Allan Karlsson follows no stereotypes of a typical 100-year-old man. The Swedish escapee from the local senior’s home is an explosives expert with a keen taste for a strong glass (or two, three, maybe even four) of vodka.
Jonas Jonasson’s novel, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, is a delight from start to finish, as Karlsson evades police and drug lords, and befriends a group of Swedish misfits whose life stories are unlikely to match any other. Meanwhile, the author takes us back through Karlsson’s life in tale similar to the likes of Forrest Gump. The politically-averse explosives expert finds himself in the middle of the major powers in World War II through to the end of the Cold War, sharing a glass of vodka with the great leaders of the time.
With no particular moral message, except perhaps that you can get very far with a bit of intelligence, humility and vodka, the novel has a storyline that is best enjoyed by those who enjoy humour of the absurd. It’s no Mobdy Dick or Three Musketeers, but it’s definitely worth a read. I highly recommend it to anyone who’s in need of a good laugh.