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

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After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health. A big celebration is in the works for his 100th birthday, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his alcohol consumption), so he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey. It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: he has not only witnessed some of the most important events of the 20th century, but actually played a key role in them. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

396 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 9, 2009

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About the author

Jonas Jonasson

27 books3,473 followers
After a long career as a journalist, media consultant and television producer, Jonas Jonasson decided to start a new life. He wrote a manuscript, he sold all his possessions in Sweden and moved to a small town by Lake Lugano in Switzerland, only a few meters from the Italian border.

The manuscript became a novel. The novel became a phenomenon in Sweden, and now it is about to reach the rest of the world.

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5 stars
78,656 (29%)
4 stars
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3 stars
60,564 (23%)
2 stars
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1 star
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 27,136 reviews
Profile Image for Jennie.
647 reviews41 followers
December 4, 2013
And the title was so promising...

Dumb. Oh so dumb. The humor, if it could be called that, is roughly on par with children's knock knock jokes. And this feeble comedy is hammered on with an incredible relentlessness over 400 pages.

Ha ha...people drink vodka! Ha ha! A man who doesn't like politics meets every important political leader over 5 decades...ha ha! Religion and politics are dumb. Guffaw guffaw.

I actively groaned more times than be counted. I suppose this title will be the darling of book groups comprised of older ladies (centenarians?) but it's a horrid mashup of Big Fish and Forrest Gump. Appalling.

Readers are also expected to be dumb enough to swallow the idea that Sweden does not have access to forensic science in the year of our Lord 2005.

*Very slight spoiler alert below*

I found myself wondering at the "ho-hum" attitude of our "hero" in the face every every major event of his life...who the fuck would want to live 100 years with that kind of blase feeling about everything?! Are we supposed to root for a man who can't even be bothered to care that he spends a large portion of his 100 years behind bars?
Profile Image for Angela Oliver.
Author 23 books46 followers
February 8, 2013
First it was funny, then it was tedious, then it was just annoying. The name dropping, the fact that one person could have such an influence on world politics. Very farcical. I think what bugged me the most was when they convinced the police officer to join them. Everything was just too smooth, too convenient. I struggled to finish it and I cannot understand what all the hype is about. The writing style seemed off to - aside from the lack of speech marks, there was a lot of repetition and unnecessary bits that I feel might have been the fault of the translator. Essentially this is a yarn. A really, really long yarn. A yarn that you could use to knit scarves for a whole classroom. And, it's kinda lame too. Not worth the effort, but hey, I only wasted two days on it. I'm just glad I read fast.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Robin Webster.
Author 2 books65 followers
October 15, 2012
I don’t think I’ve ever read a book where the title so sums up what the book is all about. The story is set in Sweden and is about the life and adventures of our hero Allan Karlsson who on his hundredth birthday climbed out the window of his old people’s home and disappeared. He then sets out on a journey where he steals a suitcase which turns out to contain a fortune that was paid over to a group of bikers by a Russian organized crime syndicate as payment for a drug deal. There then follows an unlikely but very amusing story of drug dealers trying to track the money down and the police starting a nationwide hunt for Allan after a warrant is issued for a triple murder. As the book progresses, Allan collects a motley crew of really interesting but flawed characters plus an elephant, that somehow all manage to stay one step ahead of the police for much of the book. The book is also interspersed with flashbacks of Allan’s life and how he inadvertently managed to be in the right place at the wrong time and helped influence a number of events and changed the course of twentieth century history.
This book is pure entertainment as far as I am concerned. I wouldn’t say I was finding myself exploding into fits of hysterical laughter as I read the book. However, I found myself smiling as I turned the pages and couldn’t help but chuckle at some of the situations that Allan and his group of friends found themselves in. A great feel good book that I would recommend to anybody.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,887 reviews1,923 followers
May 9, 2021
Pearl Ruled (p100)--coincidentally, the end of chapter 8!
***see update below***
Rating: 1.5* of five

The Publisher Says: The international publishing sensation--over two million copies sold A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it's not too late to start over...

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he's still in good health, and one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn't interested (and he'd like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himself involved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

My Review: Seriously, Sweden? THIS is the best you've got to offer?

I am not a charmed reader, I'm a ticked-off reader who does not wish to continue on the tedious journey between 2005 and, as of chapter 9 which I did not read, WWII. I've already been dragged back to 1905. Oh hell, I didn't like this “utterly unique” (someone needs to explain the concept of a superlative, therefore unmodifiable, part of speech to the copywriter) bag of doorknobs and frankly can't see why anyone would. It's ponderous, it's got disagreeable people practically bursting from it, and it's supposed to be charming?

And Winston Groom's people should be examining the damn thing right close. That Forrest Gump comparison sounds to me like the sound of a gun being spiked: “Look! We admitted it was a lift! No one's hiding it!”

I'll say not. Not hiding the dullness, either. Yeccch.

***UPDATE 5/6/2013***

Disney Nordic and Studiocanal are releasing a film at Christmas. Everyone but me, it seems, loves the thing:

“The book is already establishing itself as a major brand around the world. For us as theatrical distributors, we think we have a winner based on what we saw so far of the powerful film adaptation the producers and our partners at Disney will be delivering at the end of the year,” said Harold Van Lier, exec VP international distribution at Studiocanal. “It is an incredibly cinematic story that is very warm and filled with feel-good humor. It will undoubtedly be one of the major films coming out of Scandinavia at the end of this year.”
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,566 reviews56.6k followers
September 8, 2021
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson

Allan Karlsson is about to celebrate his hundredth birthday, and his retirement home in Malmköping is planning to throw a party.

Allan is alert despite his age, but is not interested in attending the party. Instead, he climbs out the window and disappears.

He walks to the nearest bus station, intending to travel as far as his available cash will allow. While at the bus station, he meets an angry young man with a suitcase which he cannot bring into the toilet as it is too large, so he desperately asks Allan to take care of it.

However, Allan's bus soon arrives and Allan boards it, taking the suitcase with him onto the bus. The suitcase turns out to be stuffed with drug dealers' money; Karlsson is chased by the dealers trying to recover their lost cash. Meanwhile, the retirement home calls the police to search for Allan.

The police have no knowledge of the money and are only looking for Allan, who is known to be somewhat absent-minded. He gets caught up in criminal activity by accident and ends up, unknown to him, being hunted by both the police and a gang of murderous criminals.

Allan manages to outwit one of the criminals with a help of a thief; the criminal freezes to death in a cooler and his body is later thrown into a container heading for Ethiopia. During his escape, Allan meets a few other people, including one who owned an elephant. Allan then outwits another gang member by getting the elephant to crush him to death; the gang member's body is inadvertently sent to Latvia in the boot of a Ford Mustang. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «مرد صد ساله‌ ای که از پنجره فرار کرد و ناپدید شد»؛ «پیرمرد صد ساله ای که از پنجره بیرون پرید و ناپدید شد؛»؛ نویسنده: یوناس یوناسون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز شانزدهم آگوست سال 2014میلادی

عنوان: مرد صد ساله‌ ای که از پنجره فرار کرد و ناپدید شد؛ نویسنده: یوناس یوناسون؛ مترجم: فرزانه طاهری؛ تهران، نیلوفر، چاپ سوم 1393، در372ص؛ شابک: 9789644485978؛ موضوع: داستانهای نویسندگان سوئد - سده 21م

در سال 1392 با عنوان: پیرمرد صد ساله ای که از پنجره بیرون پرید و ن��پدید شد؛ انتشارات به نگار؛

داستان زندگی پیرمرد قهرمان داستان، از ورای تاریخ سده ی بیستم میلادی را، البته به‌ طنز مرور می‌کنیم؛ در حقیقت نویسنده کتاب هر بار به بهانه‌ ای قهرمان داستان را در یک رشته رخدادهای تصادفی درگیر می‌کند، تا او با تعدادی از مهم‌ترین شخصیت‌های سیاسی سدهٔ بیستم میلادی دمخور شود «استالین»، «فرانکو»، «ترومن»، «چرچیل»، «مائو»، «کیم ایل سونگ» و …، از اینراه و با مرور یادمانهای پیرمرد، خوانشگر به صورت طنز، در بطن رویدادهایی همچون «ساخت بمب اتم»، «جنگ‌های داخلی اسپانیا»، و «انقلاب چین»، قرار می‌گیرد؛ نویسنده حتی، قهرمان داستان را در سال‌های دهه ی 1320هجری خورشیدی، به «ایران» هم میآورد، و باعث میشود او توسط سازمان امنیت وقت دستگیر هم بشود؛ در این میان، نه راوی و نه آدم‌های اثر، هیچکدام در پی ارائه ی تصویری درست و واقعی، از زندگی و رخدادهای گذشته و حال نیستند؛ آن‌ها، واقعیت را در هم می‌شکنند، آن را به بازی می‌گیرند، و از نو بنایش می‌کنند؛ این ویران کردن و دوباره ساختن، در سایه ی طنز رخ میدهد؛ و طنز است که ماجراهای گذشته، و حال را، به هم پیوند می‌دهد، و ماجراها را پیش می‌برد؛ نویسنده در این اثر از «رخدادهای تاریخی»، «اندیشه»، «فلسفه»، «کتاب مقدس»، تا «مظاهر روزمره ی زندگی» را، به بازی طنز می‌گیرند، و دنیایی می‌سازند که به گفته ی خود ایشان، به نحوی هوشمندانه، «ابلهانه» است

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 28/07/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 16/06/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Kevin Ansbro.
Author 5 books1,394 followers
July 21, 2019
"I bear a charmed life."
-William Shakespeare.

Oh, what a fun read this was!
A real delight.
My wife was the first to devour it on a recent holiday and while doing so she chortled, chuckled and cackled with such gusto that I imagined someone had let a hyena and a kookaburra loose in our hotel room!
"Oh, you must read this, Kevin! You must read it!" She urged.
(And so I did).

Allan Karlsson absconds from an old people's home on the eve of his hundredth birthday.
He's on the run from the authorities in his urine-stained slippers, like a geriatric Jason Bourne.

This is a centenarian who has nothing to lose. He's previously led a mercurial existence and this last hurrah is the cherry to crown a life of hurrahs.
Crazily ludicrous and delightfully hilarious, we watch this man's Quixotic quest unfold at a snail's pace, though he is the tortoise to his trackers' hare.

'Bolt & Bucket' might sound like a great name for a hardware store, but these are in fact the idiot henchmen who have a part to play in the story.

In his youth, Karlsson had already used up each one of his nine lives, at one stage daring to suggest to Stalin that he might look better with his moustache shaved off!

I too chortled, chuckled and cackled while reading this inoffensive little novel, and it may tickle your funny bone too.

The only thing that I don't like about the book is that it takes the best part of the day to type the title! : )

If you've already enjoyed the book, I'd like to recommend the movie DVD/Blu Ray, which I watched today.
Profile Image for Caz (littlebookowl).
301 reviews40.3k followers
August 13, 2015
This was fairly enjoyable and funny, but a little out there for my taste. While I understand that a lot of the crazy and unrealistic things that happen were for comedic effect, I tired of it eventually.
If you are looking for a witty, funny, light-hearted tale, maybe give it a try!
Profile Image for Libbeth.
298 reviews41 followers
October 2, 2012
If I could have read this book at school instead of dull text books 'O'level history would have been brought to life. I enjoyed the way historical figures and events were tied in with Allan's remarkable life story, I enjoyed the characters, the daftness of it all and of course what's not to love about an elephant.

Profile Image for F.
294 reviews252 followers
December 20, 2016
I loved this book! I have a soft spot for old men so maybe that helped!
I totally adored this old man! Such a sweetie and lead a very interesting life being involved in key points in history. (although I did find one or two of these historic chapters dragged on a bit)

Went straight into the story and the story was brillant.

Had so many unexpected events and moments in this book. Great characters including the chief inspector. Was brillant and kept me hooked the entire way through it. If in all honestly I did prefer the original story compared to the lengthy historic parts but they were very much enjoyed too.

Loved it!
Profile Image for Baba.
3,560 reviews856 followers
March 17, 2022
A pretty neat comedy about a 100 year old man 'escaping' from an old people's home and getting involved in an outlandish and funny adventure; an adventure in which his incredible past is also revealed. Another sterling effort from Scandinavia! 8 out of 12.

2013 read
Profile Image for Simonne.
47 reviews
July 31, 2016
Totally bizar book :) A Forust gump kind of feeling. I've never read any kind of book like this one.
The author made me wonder many times what to expect next and often I had a smile on my face.

A bizar great fun kind of book.
Profile Image for Maziar MHK.
174 reviews152 followers
September 19, 2020
ذهن فوق العاده خلاقی میخواهد که نویسنده ای در سوئد بنشیند و اینگونه، از فرارِ یک پیرمرد 100 ساله از یک آسایشگاه سالمندان، در بسترِ دو داستان موازی
و مجزا، از گذشته و حالش بگوید، در گذشته اش از مائو، استالین، سازمان امنیت ایران، بمب اتم و... خاطره ها بسازد و در فازِ حالِ داستان هم، به کِنِف کردنِ یک باندِ تبهکار توسطُ این خُفته از گورِ جواندل بپردازد

داستان سازی هایی چونان، بمب اتم ساختن وانتقالِ دانشِ تولیدَش به آمریکا و شوروی، خوب بهانه ای است تا آنجا که شدنی ست، به حماقت های سران بلوک
شرق و غرب و ایدئولوژی هایِ کاپیتالیسم و کمونیزم بتازد و آن آخرِ آخر، برسد به خوشگذرانی ،ازدواج و بارداری زن جدیدَش در بالی اندونزی

ترجمه چنان دلنشین بود که با آمارِ 180صفحه در روزِاول (با چند وقفه یِ کوتاه)، رکوردِ سرعتِ خوانشَم جابجا شد

یک توضیح
اوایل دهه 20 شمسی، که "آلن" (شخصیتِ محوریِ داستان)، ادعایِ سفر به ایران و حضور در تهران را دارد، "ساواک" وجود خارجی نداشته، فلذا بردن از آن، یا نتیجه یِ کَم دانیِ نویسنده است و یا کوتاهی مترجم

نویسنده کتاب، "یوناسن" هم مثل هموطنش بِکمن، خالقِ "مردی بنام اُوه"، قلم بدستِ گُزیده نویس و طَنازی ست که برای خواندن ذهن آفریده هایش، حاجتِ هیچ استخاره نیست
جسارتا توصیه میشود این کتاب را بدلیل داستان های موازی، در کوتاه زمان بخوانید تا کِیفش زائل نگردد
Profile Image for Becky.
392 reviews159 followers
October 3, 2012
My first thought upon finishing this book (and the thought will sound negative but it's really not) is that it was much longer than I thought it would be. And I say that, not negatively, because truly, how much can you expect from an 100-year-old man who climbs out of a window?

Well, Allan Karlsson is not your typical 100-year-old man, and this book will prove it to you. I read some of the reviews before I started it, and many people compared the book to the movie Forrest Gump. After finishing the book, I realize I hadn't once thought of Forrest Gump, nor made any comparisons. (Maybe I haven't seen Forrest Gump enough times).

I enjoyed reading this book because it's very cleverly funny, and with so many historical figures thrown in you'll lose track of how Allan came into contact with them. From President Truman/Johnson/Nixon, Mao Tse-Tung, Kim Il-sung AND Kim Jong-il, Stalin, and Brezhnev, Allan's story is unbelievable and over-the-top. But the fact remains that, sometimes, life can be so unbelievable, it has to be true.

The narrative goes between Allan's history and what happens to him after he climbs out of the window of the elderly folks home on his 100th birthday. The fact that Allan is in an old folks home would lead you to believe he's a doddering old man who has been deteriorating there for some time, but in fact he'd only been in the home for a few months, and only then because he'd blown his own house to the sky.

Sound interesting?

The book follows Allan through his past and present adventures and makes the reader feel kind of bad that they haven't had a coffee with at least ONE former communist leader (what kind of life have I been leading, anyway??) unlike Allan, who has sung, danced, drank, ate, AND had coffee - with a lot of them. I enjoyed Allan as a character who is extremely mild-mannered, with absolutely no interest in politics or religion, and thus ends up working and travelling to any number of political and religious places. The storyline and characters blend and flow very well, and while this wasn't a book I couldn't put down because I HAD to know what was going to happen, it did keep my interest and I enjoyed it.

Plus...wouldn't you hope that - if you had the misfortune to make it to the age of 100 - you would be brave enough to climb out of a window and start over again?

Profile Image for Adina.
827 reviews3,226 followers
April 28, 2016
This weekend I saw the movie based on the book and I decided to upgrade my rating because I realized I enjoyed this book a lot. This is the perfect example of a well executed dark comedy. Jonas Jonasson sets the bar for humor literature for me. Such a a crazy, imaginative, delightful book this is.

Profile Image for Charlotte May.
695 reviews1,073 followers
April 14, 2017
2.5 stars.
I really had to push myself through this.
The premise was great - a one hundred year old man climbs out of the window in his old people's home and goes on an adventure, meanwhile we follow a separate timeline of his life before the home - Forrest Gump style.
I genuinely thought it would be great, and actually the present day parts were quite funny sometimes albeit just plain ridiculous everywhere else! But the parts that flashed back to his past, where he seemed to meet every political leader and contribute to both sides in nearly every war was just too much for me. I love a bit of madness and things that are obscure don't bother me, but I just couldn't work out how I was supposed to process this. As humorous craziness? Or just mad old coincidences? Believable but unlikely stories told by a senile old man?
I just couldn't make it fit in my mind, not to mention all the name dropping and political alliances that my poor brain just couldn't follow and frankly didn't care about either!
Not for me I'm afraid, I'll give an extra half star for creativity but I don't think I'll be reading anymore of Jonasson's books.
Profile Image for Hal.
201 reviews7 followers
October 29, 2014
This novel is absolutely insane! It destroys any image you may have of the stoic, humorless Swede. You may want to avoid reading this book in public. Your guffaws, snickers and smiles are apt to draw weird looks from folks around you.

"The 100-Year-Old Man..." was a hit when first published in Swedish and continued as a comedic smash when translated into English.

It is certainly a rewriting of history. You meet a Franco, a Truman, a Mao, a Nixon and others along the way who are nothing like the historic personages you think you know. Throw in a bunch of Swedes, some would-be criminals, a dull-witted prosecutor and an elephant and you have a story that is zany, hilarious and any other adjective you care to ascribe to it.

And it all begins with a centenarian in a retirement home who couldn't/wouldn't face the hullabaloo over his 100th birthday and climbed out the window and disappeared and left hilarity in his wake.
Profile Image for فرشاد.
150 reviews301 followers
May 31, 2015
یکی از جالب ترین کتابهایی هست که این اواخر خوندم ..روایت موازی از زندگی حال و گذشته یه پیرمرد همراه با ذکر جزئیات تاریخی .. کتاب طنز قابل قبولی داره و روایتی نویسنده خیلی روون و جذاب هست .. ولیکن بنظر میرسه حجم کتاب میتونست قدری ازین کمتر باشه .. و البته اواخر داستان به اندازه شروع جالب نیست .. و اخرین نکته هم اینکه فکر میکنم بخش تاریخی کتاب از بخش دوم قشنگ تر باشه ..درکل کتاب جالبی بود ..
Profile Image for Ana.
805 reviews595 followers
February 27, 2015
My first impulse was to give this a one-star rating, and after about two seconds of thinking, I did exactly that. However, after a more careful revision and after re-reading a couple of passages, I decided this should get a solid two-star rating. The reason is simple: a one star rating, by my mind, is for a book I deem incomparably stupid and written by an imbecile who can't put a couple of words together to form an at least decent story. I have given one star ratings before, and after looking through them, I have to admit that, in my opinion, they were totally deserved.

"The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared" is not that bad. I didn't find anything I particularly liked about the book, or anything that would be considered "good" in terms of fiction, but one of my criteria for giving something one star is that it has to have horrible writing. The kind filled with adverbs (Stephen King is right, you know), where there's no sentence longer than four words, where there's no development in style or even a good old fashioned bit of text that sorta-really-actually resembles another piece of writing. It wasn't like that with Jonasson's book; the writing isn't especially disgusting or in any way a horrible experience. Most of it could be turned on to the decent side, if he would just pay more attention to details. That's why, in the end, this gets two little golden shining stars.

For starters, this book is absurd. And not absurd in the fictional way, not fantasy-absurd. No. Real absurd. There's nothing plausible about this work. I know, after reading it, that it was probably meant to be absurd and that in general fiction is supposed to touch on situations that might not be real, but Jonasson went out of his way to make this one really test your patience! And, frankly, it does just that - it doesn't appeal to your imagination, rather it punches your endurance right in the face and yells at her until you finally decide you've had enough. Now, don't bust my balls over this. Fiction - I do know - is not real. But at least with good fiction, the author tries to make it as plausible as possible. In here, the absurdity was multiplied by the horrifying sense of humor that the author seemed to enjoy.

I won't even bother with a full synopsis, I'll just strike through what I though were really bad moments.

Apparently, Allan (the centenarian the title of the book is referring to) saved and had an eccentric dinner with general Franco, during which they came to be on first-name terms. After that, he was commanded by Roosevelt to create a bomb (hello there, nuke); he spent some time in libraries, researching in order to understand the chemical reactions that Americans were using for their weapons, and he single-handedly solved the biggest problem they had: controlling a nuclear fission. Between two sessions at that most secret library, he would serve coffee at Oppenheimer's table. While being there, as a waiter, he decided to suggest to Oppenheimer to split the uranium in two equal parts and detonate the bomb before it reached the destination. At the exact same time, Vice President Truman sort of walked into the room, found out what happened and declared Allan hero of the day, asking him to join in for a bite in Washington, at his favorite Mexican restaurant. After they drank a dubious amount of tequila, Allan and Truman were, of course, best buddies. The Vice President apparently amused Allan by imitating the pathetic attempts Roosevelt made when he tried to get up from his wheelchair. Funny, really, because some minutes later, the centenarian was there to hear the first announcement of Roosevelt's death.

Does this whole scene seem plausible, in any way, to you?

While we're on the subject of world leaders that Allan had dinner with, let's not forget to include Stalin and Mao; they really entertained him with amazing dinners, with the exception of Mao, who only had noodles to offer him.

I mean, that always happens in normal life, right?

At one point, it's also suggested that he was the one who ordered the bombing of Hiroshima, on the 6th of August 1945, though by my humble opinion, the author got the bomber model wrong. He says it's a B56, but it was a Boeing B29 Superfotress; the B56 is another kind of tactical bomber.

Plus, Allan was apparently a highly intelligent man and could learn new languages in a matter of months. Originally, he was from Sweden. I understood the affinity for English, which is a simple language, for Spanish, which is not so simple but still a pretty straightforward one, but I stopped believing him at Chinese. For real, Jonasson? Also, because of how the 20th century went, I was positive he would also get to learn Russian - and I was in no way wrong. He picked it up, by his own saying, in a school named "Gulag". Nice joke, Jonasson. You're really making me laugh.

It was never funny. Not even "sarcastic-smile" funny. Not even "you-should-smile-at-this-because-the-author-tried-to-be-witty" funny. Never. Let me give you an example of what I had to sit through, page after page:

"The bad news", said Julius, and lowered his voice a little, "the bad news is that when we were well and truly pissed last night, we forgot to turn off the fan in the freezer-room."

"And?" said Allan.

"And... the guy inside must be dead cold - or cold dead - by now."

With a worried look, Allan scratched his neck while he decided whether to let the news of his carelessness spoil the day.

"Oh dear," he said. "But, on the other hand, I must say that you've got these eggs just right, not too hard and not too runny."

Yes. That is the wit this author brings to the table. Can't make much of it. I doubt many people can make much of it. It's nonsense, it's empty blabber, his dialogue is composed mostly of useless, senseless jokes that are supposed to evidentiate his character's philosophy of life.

Which is, basically: "it is what it is, therefore, what will be will be." I can't think of anything stupider than that. I'm ok with accepting what comes your way in life, but extending that philosophy to anything and everything in your path is mentally unhealthy and doesn't make for a very good fighter when life throws you something you have to struggle with.

The characters' conscience seems to have been thrown out the window, because killing people becomes just a minor deficiency of their trip and is dismissed as unimportant. They never panic - they don't even scare at the sight of human bodies and they're as comfortable when disposing of them as a 50 year old experienced Russian mercenary.

Then there comes an even more confusing part to the story - the elephant. Sonya (the elephant), seems to be an enriching element. Was it put into the story to give it depth? I don't know. But related to her was this book's funniest moment: the death of Bucket, a petty thief and a certified idiot. He threatened Allan with a gun, but then the centenarian man had the brilliant idea to make him slide and fall into one of Sonya's dumps and command the elephant to sit down... on top of the poor guy. Consequently, Bucket died, squashed by an elephant's butt.

What was this particular Scandinavian smoking when he wrote this?!
Profile Image for بثينة العيسى.
Author 22 books25.4k followers
January 11, 2019
هذه رواية لطيفة، يندر أن يقرأ أحدنا نصًا أدبيًا على هذا القدر من الفكاهة. في مقاطع كثيرة وجدتني أقهقه، وأنا بطبيعتي ممتنة لكل من يجعلني أضحك.

مجنونة فكرة أن يكون عجوزا في المئة من عمره سببًا في تشكيل تاريخنا المعاصر. أحببت الربط وقدرة الكاتب المدهشة على خلق العلاقات. الحبكة كانت متقنة مثل ماسّة.

الشيء الوحيد الذي لم يعجبني هو الإطالة، بعد 200 صفحة تصبح شريكا مع الكاتب في الكتابة، لأنك اكتشفت لعبته، وهذا أفقدني بعض المتعة.

قراءة ممتعة أتمناها للجميع! وشكرا دار المنى على هذا الكتاب.
Profile Image for مونا حسینی.
Author 9 books148 followers
August 31, 2016
یک کتاب بینظیر با ترجمه ای فوق العاده عالی
اصلا به نظرم در این کتاب ، مترجم یعنی خانم فرزانه طاهری
با واژه های قشنگی که به کار بردن و جمله های زیبایی که نوشتن
معجزه کردن.
خوندنش رو به همه توصیه می کنم :)
Profile Image for Catriona.
141 reviews41 followers
May 27, 2012
A charming, sweet and often hilarious black comedy.
Enter the world of Allan Karlsson - the 100 year old explosives expert who, during his rather extraordinary century, has met some of the most influential of world leaders, stolen from a ferocious gang member whilst he was in the toilet, developed an affinity with Sonja (who doesn't often take to people - she's quite a discerning elephant) and is a very loyal and protective cat owner.
Not one for sitting quietly when it's time to do something, Allan decides to leave his old folks home on the day of his 100th birthday. Chaos ensues as Allan decides to leave the home, pick a direction and see what will happen next. After all, things are what they are, and whatever will be will be...
Profile Image for Elyse Walters.
4,002 reviews36k followers
May 2, 2014
Want to know where 'the old man' went when he climbed out of the window? Curious? Stop reading the reviews --trust your friend --and take the journey yourself. [MANY other great reviews if you 'must' read some].

This book is priceless!

'Dudes' too will enjoy this book, also! Reading this, *Gary*! lol

Profile Image for Sawsan.
1,001 reviews
March 15, 2022
يهرب آلن من نافذة غرفته بدار المسنين في عيد ميلاده المائة ويختفي
ينطلق في رحلة غير مُخطط لها يلتقي فيها بشخصيات غريبة وأحداث غير مُتوقعة
وأثناء رحلة الهروب يحكي الكاتب عن حياة آلن خلال مائة عام ومغامراته التي لا تنتهي
طوال حياته يقع في ورطات غير معقولة ويخرج منها ببساطة وعفوية
يتنقل بين البلاد ويعاصر الأحداث الكبيرة والخطيرة في العالم ويُصادق رؤساء الدول

رواية لطيفة ومسلية مكتوبة بأسلوب فكاهي وساخر
Profile Image for Margitte.
1,163 reviews512 followers
April 17, 2015
This is the most hilarious, off-the-charts, tragicomedy-idea I have read in a long time. Probably the most outrageous bucket list in motion ever constructed as a plot. I felt a little bit psycho for sniggering where I should not. And laughing out loud made me question my own levels of emotional intelligence! But really, the book is written so bizarrely funny, I just could not help myself. Did I stop reading when I thought to rather see a shrink than continue? Of course not! The action-packed murder, suspense, thriller had me tied to the characters, of which Sonya the elephant was my favorite, like a desperate closet-masochist! It is not really a murder | Suspense | thriller, but it contains many of the elements there of.

You not only have to think outside the box here, you will have to stand outside it as well and make sure to drag a ton of salt with you. You won't make it otherwise! Everything in the book could have happened, but not with the satirical twist it was done with. Crazy, obscene, and cynically brilliant. It is more or less a hundred years of world history summarized in one aged old man's life story. Just imagine if it all could have been true! Indeed, an unusual rendition of the question 'what if'!

The book reminds me so much about the Broadway black comedy play, which became a successful motion picture "The Little Horror Shop". In the one scene a masochist is waiting in the dentist's office for his turn, when the sadistic dentist comes out with a huge bore machine yelling "who wants to have a slow...painful...bridge!" The little masochist excitedly jumped up and down on his chair, pleading "Me!....Do Me!....oh please do me!" - or something like that. And the audience fell down laughing, including yours truly, scared into anaphylactic shock!

Yes, as someone commented elsewhere, it can be Forest Gump on steroids, and in my humble opinion, it would have taken a few truck loads of the stuff for Forest to become Alan Emmanuel Karlsson.

It is the same idea as "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" Yes, very much the same, come to think of it! Only this time the bus accommodates the one-hundred-year-old Alan Emmanuel Karlsson, who decided to elope from the old-age home in his Swedish town, and his cronies, whom he met on his new adventure: Julius Johnsson(67), eternal student Benny Ljungberg, the red-haired Gunilla Björkund, newly-religious food-wholesaler Bosse(Benny's brother), gangster-boss Per-Gunmar Gerdin, Sonya the elephant and the Alsation dog, Buster. In hot pursuit was Chief Inspector Göran Aronsson, the police dog Kicki, and prosecutor Ranelid.

This is social commentary at its most bizarre, which makes it even more hilarious. Hilarious in the sense of plot and the execution there of. The two parallel stories, told in alternating chapters, both revert the ordinary into the extraordinary in consistent high drama. Most of this book can be offered as stand-up comedy and it will raise the roof of the venue with hysterical laughter. But, you must have a healthy sense of humor to appreciate it.

In the end, I walked away with a smile and will forever do so when I see this book on my shelves. It made me laugh at the world. For today it is okay. Tomorrow is another day.

But right now the world is a much better place because this story made me laugh for everything that is wrong with our human existence. Just for once.

Kudos to Bobby McFerrin's song: Don't worry, be happy!

Profile Image for Liz.
2,019 reviews2,522 followers
April 26, 2021
3.5 stars, rounded down
Every now and then, I need a break from the dark and twisty mysteries I favor. This book sounded like it would fit the bill as a bit of humor. On his 100th birthday, Allan decides he’s had it with the nursing home where he lives. So he literally crawls out the window. It doesn’t take long for him to get into quite an adventure.
The book winds Allan’s past history into the present day’s story, which actually takes place in 2005. As it plays out, it becomes apparent that Allan was there for all the important events of the past century, and often had a hand in shaping those same events. It vaguely reminded me of Forrest Gump in that way.
The book is described as quirky and it’s an apt description. It’s full of fun characters, most of which are endearing. But I found the pace of the book uneven and not all the sections of the back story worked for me. At times, I was happy to speed the book up to get through some of the duller sections.
Steven Crossley is a decent narrator, although his attempts to sound like several American presidents fell flat.
Profile Image for Debbie.
441 reviews2,783 followers
October 10, 2018
Maybe he thought the window was the bathroom door? Just sayin….

After all, he’s 100 years old--he's probably down a few pints by now and the bathroom may not be where he thinks it is. Nah, in truth I don't think the guy thought the window led to the bathroom; I think the old fool really did want to escape. But let’s get real—this guy was nuts! You wouldn’t see me climbing out of any damn window if I were 100! I’d want to stay inside, installed on my comfy recliner, staying warm in my turquoise, moth-eaten socks. I’d have my BP meds, big-print book, and cup of lukewarm tea on the table next to me (they wouldn’t allow my shaky 100-year-old hand to hold a cup of scalding hot, now would they?), while I rocked on out to Judge Judy.

Now, me, I probably would mistake the window for the bathroom door. But even if I made it outside without breaking a hip, I’d make a beeline to the front door and pound like mad, begging to be let back in, yelling for someone to open the damn door before I peed my pants. But not this guy, oh no. He ran for the hills.

Okay. Enough of this silliness, on to the book. I like funny, I got funny, big time. So what��s with the 3-star rating? I say rip out all the chapters of the back story, and we have us a deal. Seriously, this book was a kick but it needed to be half as long.

The story is about the escapades of a 100-year-old geezer, Allan, who escapes out the window of his nursing home. The second his feet hit the ground, the fun starts. He gets himself in all kinds of trouble with all sorts of people (and one elephant—seriously, the author pulls this off so it seems only funny, not stupid). The story is action-packed and Allan is a riot. I couldn’t take my eyes off the show, but oh no, I had to, because that was only half the book. Man was I pissed I had to keep leaving the party! The other half (whose chapters alternate with the here-and-now story) is about Allan’s wild and crazy days of the past. Like I said, I wanted to rip out all the chapters about his past life. It seemed to me, in my snit, that there were way more pages telling of the past. I am not a skimmer, but skim I did, in several places.

It wasn’t that Allan’s past was boring, it for sure wasn’t—the author is forever clever. Allan is such a weird guy. He knows how to make atomic bombs (which interests many of the world leaders he meets), but his claim to fame is his easy-going, fearless, wheeler-dealer personality, which always gets him out of jams.

But two things about this back story: First, I never thought I’d say this, but I now think there is such a thing as too much jam in the jam-packed. Allan had so many exciting things happen to him, he got himself into so many pickles, I found myself saying, oh here we go again—please, enough already! Allan may be a whopping 100 years old, but I was more focused on the fact that the book is a whopping 400 pages. Too long to laugh! Maybe it’s not possible to sustain funny for that many pages. Imagine watching a stand-up comedian for hours; you’d probably get bored after a while, or your brain would just stop paying attention because it would be too much work. The author was trying to cram the whole cake down my throat, but I kept begging him to cut me just a little piece—I don’t want to get sick!

And the second reason I didn’t like the back story, and this was the biggest reason, was that it was all about Allan’s encounters with world leaders. He had run-ins with Truman, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, and Churchill, among others. I hate reading about politics and history. If I were a politico, knew more about world leaders, I probably would have appreciated it.

My bet is that the author had a blast writing this book—I don’t think it could be so funny, otherwise. And I’m guessing that while he was writing it, he had absolutely no idea where it was going; he let the characters guide him rather than the other way around. I’d be surprised if he worked from much of an outline; the absurdities felt like they appeared out of nowhere. I say this because goofing around (and with questionable talent), I’ve written something in the same vein (with my daughter, and we did it all through texting!) and the fun was in watching where the story would go. It’s surprising where your head goes when you let it all hang out! When you get somewhere, you’re left scratching your head, wondering how you got to this weird and wild and wonderful made-up place, but then there’s a little voice that says Top That! And you’re off to the races again, creating more and more outrageous scenes. As a reader, I loved going on the exciting and bizarre ride with this author. This guy is brilliant and funny. I mean really funny. My favorite kind of funny is absurd, and he has absurd down pat.

The book was like an adult fairy tale that was firmly based in the absurd. But whenever I went into the world of famous leaders, I was taken out of fairy-tale land. I don’t think fairy tales and politics go together, at all! I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m frustrated that this wasn’t two separate books: A book about Allan’s adventures now, and a book about Allan’s adventures back then. I would buy the first book, but not the second. And that first book would get 5 stars. Meanwhile, I sort of have a stomach ache from too much cake!!
Profile Image for Supratim.
233 reviews443 followers
July 7, 2018
Allan Karlsson is the hundred year old man who climbed out of the wind of an old age home and disappeared. He had actually fled from the restrictive confines of the old age home. On a whim, he would also steal a bag full of cash from a gang member and thus begins his adventures.

He would make friends, both humans and animals, and a few enemies as well. We would also get to know about the incredible life Allan had led. The chapters would alternate between his past and the present adventures.

If you can suspend your disbelief , then you might enjoy the story. Why did I say this? Because, Allan had not only been involved in some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but had rubbed shoulders with some of the most powerful people in the world such as Stalin, Mao, Truman and General Franco. The adventures are very difficult to digest but fun.

Allan had a particular skill – he was a very competent explosive expert, and intentionally or unintentionally people around him were often blown up. Now, Allan was a “politically blind” person without the slightest intention in religion. But, always found himself in situations where he was forced to use his deadly skills.

Allan’s exploits reminded me of the adventures of Forrest Gump. But, unlike Forrest our protagonist was not a socially awkward person, rather he knew what to say and what to do. Though somewhat laid back and not devious, Allan knew when to change sides when it suited him.
Allan’s present adventure was fun, but I enjoyed the adventures of his past life more.

Some people have called this novel a “dark comic” but the story had a bit too happy ending for most of the characters in the story.

If you can digest absurd adventures and do not mind a lot people being shot or blown to bits, then you might want to check out the book.
Profile Image for Luís.
1,858 reviews513 followers
May 28, 2023
I loved the beginning; I was ready to send him to join the only inhabitant of my desert island!
With ease, Jonasson tells us this hilarious story of a centenarian escaping from the retirement home, stealing a suitcase without malice, and sharing the loot with illegal men and women.
This road movie was interspersing, extraordinary biography of the centenary expert in explosives. Too strong, this intimacy with Harry Truman!
But now, meeting all the vice prime ministers of the last 100 years has become cumbersome and tedious.
Profile Image for Mohammad Hrabal.
270 reviews184 followers
July 14, 2020
کتاب جالبی بود و من دوستش داشتم. یک فیلم از آن اقتباس شده است که البته تفاوت‌های کمی با کتاب دارد.
The 100 year-old man who climbed out the window and disappeared (2013) 7.1 Meta:58
وقتی زندگی به وقت اضافه کشیده است، راحت می‌شود پا از گلیم خود درازتر کرد و روی صندلی جا خوش کرد. ص 7 کتاب
عمو معتقد بود که عاقبت سوسیالیزم این می‌شود که همه تلاش می‌کنند همه‌ی بقیه را بکشند تا وقتی که فقط یک نفر باقی می‌ماند که همه‌ی تصمیم‌ها را بگیرد. بنابراین بهتر است از همان اول به تزار تکیه کنند که مردی خوب و تحصیل کرده است و جهان بینی دارد. ص 26 کتاب
لازم نبود در قرن هفدهم آدم‌ها این همه همدیگر را بکشند. کافی بود یک کم صبور باشند و آخرش بالاخره همه‌شان می‌مردند. یولیوس گفت که در مورد همه زمان‌ها می‌شود همین را گفت. ص کتاب
انتقام چیز خوبی نیست. انتقام مثل سیاست است، یک چیز همیشه به چیز دیگر منجر می‌شود تا اینکه بد بدتر می‌شود و بدتر بدترین. ص67 کتاب
چقدر عاقلانه است که آدم روزش را با حدس و گمان درباره‌ی رخدادهای احتمالی پیش رو شروع نکند. ص 201 کتاب
Profile Image for Steven  Godin.
2,375 reviews2,249 followers
September 14, 2017
Abandoned p/77.

Couldn't connect with it at all, Allan Karlsson, the one hundred year old man in question was a pain in the bum, even in the brief time I spent in his company. The writing also felt lackluster and lazy.
If Jonasson set out with the good intentions to pen a warm-hearted, funny and feel good novel then fair enough, he has probably achieved this for the vast majority. Well, I am not in the vast majority, as in my eyes it was just plain bad, but at least I gave it a shot.
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