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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared [Kindle Edition]

Jonas Jonasson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,294 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $6.01 (38%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

The international publishing sensation--over six million copies sold worldwide!

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 in 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.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Desperate to avoid his 100th birthday party, Allan Karlsson climbs out the window of his room at the nursing home and heads to the nearest bus station, intending to travel as far as his pocket money will take him. But a spur-of-the-moment decision to steal a suitcase from a fellow passenger sends Allan on a strange and unforeseen journey involving, among other things, some nasty criminals, a very large pile of cash, and an elephant named Sonya. It’s just another chapter in a life full of adventures for Allan, who has become entangled in the major events of the twentieth century, including the Spanish Civil War and the Manhattan Project. As Allan’s colorful and complex history merges with his present-day escapades, readers will be treated to a new and charmingly funny version of world history and get to know a very youthful old man whose global influence knows no age limit. An international best-seller, this is an engaging tale of one man’s life lived to the fullest. --Carol Gladstein

Review

"[A] witty caper. ***1/2"—People

"[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

"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."—The Guardian

"[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

"A mordantly funny and loopily freewheeling debut novel about ageing disgracefully."—The Sunday Times

"Eccentric, unusual and far-fetched in the best possible way."—The Bookseller

"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

"Imaginative, laugh-out-loud . . . a brilliant satire on the foibles of mankind."—The Telegraph

Product Details

  • File Size: 1088 KB
  • Print Length: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (September 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007MB5OCE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,971 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
145 of 153 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insanely funny August 31, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Allan Karlsson climbed out of the window without any particular destination im mind. He just wanted to escape the party celebrating his 100th birthday. Not a slave to fashion, he wasn't even wearing shoes, just some brown slippers. He made his way to the bus station and got on a bus with a stolen suitcase. Then the fun really begins. Not only do we learn about what happened after he climbed out of the window, but also about many of the adventures in his very long life - all of them highly improbable, zany, and hilarious. Especially ingenious is the way the author connects Allan with some of the famous historical people of the 20th century, among them Harry Truman, Mao Tse Dong, Josef Stalin, and Lawrenti Beria. And you are going to love Herbert (no, not Albert) Einstein, not to mention his wife Amanda.
This is a wonderful, crazy, fun-filled book.
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59 of 61 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, lighthearted and funny October 21, 2012
Format:Paperback
The Hundred Year Old Man is a quirky, funny and unusual novel which not only provided some light entertainment, but also brought back memories of history lessons at school all those years ago - maybe I should have paid more attention then! Had our teacher presented the dry facts of major political events in the same fashion Jonas Jonasson manages to do by re-writing the history books with the help of his very unusual hero Allan, we would certainly have shown more interest.

There were many moments when I laughed out loud during reading this novel. I could vividly picture Allan climbing out of his window on the morning of his 100th birthday and escaping the nursing home - I bet that many hundred year olds biding their time in such a facility have entertained thoughts of doing the same! But Allan is no ordinary hundred year old (if such a thing exists - all the hundred year olds I have met have been extra-ordinary and amazing people). He is also blessed with a mischievous spirit, a wicked sense of humour, an addiction to vodka and 9 lives. Blissfully ignorant as far as politics are concerned, he is blessed with wonderful common sense and the ability to take each person at face value, which lands him in the most bizarre situations with the most unusual characters. Jonasson's imagination has no limits where his protagonist is concerned - as the novel progresses and Allan's past is revealed, he makes an appearance and plays a leading role in some of the most fundamental political events in last century's history. With his colourful (and explosive) background it is no wonder that the hundred-year-old Allan manages to get into trouble as soon as he has left the nursing home behind.

I have read several reviews which compared this novel to Forrest Gump.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absurd century December 25, 2012
Format:Paperback
REVIEW: THE ONE HUNDRED-YEAR OLD MAN

The back cover of this witty and droll novel compares it with Forest Gump but that is a very superficial comparison. Jonassun's novel is much deeper, incisive and more relevant than Gump. The author takes the opportunity to use a centenarian's exploits not merely to place him alongside famous figures or events but to draw incisive caricatures of a wide array of historical figures from Harry Truman to Mao Tse Tung, Joseph Stalin, Charles DeGaulle and Richard Nixon. Each caricature is well-drawn, according to the author's disposition and each contains kernels of accuracy, although there is much left to debate.

But debate is not really what this book is all about. This is a whimsical, absurdist adventure that is amenable to quibbling at every turn. But why bother? Why not just have fun and go along for the ride? That's what I did and despite my penchant for historical accuracy, I am a stickler on that count, I managed to put it aside and just have a good time, a snicker here and there, and an occasional laugh. This book is amusing, quick read and best of all, downright first-class entertainment. So toss aside your politics, save your quibbles for a different book and just have fun with an impossibly unbelievable centenarian who manages to get into and out of a myriad situations, each one of which would be the death of any real life character.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Disappearing Into a Fun Read October 22, 2012
By fran f
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Jonasson's story made me laugh or smile on almost every page. "The 100-Year-Old-Man..." is well-written fun but also historically well-researched. Its tone is matter-of-fact but its story is absurdly rollicking. Modern day mahem cleverly intertwined with twisted history. Read it with joy especially if you're a little tired of books making you tense or teary.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ridiculously Wonderful! April 2, 2013
Format:Paperback
I lost sleep last night to finish reading "The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared," a brilliant, ridiculous, amusing, fabulous read. No wonder it's a best-seller worldwide!
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43 of 53 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Hundred-Year-Old Man... September 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good fun if you're looking for light entertaining nonsense with a history lesson thrown in at various stages along the way. The only part of your brain being stretched most of the time is your credulity, but don't let that stop you from reading it if it's good escapist fun you're after.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hilarious Romp Through the 20th Century September 11, 2012
Format:Paperback
The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson is a fictional book which follows the adventures and mis-adventures of its protagonist. So far this book has been translated to 29 languages and has been a best seller in many countries.

Allan Karlsson's health is good, so good that to his dismay he is facing the horrors of putting up appearances for this 100th birthday. Leaving the mayor, the press, his friends and the bane of his existence - the nurse - behind, he escapes moments before the big celebration. When a young man asks Allan to keep an eye on his suitcase at the train station, the centenarian steals it and sets the ball rolling on a month long chase involving the police, the underworld and a handful of accomplices.

Parallel to the escape, Allan's long life is revealed to the reader. As it turned out, Allan is not just an old man with a suitcase, but one of the most influential persons to ever walk the face of the earth in the 20th Century. Alas, through the comedy of life, Allan is only remembered for his age.

The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out Through the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson is a hilarious romp through the 20th Century. The book is very enjoyable and doesn't take itself seriously.

The book's characters focus on lampooning the espionage genre and parody the mystery/chase genres as well. The important people Allan Karlsson, the protagonist, has met and influenced (Truman, Churchill, Mao, Lenin and more) shines a light on their dark side rather than the pillars of world affairs we have built them to be. Allan's contribution to the Manhattan Project doesn't get bypassed either.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it. One of the most unusual books I ...
Fabulous book! Loved it. One of the most unusual books I have read.
Very entertaining!
Published 4 hours ago by Jenny
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Totally nonsenical.
Published 6 hours ago by Virginia Kronk
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book!
Jonas Jonasson spins a wonderful yarn. The writing style is a little odd, as there is no direct dialogue, but I soon got used to it. Read more
Published 1 day ago by uktravailer
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky!
Funny book. Very quirky! Even has some reconstructed history along the way
Published 1 day ago by Sarah T. Clayton
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book!
Published 1 day ago by Heather Simmen
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A great read - whimsical, fun, interesting.
Published 1 day ago by David E. Mitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining
Light hearted tongue firmly in cheek set against the background of history. The prose matches the story very well.
Published 1 day ago by W James Jewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best books I've read!
Funny and captivating! The fictional characters are so real. I hope Allan Karlsson lives to be 200! Jonas Jonasson is genius.
Published 2 days ago by Susan Vega
3.0 out of 5 stars This book was an easy fun read
This book was an easy fun read, very entertaining with some humorous episodes. We read for our book club selection, and most of the member enjoyed it. Read more
Published 2 days ago by BARBARA BRITSCHGI
5.0 out of 5 stars I would love to become 100 like
Funiest book ever. I would love to become 100 like that
Published 2 days ago by Peter Dumon
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More About the Author

Jonas Jonasson is the author of the novel The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, which has sold more than eight million copies worldwide. He was a journalist for many years, then 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. Jonasson now lives with his son on the Swedish island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea.

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