Now I'm getting the chance to read books I didn't have time for before. Think of me whenever you see the slogan "So many books, so little time!" Now I've got the time.  Cheers, Fred.

The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of his Window and Disappeared

Book Number: 
737
Date Fred Read: 
January 2018
Fred's Rating: 
4
Author: 
Jonas Jonasson
Total Pages: 
384
Publisher: 
Hyperion
Year: 
2012

Jonas Jonasson was a journalist for many years, became a media consultant and later the founder of a sporting events production company for Swedish television. After selling his company, he moved abroad to work on his first novel. This book (737) was an international bestseller.

I read the paperback edition but give here the Amazon website for the Kindle edition:

https://www.amazon.com/100-Year-Old-Man-Climbed-Window-Disappeared-ebook...

[None of the ISBN-10, ISBN-13, or ASIN numbers on Amazon’s websites for the three editions (Kindle, hardcover, or paperback) are recognized by Amazon, thus the ‘no image Circle' appears. I think this new change by Amazon is not good. However, you can see the images of this books' covers at the website above.]

The home page has a very good summary (click on ‘Read more’). To see the author’s style, I recommend using Amazon’s ‘Look inside’ option for the Kindle edition which includes the first 21 pages – thus Ch. 1, Ch. 2, and most of Ch. 3. Note that the chapters each have a date. The date for Ch. 4 is 1905-1929. The author usually alternates the current exploits of his fictional centenarian hero, Allan Karlsson, with very interesting, informative, and often amusing episodes from his past. At first I had wished he had immediately moved on to the events to come for current centenarian Allan, but I very soon learned that these ‘back’ stories were essential to understand how Allan came to be the aged person of the current events.

Of course, with Alan having met with the likes of Stalin, Churchill, Truman, Mao, Franco, de Gaulle and a few others, these ‘back’ stories reminded me of how unlikely such meetings were for James Michener’s many fictional-historical novels. Michener paved the way by having one (or more) of his fictional characters encounter and mix with historical people. This insertion of a fictional character helps connects the reader with history.

I thank Jonas Jonasson for making these meetings of Allan Karlsson usually pleasant ones, since in these meetings Allan sometimes had a meal and vodka with the historical personage, so that they became friends if only for a short time. These ‘back’ stories give us what we need to know about the character of our centenarian hero, Allan Karlsson, as he aged. By doing so, the current encounters of the centenarian Alan and the friends and companions he picks up become more creditable. They often add both humor and wonder as the current episodes move forward in time.

I enjoyed this fiction very much. I found the book hard to put down, which I had been warned by he who lent me this book. However, I found the last few chapters a bit of a letdown, probably because the ending was not what I wanted to see happen – that is, for Alan and some of his companions (mainly the other old folks) finally settled down to being satisfied with the idea of many days of just sitting in a lounge chair on a beautiful beach far away from where all the actions of their encounters took place, just lying there and thinking of their past lives. They had the money to do this, for the suitcase Alan stole just before he boarded the bus to a remote place, was full of money, enough to carry them from the beginning until the end on the beach or wherever they ended up. This is telling you enough.

I rate this amusing and entertaining fiction at four stars. The letdown at the book’s end cost it a star – I wanted more adventure to come so I could enjoy Alan and his companions doing some more interesting encounters.