in time to introduce you to the young Allan as he travels the world and inadvertently becomes involved with a variety of world leaders.

Allan is really only in search of the simple comforts in life with sufficient Vodka to keep things pleasant. Pretty one dimensional. However, through him, we tour 20th Century world history. I am thinking he is quite a bit smarter, not quite as lovable,  but just as fortuitous as Forrest Gump. 

Is any of the story probable? Not likely. Is it a funny and delightful read? Positively. I kept marveling at the mind of Mr. Jonasson as he took his characters somewhere I would never have imagined. 

I know when a book is really good when I rush my all ready ridiculously early bed time just to curl up with a really old man.  I also know it is good when I tend to savor it like a fine meal and don't want it to end. 

One thing that may disturb some is the complete lack of dialog punctuation. Oddly, early in I became quite comfortable with this unusual writing style and never once wondered who was saying what. 

If you don't want to pay the price, check with your library. If they don't have it, ask if they will order it.That is if you want to feel good for however long it takes you to read 402 pages. 

Enjoy, I certainly did. 


28 comments :

  1. Sounds like a very good book - a unique story line to be sure.

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  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too. And I wondered about the lack of quotations in the dialog. I didn't miss it at all after a little while. You have reminded me of it again; it's been awhile since I read it. Now I'm reading Bill Bryson's book "America: 1927." It's nonfiction, and who knew how many things happened that year? Hard to believe it's almost been a hundred years since then. :-)

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  3. Sadly I don't read books, and when I do only non fiction, but I'm sure glad you enjoyed it!!

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  4. Thanks! I am putting it on my "to read" list!

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  5. This one sounds like an interesting read. I'll add it to my list I've started of books I should look for when I go to the library. Thanks, Patti, great review!

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  6. Another to add to the long & growing list. Sounds interesting, and I look forward to the lack of punctuation...
    I have become too comfortable with my three dots

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  7. Well, I sure like the premise of this story! I'll get a sample to see if I like it.

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  8. That sounds like a great read. I will add that to my wish list.

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  9. I'll get it this weekend! Sounds like my kind of read...

    I know a book is good when I'm sad it ends also. It's my litmus test...

    Glad you're feeling better!!

    xxoo,

    RMW

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  10. I am passing the request to my hometown librarian. She is great abut ordering requested books.

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  11. Keith,
    Unique really describes it. I do love different.

    Djan,
    Oh, I liked his book "A Walk in the Woods" a lot. I will check it out. Thanks.

    LL Cool Joe,
    I know Joey. Someday I promise to read a non fiction crime book just for you:))

    Aunt Betsy,
    I think you will be happy you did.

    Cheryl,
    Thanks Cheryl. If they don't have it, I have learned they will order it for you. Love those libraries.

    Brighid,
    It was surprising how quickly one can adjust to a whole new way to read.

    islandwonder,
    Hope you give it a shot.

    Barb,
    Don't you love the sample option? Hope you like it.

    robin,
    Hope your wish comes true.

    RMW,
    I know what you mean. Me too.

    Olga,
    Oh you have a good librarian. Mine is good about that also.

    Linda R.
    Hope you enjoy. I sure did.

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  12. Sounds like an enjoyable read, following a 100 year old man around.
    Speaking of 100 yr olds, My friend in Bozeman has a 100 yr old woman friend who still drives her car. I had a hard time with that one but I guess it's true. All I can say is she must have good eyes.

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  13. Quirky and fun sounding. Our librarian will get a head up on this one... Great review Patti...;)

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  14. I am been privileged to know many centenarians in excellent health who lived quite well on their own. One man in particular was 104 when I last saw him and perhaps he is still living today. He credited his longevity to standing on his head every day. Cannot wait to find this book. Thanks for the great review.

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  15. Thanks for the interesting and well-done review. I'm putting this one on my to-be-read list.

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  16. Yae for DJan! This does sound really wonderful. I'll check the library right now.

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  17. Oh my gosh! Our library had the Kindle version!!! Yahoo! I've just placed a hold on it and I should be getting it very soon. Thank you, thank you!

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  18. Sounds like another good one- I'll add it to my list!

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  19. Manzi,
    She really must be in good shape. Even if her eyes are good, her reaction time would have to be off. Still there are 100 year olds still working.

    TB,
    Thanks TB. Most librarians are good about things like that. Think you might like the parts where he becomes involved with history.

    Grannie Annie,
    It seems that those who do make that mark live pretty good lives. There is a 101 year old man in Florida running for Congress.

    Pat,
    Thanks Pat. I know your TBR list is as long as mine. Think you will enjoy.

    Kay,
    Wow, that was quick and how neat. I wish we had a library with the Kindle books. Enjoy.

    Terri,
    I do think you will like it. Have fun with it.

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  20. Dear Arkansas Patti, I'll go to the library web site next to find out if they have this book. As you describe it, it does sound delightful. Peace.

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  21. Dear Arkansas Patti, I went to the library site and they have it!!!! So I got my name on the waiting list. Thanks to you and to DJan for suggesting it. Peace.

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  22. Sounds like a good late night book. Did you read "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry?" Short but easy relaxing read.

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  23. It sounds absolutely delightful, Patti! Thanks so much. It's now on the top of my "To Read" list!

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  24. Sold! :) I've been reading books from the list of 16 Books to read before the movies come out. Can't say they're literature, but I've enjoyed them all so far. Most recent one was Labor Day.

    Have you read The Rosie Project? That one tickled my funny bone. If I'm going to have wrinkles (and I do!) I want them to be laugh lines.

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  25. I too read this book, and probably due to DJan's recommendation. It is a very good book that made me laugh out loud. Every so often, when I laughed so hard and loud, my husband would ask, "Is that still your 100 year old man that makes you laugh?" Yep, sure was. I was sorry to see that book come to an end.

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  26. Dee,
    Oh how nice that your library has it. Just like Kay. I do hope you enjoy it also.

    NCMountainwoman,
    Thanks for the tip about Harold Fry. I will check it out.

    Dr. Kathy,
    I do hope you enjoy. It is a lovely escape.

    Marylee,
    Like you, I enjoy enhancing my laugh wrinkles. I would hate to be unmarked at this age. What a boring life that would indicate. I'll check out the Rosie Project. Thanks.

    dkzody,
    I love your review. Had I gotten it in time I would have added it to the post. Perfect.

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