5 days ago
Monday, February 24, 2014
"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.
at 5:06 AM Posted by Arkansas Patti