This was a book which I picked up solely based on the title and without a doubt this is one of the most hilarious books I have ever read! The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is originally a Swedish novel authored by Jonas Jonasson and published in 2009 – I of course picked the English translation. I have never been a fan on translations till now, but now count me as a convert.
Allan Karlsson is no mood to attend his 100th birthday party and disappears from his old-age home. Along with him a suitcase full of money also disappears and so we meet a criminal gang, an elephant, a hot-dog vendor who has unlimited knowledge, an overzealous prosecutor, a foul-mouthed beauty, and many more intricately woven characters. And this is just the present. After all the protagonist is 100 years old, and has a lot to tell.
We revisit Allan Karlsson’s life and get a completely new perspective on the major events of the 20th century. While he is a completely apolitical person – he loses the conversation thread as soon as politics make an appearance – Allan has played a pivotal role in the world politics. He has a hand in rise of General Franco in Spain, Mao in China, and Charles de Gaulle in France. He has foiled an assassination attempt on Winston Churchill, he has sung songs with Stalin, and is indirectly responsible for the fall of the Soviet Empire. Oh and did I mention he made the atom bomb at Los Alamos while working on the Manhattan Project and later spilled the secret to Soviet Union over a bottle of Vodka.
Wish this book was a few hundred pages longer and wish I could take a 15 year vacation like Allan. Go pick this book today, you would not be disappointed.
P.S.: Posting a book review after a year!