By Jonas Jonasson
Published by Hesperus Press
ISBN 978-184391377 6
After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson has moved into an old people's home, and hates every minute of it. So, one day, on his 100th birthday, he makes up his mind to do something that will make him incredibly happy. Allan knows that a party is planned, and the very idea makes him shudder with horror. No one has asked him if he wants to celebrate being 100, and if they had, he would have answered with a big, fat "NO"!
Allan decides to escape. He climbs out of the window of his room and sets off walking down the road, blissfully unaware that he is about to embark on a completely out-of-control adventure involving a stolen suitcase of cash, some desperate criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand owner and an elephant.
Jonas Jonasson's laugh-out-loud black comedy, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, has been a massive hit in Europe, and is now poised to entertain and surprise readers in America and Asia.
Hollywood studios are currently busy out-bidding each other for the movie rights, but no film will be able to match the wit and humour of Jonasson's deadpan writing. Read the novel before watching the inevitable movie. You won't regret one second you spend in the company of Allan, the centenarian.
Bookshops will put it in their adult section, but this is one of those "no-label" novels that older teenagers will lap up. Who says that the hero of a novel for teenagers has to be a teenager?
Allan has lived a very long time, and this means his life story is packed with interesting and entertaining events. Hold on to your hats, because the moment Allan climbs out of that window, a whirlwind of chaos starts.
Jonasson cleverly weaves alternate chapters between Allan's adventures in the present, as he gets involved with an ever-increasing bunch of crazy characters, with his past life as he moved around the world meeting American presidents, Mao Zedong's wife, revolutionary leaders and the inventors of the atom bomb.
Allan is a modest man who has seen it all and unwittingly influenced world events. So how did he end up in a boring old folk's home?
Quirky and unique, this silly and wonderful novel will keep teenage and adult readers amused almost non-stop, and that's something very few authors ever manage.
This is a real, roll-on-the floor delight and an absolute joy from cover to cover. Enjoy!
John Millen can be contacted on MillenBookshelf@aol.com