It took me a hundred years to read this book.


The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

I feel as though I have been conned. I have seen people left, right and centre reading The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared, it must be good I thought. Rookie error.

I had succumb to illness and thought it would be an excellent time to spend a few days curled up in bed reading a new book (I was bed bound – parents’ orders, don’t ask). The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared tells the story of Allan Karlsson a remarkable man who decides enough is enough and jumps out of the window of his old people’s home. What follows is that of pure silliness as he cheats death, the law and his health and even has time to make friends with an elephant.

Running parallel to this narrative is tales of Allan’s past which acts as a brief history lesson of the twentieth century. Author Jonas Jonasson covers ideologies such as Communism through Allan’s meeting with Stalin, Capitalism via his alliance with several American presidents and the secretive nature of the North Koreans.

I did enjoy the first two hundred pages and then it all started to go wrong as the book got more political and silly. I considered giving up but thought that I might as well carry on to the bitter end (I did have to skip some sections).

It did tend to get a little deep at times (I am not one for politics) but I am presuming the ‘humour’ of Allan’s present narrative was supposed to counterbalance this. However for me, this did not work. Yes, there was the odd moment I chuckled as there are some brilliant one liners but most of the time I just found this story odd and barbaric. It definitely did not to appeal to my sense of humour; I feel it is best suited for middle class political individuals with a mature sense of humour.

It’s only redeeming quality? The front cover. I loved the colour, window panes and font – I really am easily pleased. To think I spent some of my birthday money on this book – I wish I had put it to better use.