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The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared Paperback – Bargain Price, September 11, 2012
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As we follow this narrative, interspersed are tales of the old man's spectacular accomplishments in earlier times when he had more of his faculties. He was always apolitical to a fault, highly generous, but very naive, which continually led him into dangerous situations. For example, he helped the Los Alamos physicists develop the atomic bomb but, ever helpful, did the same later for the USSR. These earlier scenes are as HILARIOUS as those in the present, including his squirrelly adventures in Spain, America, China, the Himalayas, Iran, Russia, North Korea, and France, where he personally met with their squirrelly leaders.
However, if you wish to follow only the centenarian's current misadventures, you can just skip to the chapters in present time, as the chapters are labeled by year - but then you'd miss some of the best parts of this book.
The book is perfectly written and edited. NO ONE SHOULD MISS OUT ON THIS STORY!
This book reminded me a lot of Forrest Gump by Winston Groom. In both books, the main character (both men) had a series of unfortunate circumstances that turned out to be beneficial to them in the end. The difference: Allan (100-year-old man) was extremely intelligent and Forrest (Forrest Gump) was intellectually challenged. At times, both books were tedious.
Author Jonas Jonasson has cleverly created a story that starts with the birthday of a spunky 100-year old man living in an old-age home somewhere in Sweden (I did not internalize the names of the towns and cities). The town is preparing a publicity stunt celebration for him and he decides he doesn't want to attend (no alcohol will be served), so he climbs out his window (in his slippers) and seemingly disappears (thus the title).
As the chapters progress,, we travel with him on his adventure -- as well as go back and forth through his life -- so we learn of the experiences and adventures he's survived through those 100 years. Hint: his amazing life surprisingly includes many continents, many historical leaders and events from countries around the world. Who would think that?
Don't want to give away the story, but, as I have been suggesting to my friends these days: You must read this book ... you will be glad you did!
This is a wonderful, crazy, fun-filled book.
It literally had me thinking what the author wrote in the dedication part - "Grandpa, is that story real?" This book is the epitome of silliness mixed with some real-life history of the Russians, the Chinese, and American governments. I can't say enough about this book and how it should be read by everyone!