The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Book - 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.
Publisher: London : Hesperus, 2012.
Branch Call Number: FICTION
Characteristics: 396 p ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Bradbury, Rod
Notes: Translated from the Swedish.

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From Library Staff

A quirky and utterly unique book, this novel tells the tale of Allan Karlsson, who is stuck in a nursing home on the eve of his 100th birthday. Everyone is busy preparing for his birthday party, but Allan has no interest in all that guff. He feels perfectly healthy and wants to get back out to se... Read More »

This lighthearted, picturesque and farcical adventure sees Allan Karlsson, who, faced with the prospect of attending his 100th birthday party without any alcohol at all, does the only sensible thing; he climbs out through the nursing home window and heads to the nearby bus station. Despite wearin... Read More »

Also available in e-book format. Other Jonas Johasson titles available in e-book format.

Allan Karlsson can't face his 100 year birthday celebrations so he slips out the window (in his slippers) and disappears

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ChristchurchLib Jun 15, 2014

"Faced with the prospect of attending his 100th birthday party without any alcohol at all, Allan Karlsson does the only sensible thing: he climbs out through the nursing home window and heads to the nearby bus station. Despite wearing slippers and possessing the achy joints of a centenarian,... Read More »


From the critics


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t
tjdickey
Nov 14, 2020

Crazy and uplifting in equal measure, a very strange and wondrous life, whose protagonist gets to befriend Roosevelt and Truman and Churchill, as well as Stalin and Chairman Mao and Kim Jong-Il, and decides that a 100th-birthday party locked in a retirement community is not a good way to spend a day after all...

n
NMostacada
Jul 19, 2020

Reminds me of a mix between Hendrik Groen and Forrest Gump. It did take awhile for me to get into this read but I ended up liking it. You can’t help but fall in love with the adorable protagonist Allan, a Swedish man who sneaks out of his retirement home right before his 100 year old birthday party begins. Allan escapes to a train station where he accidentally steals 50 million euros and heads off to accidentally meet another criminal. It just gets stranger and stranger from there with hot dog stand vendors, elephants, and accidental murders. The reader also gets a look into Allan’s past where he has an insane history of creating explosives for some of the rulers around the world in China, America, and Russia. This was a very fun read but it does take awhile to get into.

FPL_SheriS Jan 22, 2020

This book is irreverent, laugh out loud, mouth drop open entertainment. Historical fiction, if you could choose your own adventure, and what if those crazy relatives had to fend for themselves all wrapped into one. The story is unexpected at every turn and does not take itself seriously.

k
kwsmith
Sep 28, 2019

Allan Karlsson is 100 years old. Instead of joining the fun at his birthday party, he escapes through an open window and begins a spontaneous (and highly unrealistic) grand adventure which reads a lot like Winston Groom's 1986 Forrest Gump novel. Just like Forrest's story, much of this book is told as flashbacks where simple-minded Allan casually tromps through major historical events. Jonasson's easy-to-read writing is both light and dryly humorous; however, I don't think that I laughed even once while reading the book. In 2013, this book was developed into an R-rated Oscar-nominated movie which I have absolutely zero desire to watch.

Tigard_AnnmarieA Aug 28, 2019

Sly, satirical and humorous story of a centenarian Swede, Alan, who escapes his nursing home and goes on walkabout to a bus station, where on a whim he steals a rude man's suitcase and sets out on a bus trip to parts unknown. But the man, a criminal, pursues. Many hijinks ensue, along with flashbacks to Alan's adventurous life.

o
OP_2
Aug 26, 2019

Tea & Talk Book Club / December 2015

l
Linyarai
Aug 20, 2019

I read this for the "Set in a Country You've Visited" part of my 2019 reading challenge. Overall I didn't love it, a few parts made me laugh out loud but I thought it was dumb in general. The last half was easier to read once you get into the flow of the writing style, the first part felt too patchy.

n
nsfvancouver
Aug 09, 2019

I really enjoyed this book. When I initially started reading, I was intrigued by the unique style of writing. It's definitely not what you would expect: it's a wild ride from start to finish. Kind of Forest Gump meets Swedish noir during the arms race. It is a relatively easy read, though I think it's suitable for more mature audiences. It's one of those happy, feel-good books and it's a perfect read if you're feeling down or are in need of a laugh.

h
Hunakai_S
Jun 29, 2019

An amusing yarn of a man who, in his earlier years, might have been Harry Flashman, Junior (although somewhat more feckless than the George MacDonald Fraser character). In his old age, his improbable Flashman-like adventures continue.

m
MB85CAL
May 28, 2019

Humorous with that wry Swedish touch. The story draws you in and the alternating chapters on Alan's life are woven together well and seamlessly. A thoroughly enjoyable read. Highly recommend.

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Age Suitability

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lipglossgirl
Aug 22, 2015

lipglossgirl thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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berkhaz2
Jul 13, 2014

berkhaz2 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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Lucchesa
Mar 16, 2014

Lucchesa thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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lipglossgirl
Aug 22, 2015

Never try to outdrink a Swede, unless you happen to be a Finn or at least a Russian.

p
PamEdm
Jun 26, 2015

Well, that went well.

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lipglossgirl
Aug 22, 2015

Other: This book contains quite a lot of drinking.

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