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Saturday, 8 October 2016

Review: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Jonas Jonasson

Firstly, hats off to the translator of this book, for so brilliantly getting across Jonasson's dry humour in this novel.

Allan Karlsson is sitting in his bedroom of his nursing home, waiting for his one hundredth birthday to start when, suddenly, he decides he doesn't want to be there anymore. Rather sprightly, for someone who is turning one hundred, he climbs out of the window and decides what he wants to do next. He heads for the bus station and has an encounter with a man which decides the course of his next few months.

Interjected are episodes of Allan's past, which bring him into several of the world's most important events in the most random ways. From the Spanish Revolution, to Operation Manhattan, to boozing with Stalin, Allan's life and the crazy events that happen almost by accident make extraordinarily entertaining yet still plausible reading.

It is one of the funniest books I have ever read without it meaning to be... the comedy isn't overt, it's implicit in the way that he wanders into things and cleverly but nonchalantly wanders out of them, too.

For anyone needing a genuinely good read but also some light relief from the cracker that 2016 is turning out to be, find this book.

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