The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson
Published September 30, 2013
- Author Jonas Jonasson
Don’t be put off by the overly long title, this is a fun read. It took me a while to get in the right zone for it, but once I was there it was great. The style is something unusual - at first I thought it was a translation thing, before realising it was a deliberate style choice. It’s sort of impersonal, with thoughts and dialogue often written in prose rather than speech, and there are lots of nicknames with continued use - the young man with blond hair and a leather jacket, for example.
The story is told from two different periods in time - the first in which the one hundred year old man of the title does indeed jump out of the window and embarks upon an adventure, and the second following his life up until that point. Towards the end, the two threads join together to come back to a satisfying conclusion.
The ridiculous adventures that our hero, Allan, finds himself in are very reminiscent of Forrest Gump - happening to be in the right/wrong place at the right/wrong time, and bumping into lots of famous faces along the way. Whereas Forrest has a poignant and often sad outlook, though, Allan has a resolutely positive and optimistic attitude to life. It’s refreshing, almost inspiring. But mostly the book is funny. Some great characters, some crazy scenarios, and a lot of fun along the way.