Published by Hesperus Press on 12th July 2012
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It all starts on the one-hundredth birthday of Allan Karlsson. Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, he is waiting for the party he-never-wanted-anyway to begin. The Mayor is going to be there. The press is going to be there. But, as it turns out, Allan is not… Slowly but surely Allan climbs out of his bedroom window, into the flowerbed (in his slippers) and makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, we learn something of Allan’s earlier life in which – remarkably – he helped to make the atom bomb, became friends with American presidents, Russian tyrants, and Chinese leaders, and was a participant behind the scenes in many key events of the twentieth century. Already a huge bestseller across Europe, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared is a fun and feel-good book for all ages.
The Hundred-Year-Old Man was a book that I started reading a long time ago and remembered enjoying. Unfortunately, I put it down and only picked it back up recently, I’m not sure it was the best idea. This book had me scratching my head all the way through, and by the end, I was struggling not to walk away.
I think the worst thing about The Hundred-Year-Old Man was the humour, I distinctly remember it being a lot funnier the first time I read it. This time around it drove me mental, like I wanted to pull my hair out with it all. I was way more interested in everyone else’s point of view than I was in Allan’s if I’m honest and the humour surrounding him was more annoying than anything else.
The other issue I had with The Hundred-Year-Old Man was that the story went beyond being unrealistic into the realms of being completely absurd. Some points were so ridiculous and ruined the actually plausible parts of the plot, I was really disheartened and I think this was the main reason I struggled to get through the last part of the book. It became plot points that were tediously linked and there just there for the shock factor, which shouldn’t be the only reason for something to happen in a book.
I enjoyed the characters and some of the anecdotes that were told in The Hundred-Year-Old Man. Especially the background on how Allan ended up the way he was. That was one story that did actually make me laugh, I only wish they had made more of an impact on me as a reader, some of them were actually wishy-washy in my opinion and there wasn’t enough development to make any of it worthwhile. It was a shame really.
I really loved the concept of The Hundred-Year-Old Man but I just wished the execution was better. There was so much lacking in this book, and the holes in the plot were pretty huge. I wanted so much to love this book as much as I did the first time around but unfortunately, it couldn’t hold my attention and struggling through the last couple of chapters was really difficult.
I don’t think I would recommend this book to anyone. I think there are better funny books out there, and this one just lacked something. I wish I could say I enjoyed it, but I didn’t.
Have you read The Hundred-Year-Old Man? What did you think? Have you read The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden? Is it worth picking up? You should check out my The Awakening and The Reckoning book review.
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