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

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

3.82 (158,831 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

Sitting quietly in his room in an old people's home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn't want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not . . .

Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan's earlier life is revealed. A life in which - remarkably - he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.

Translated by Roy Bradbury.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 130 x 199 x 27mm | 310g
  • Abacus
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0349141800
  • 9780349141800
  • 1,707

Review Text

A mordantly funny and loopily freewheeling debut novel about ageing disgracefully Sunday Times
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Review quote

This quirky novel is a sly, satirical look back at international relations in the 20th century through the eyes of an old man who has seen it all * Library Journal * Eccentric, unusual and far-fetched in the best possible way * Bookseller * [A] laugh-out-loud debut. . . . Historical figures like Mao's third wife, Vice President Truman, and Stalin appear, to great comic effect. Other characters-most notably Albert Einstein's hapless half-brother - are cleverly spun into the raucous yarn, and all help drive this gentle lampoon of procedurals and thrillers * Publishers Weekly (starred review) * [A] silly and wonderful novel. [The scenes] will just keep readers amused almost non-stop, and that's a feat few writers achieve. A great cure for the blues, especially for anyone who might feel bad about growing older * Kirkus Reviews (starred review) * The anti Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. . . . Jonasson's lighthearted novel shows the softer side of Sweden. . . . hilarious * Marie Claire * Scandi-crime's signature darkness is here dispelled by Allan Karlsson, the eponymous centenarian, who with unlikely sprightliness hops out of the window of his old people's home one afternoon. . . . Fast-moving and relentlessly sunny. . . . Like Allan, the plot is pleasingly nimble and the book's endearing charm offers a happy alternative to the more familiar Nordic noir * Guardian * Imaginative, laugh-out-loud . . . a brilliant satire on the foibles of mankind * Telegraph * A mordantly funny and loopily freewheeling debut novel about ageing disgracefully * Sunday Times *
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About Jonas Jonasson

Jonas Jonasson was a journalist for the Expressen newspaper for many years. He became a media consultant and later on set up a company producing sports and events for Swedish television. He sold his company and moved abroad to work on his first novel. Jonasson now lives on the Swedish island Gotland in the Baltic Sea.
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Rating details

158,831 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 30% (47,066)
4 37% (58,108)
3 23% (36,411)
2 8% (12,577)
1 3% (4,669)
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