The 100-Year-Old-Man

Title: The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Dissappeared
Author: Jonas Jonasson
Publisher: Hyperion New York, 2012
Pages: 385

Let's meet Allan Karlsson, an eccentric centenarian who plans to climb out of the window of his nursing home with no real plan other than to avoid all the fuss for his 100th birthday celebration. There it goes Allan's new adventure with some companions that he met by chance during his journey, i.e. a grey suitcase (that belongs to a gangster with full of money inside), a master theft, a hotdog seller, a red-headed woman and an elephant named Sonya. 

Allan's life is always full of luck. He started as an orphaned explosive expert. His skill and willingness have taken him around the globe and met President Nixon, Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, Josept Stalin, Charles de Gaulle and many more. Reading this book brought back history lesson at school all those years ago but delivering in a funny and clever way. You can never guess what will happen next to Allan since his back story is larger-than-life. He once climbed mountains, crossed desert, plumbed the ocean depth in a submarine, thrown into jail in the Siberian snow, etc.

The central character Allan is lovable. His endlessly optimistic that finally puts him in so many world big events. The story is presented back and forth. The intertwining past and present narrative work wonderfully to create a pic of Allan's incredible life. The plot of the story absurd and ridiculous. This book made me laugh-out-loud. I really enjoyed the book and how it linked the story with various world wide events and stories.

Other interesting topic to note is the author, Jonas Jonasson put Indonesia as one of the places that visited by Allan in his old days. Not only visited for a short period but Allan spent many years in Bali during 1960s and he even involved in some political issues. This part of Indonesia's political condition will make us laugh and feel deep concerned as well. Perhaps the author's background as a journalist that makes him able to write down the bribery at every level and the corruption culture here in Indonesia in details or perhaps that notorious culture has spread all over the world. Well...I don't know. Discussing about corruption will never reach an end. Let's just go back to this charming and remarkable story.

Translated from the Swedish. This is Jonas Jonasson's debut novel. The book has been translated into more than 30 languages. One of the best book in 2013. An entertaining read.