- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 12 hours
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
- Audible.com Release Date: September 11, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0098TUQB2
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared Audiobook – Unabridged
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This is a wonderful, crazy, fun-filled book.
Like Forrest Gump, Allan Karlsson is an unlikely person to end up traveling the world, showing up at key moments in world history and meeting important global figures. But unlike Forrest Gump, Allan Karlsson is no naïf, spouting homespun aphorisms and displaying simple faith and heroism. Karlsson is a down-to-earth man who has a few simple pleasures, like vodka, explosives and good conversation.
Unhappy with the strictures of the nursing home that he enters at 99-and-a-half years old, especially its ban on alcohol, Allan makes a break for it just before his gala 100th birthday party. At the transportation station, he gets on a bus with the suitcase that had been entrusted to him by a rude young man while the young man used the facilities. It turns out the suitcase is filled with cash and the young man and the other members of his gang are soon chasing after Allan, along with the nursing home staff and the police.
Chapters alternate between the present day (2005), as Allan evades his pursuers, picking up compatriots along the way, and Allan's colorful history, which has his explosives expertise taking him on a picaresque journey to the Spanish Civil War, the Los Alamos, New Mexico, site of the Manhattan Project, China during its communist revolution, North Korea, Iran in the 1970s, Bali, Paris, Moscow and more.
Allan enjoys people and can talk to anyone, as long as they don't insist on talking to him about politics or religion, two topics he thinks cause most of the world's problems. It turns out that when you're an explosives expert who is happy to help out his friends, even the biggest political fanatics in the world are willing to forego their favorite topic of conversation.
This charming yarn and bit of inspired silliness should put a smile on the face of any but the most curmudgeonly of readers.
Steven Crossley is an excellent narrator for the audiobook version of the story. He has a lightly amused tone of voice and speaks with an English accent.
Jonasson is Swedish, and since this novel is an English translation, I suppose it was successful in Sweden, not surprising. This novel smacks of political science hooey (go along to get along, no Truth exists, the Bible is a joke) and makes me wonder if Jonasson's day job (when he's not trying to entertain or educate readers) is a left leaning political science college professor.