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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 13, 2012
It is the year 2005 in the town of Malmkoping, Sweden. A birthday party is planned at the Old Folks' Home for Allan Karlsson. He is 100 years old. Everyone will be there including the Mayor, the Journal and Photographer, the staff and the old folks who live there. There is a lot of excitement going on, but Allan is not interested. He decides to escape.

Allan's room is on the ground floor. He's wearing a brown jacket with brown trousers and on his feet he is wearing a pair of brown indoor slippers. He climbs out the window and steps out into the flower bed. He is on the run from his own birthday party. He wonders if he should climb back in for his shoes and his hat, but when he felt his wallet in his inside pocket, he decides to be on his way. He knows that Alice, the Director, would be fishing around for him. He had thought it would be his last residence on Earth and then he tells himself that he can die some other time, in some other place. Allan sets off in his pee-slippers (so called because men of advanced age rarely pee farther than their shoes). After walking a few hundred yards, he sits down on a bench next to some gravestones to rest his aching knees. He is a fairly healthy man, but he is 100 years old. Allan continues his walk until a stone wall appears in his path. It was about three feet high and Allan is a centenarian, not a high jumper. He walks to the lowest end of the wall and climbs over in spite of his age and knees.

On the other side was Malmkoping's bus station. The Station waiting room was almost empty when Allan shuffles in. He asks the man in the booth how far his money would take him. While at the bus terminal, Allan meets a young man with a suitcase. The young man asks Allan if he would mind his suitcase, because he had to go to the bathroom. Allan says that he would and as soon as the door closes, Allan's bus comes along. So not thinking, he gets on the bus with the suitcase on wheels. When the young man appears, his suitcase has been stolen by the old man. The young man is furious and he threatens the man at the booth to give him the information he needs to catch Allan and his stolen suitcase.

In the meantime, everyone including the Police is searching for Allan. They have gathered some information and they are on their way to find him. He can't be too far.

Along the way, when he gets off at his stop, it's pretty cold out there with just slippers on. There is one house in the wilderness, where a man lives all alone. He welcomes Allan in with his suitcase. The man prepares a hot meal and a little shot of what Allan likes and Allan feels much better. Allan would like to open the suitcase to see if he can find a pair of shoes, but the suitcase is locked. His new friend agrees to help, when someone is at the door.

You wonder what's in the suitcase. Does the young man ever find Allan? Do the Police find him? Who is that strange man that took him in? Does he return to the Old Folks' Home? What happens to dear old Allan?

The book goes back in time to the years 1929-1939, when Allan was a young man. Allan had witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century. He played a key role in them too.

Allan is a wise old man who doesn't sweat the small stuff. He is mischievous, curious and loves to discover new places. He loves life and still has so much to see and do. Whatever will be, will be is his way of thinking.

Jonas Jonasson created a character that is so much fun to read about. People compare Allan's character to Forrest Gump. To all the readers out there, I guarantee you'll be laughing from beginning to end. I loved this book and enjoyed every page.

I highly recommend The 100-Year old Man Who Climbed Out The Window and Disappeared for the sheer pleasure it will give you. Jonas Jonasson has come up with a WINNER.
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on April 18, 2013
I enjoyed this book and heard some good things about it so maybe I was expecting more. There are basically two stories here: the 100-year old man climbs out the window is set in the present tense and then there is story of the 100-year old man's life during most of the twentieth century.

I really enjoyed the present day story of how all the characters were intertwined and how things rolled along. The humor was very enjoyable and the characters so laughable that I often burst out laughing at "what just happened".

I was less than impressed with the historical aspect woven through his life. Some parts worked well but it became such a pastiche that I began to expect things to happen according to the time period. Then it just got silly and so improbable that I was wondering where he was going with it? On one hand, he make you laugh at how the Cold War was but on the other, one sees how sad this time period it really was. Its definitely not an Italo Calvino but very much a Forest Gump.

Its worth a read and when he is funny, its very funny but I didn't think it deserves all the hype.
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on July 3, 2016
I plowed through this book in just 5 hours- I couldn't put it down! Jonas Jonasson's characters come to life and as they go through the primary story of their adventures- you'll be happy to tag along! Their journey is riddled with mishaps, happenstance and humor that will keep you completely entertained. Reflections on Karlsson's life throughout the book lead you through the 20th century of world affairs without the documentary-style details. Facts are presented in story-fashion and although far-fetched in "gump-like" manner, this book humorously entwines actual historical events and world leaders with the fantastical, thoroughly enjoyable character of Allan Karlsson . I'll buy another copy for my elderly father who escaped Lithuania during World War II and later served in the Korean war- I'm sure he'll find some light-hearted perspective through this whimsical tale. An exceptional read!
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on December 1, 2013
In my opinion 5 stars is not a high enough rating for this delightful "read". It has been a long time since I had the opportunity to read a story that had me laughing at the turn of every page. Maybe it's my sense of humour but I have loaned this book to three others and they all have the same opinion - this is one truly humerous story, they don't come along like this one very often, pity. It was originally written in Swedish. Rod Bradbury, who did the English translation, is to be congratulated on an excellent job.
The world is full (too full) of sadness these days, laughter, and lots of it, is needed. This "read" helps.
I have already ordered the author's next effort, the girl who saved the king. If it's as good a "read" as this one then I'm going to be one happy guy.
Thank you Mr. Jonasson.
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on January 11, 2014
I was not able to even finish this book. It starts out well but by the time you get halfway through it starts to become ridiculously far fetched. It was to me reminiscent of a child's fairly tale. It did have a few good lines but if the book was half as long it would have been better I believe. It tends to have a lot of filler material that contributes to the lengthiness of the book. Perhaps I am just used to reading books that are not quite so farcical.
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on February 22, 2014
This was a fun, well-written book the style of which felt similar to Tom Robbins, some Kurt Vonnegut Jr and, occassionally, John Irving. On top of that it had what I am calling the "Forest Gump Factor" with which a reasonably ordinary person with no political aspirations becomes integral to major world events while still remaining somewhat anonymous. Unfortunately this wonderful narrative device only worked exceptionally well that one time.

This book had lots of favour but no substance. There is a huge, long, historical plot covering almost a full century and yet, if you were to ask what the book was about, I would have to say not very much.

To be honest this book really should get almost four stars. It was quite entertaining. But I somehow felt like I was being entertained so that I would not notice that there was nothing really happening so, in the end, I am going with three stars. There are many books like this now and you could just as easily read one of them.

To be honest i
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on August 1, 2013
This is my first book review I've written without finishing the book. Started into last night and put it down three hours later. All the characters are in living color, and I can relate to each one. A bit of me is reflected in them all. From the earnest police inspector prone to missing the right turns to the profane 'Beauty'. Others for you to discover. The style of writing is understated deadpan, reminding me of a business report or a maintenance procedure, which the author skillfully uses to complement the plausible but almost surreal twists and turns.
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on September 2, 2013
This is an utterly charming book, and for a change, it's exactly as advertised; it really is a story about a surprisingly "with it" old man who climbs out the window of his room at the nursing home, just before having to endure a party with the nasty nursing home director and the mayor (for his 100th birthday).

At first you think he's just quirky, or obstinate, or crazy. But from that point on the book takes off on two interwoven paths: the utterly unpredictable adventure he has once he escapes, and the amazing experiences of his past life that have led him to this point.

This book is charming, funny, entertaining, and in a lovely way, thoughtful. The 100-year old man turns out to be a fellow who generally doesn`t take things too seriously or get too upset; as you read through the book I grew to admire his easy-going but practical attitude, which has obviously served him well. He goes where life leads him, makes friends easily, and will put up with a lot of things, until he decides that his life needs to change - at which point he is quite capable of using a combination of his wits, his friends, and the occasional bit of blind luck, to make change happen.

It`s an infectious attitude, and he`s a great character. I loved how the complicated situations he ends up in are ingeniously built up gradually, one step at a time, so that you don`t really realize how outrageous his circumstances are until someone stops and takes stock of everything that has happened.

The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was because the book is playful, and so you have to adopt a playful attitude to really like it. If you are in a critical mood, or if you are put off when you feel like saying "no, that couldn't really happen", then you will be like some reviewers here who found the events too fanciful and couldn't get into the spirit of the story.

But if you are willing to hitch yourself to this fictional 100-year-old man, then you'll have a great time.
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on February 3, 2013
This book jumped into my cart at Costco (I paid more for it than the price), I almost put it back 3 times. I kept thinking, how interesting could a story about a 100 year old man be. Well, let me tell you, this is a fabulous story. We see the life of our lead character unfold in kind of a reverse mode. We start off knowing him as the old man, but through flashbacks we recognize some very unique characteristics showing up all the way through his life. He is very understated and nothing is a big deal to him. In his innocent response to the situations he finds himself in, he is unaware of the profound effects he has on the other characters in his story as well as the world. He stumbles in and out of the most riveting scenarios and makes some huge moves that shock us into a deep admiration for his fearless spirit and spontaneous actions and reactions.
We also realize that we have judged him as just an old man. No, he is much more than that.
I love this book! You will too.

By the way, this would make a fabulous movie.
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on January 10, 2015
Unfortunately I lost interest in this book quickly. The character development was shaky and as a result it did not draw me in or keep my attention for long. I never completed the book although I attempted to pick it up several more times with the same result. Sadly, I cannot recommend this book.
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