The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson was the first book in my new genre reading challenge. It follows the LONG and interesting life of Allan Karllson.
This book was recommended by Kate over on The Adventures of Kate who described it as ‘It’s hilarious, a little Forrest Gump-like with the stories and just a great light read!‘
I can see where this was coming from, Karllson always seems to be just in the right place at the right time. Much like Forrest Gump, who bumbled his way to the top over and over again. Sometimes, not even the top just a historically interesting place/time.
The story follows the centenarian after he decides enough is enough and leaps (as much as a 100-year-old can) out of the window. As the book flicks between his past and present, usually tying in together quite nicely, you discover how and why Allan is the man he is.
With the introduction of other characters the narrative expands to their point of view and their pasts. Some more mysterious than others.
If you were to read other reviews of this book it seems to have been very hit and miss, some believe it’s 5 star worthy whilst others 1 star. It seems to very much depend on the reader themselves.
At first I did struggle to get into it, then I struggled to stay with it and eventually I was struggling to stay out of it. I definitely hit my reading stride with this book, I couldn’t wait to see which historical event was going to appear in the story next.
I am not a chuckle out loud person whilst reading (nor am I a crier for the record) but if a book can raise a smile from me that’s about as good as it gets. And it did. I liked Allan, I liked that he didn’t really care what others thought about him or in general. For a main character he was well fleshed out and the reasoning behind any action was always clear.
The main story line does go to the far side of far-fetched at some points with everything happening a little too easily for the main characters however you end up wanting that to happen. I certainly found myself wanting them to get out of every random situation if only to try to guess how exactly they would.
If you were going on holiday and wanted a different kind of holiday read I would recommend this book.
My rating: 7/10 – Funny and worth at least trying, a definite love it or leave it book.
Have you read the book? What did you think of it?