The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas JonassonThe 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared

byJonas Jonasson

Paperback | August 28, 2012

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The international publishing sensation—over two million copies sold.

A reluctant centenarian much like Forrest Gump (if Gump were an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka) decides it’s not too late to start over …

After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).

It would be the adventure of a lifetime for anyone else, but Allan has a larger-than-life backstory: Not only has he witnessed some of the most important events of the twentieth century, but he has actually played a key role in them. Starting out in munitions as a boy, he somehow finds himselfinvolved in many of the key explosions of the twentieth century and travels the world, sharing meals and more with everyone from Stalin, Churchill, and Truman to Mao, Franco, and de Gaulle. Quirky and utterly unique, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared has charmed readers across the world.

JONAS JONASSON is a former journalist and media consultant. He lives in Sweden. Visit him at or on Facebook.
Title:The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And DisappearedFormat:PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.9 inPublished:August 28, 2012Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1443419109

ISBN - 13:9781443419109


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Re-Ignited my love for reading I bought this book on a whim once when I was going on vacation. Best decision of my life! While reading the book, you are transported into Allan's world and able to live through everything the character is able to. It is like a movie playing in your head and no book has made me laugh as hard as this one has.
Date published: 2018-11-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it! It was fun and a quick read. Kept you on your toes and never knew what would happen next!
Date published: 2018-08-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What an adventure! I really enjoyed Jonasson's wit and story-telling through the eyes of 100-year old Allan Karlsson. Reading this book, there were moments when I literally laughed out loud. Very entertaining!
Date published: 2018-08-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Was expecting more With the level of online discussion around this book, I was expecting to be amazed. At first the book seemed cute and even a little entertaining, but it quickly fell off the rails. I'm not sure if it was the translation from Swedish to English that really let this book (and me!) down, but I was really disappointed. I debated stopping halfway through and only begrudgingly made it to the end. I felt like the story could have been way more compact and still convey the same message. In the end, I was left with the following question: so what?
Date published: 2018-08-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from surprisingly good I went into reading this book with low expectations and assumed it would be dry and boring - it was a book club selection. I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the book. Not at all fast paced or action packed, it is however an enjoyable read with fun characters.
Date published: 2018-07-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Extremely boring. Very boring. I couldn't connect with the characters and the story was just one random happening after another. Nothing particularly funny or interesting. It was so boring that I couldn't even finish it.
Date published: 2018-07-02
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not impressed For all I heard about this book, I was expecting to find a new favourite. I had a hard time getting into this and had to force myself to keep reading.
Date published: 2018-06-18
Rated 2 out of 5 by from didn't like this book this has been compared to Forrest Gump, which I've read, but Forrest was a sweet-natured person and this character was completely unlikeable to me. I rarely give up on any book, and since this had rave reviews, I kept persevering. Not worth the time for me
Date published: 2018-05-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So fun! I really enjoyed this book! I had no expectations going in, and it just made me so happy. Allan is such a great character. His journey through life has been, and continues to be super eventful. The chapters that took place in the past sometimes got a little long for me, but overall, just a great story.
Date published: 2018-04-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A quirky adventure! I loved this so much I recommended it to my 13 year old son. He couldn't quite get into the parts of the book set in the past-the main character's backstory but did find the adventure in the present quite enjoyable. I loved his borderline socially inacceptable attitude and the cadre of characters were a riot.
Date published: 2018-04-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious Allan Karlsson is a fun protagonist for this well-written yet whimsical plot! Definitely a good fluff read to put on your list!
Date published: 2018-04-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fun Story A fun read! This book is a reminder that you are never too old for new adventures!
Date published: 2018-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from wonderful oh my gosh, so incredible!. I love the writing, characters and plot
Date published: 2018-02-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun, Quirky Characters This is such a fun book. The story begins with an old man, Allan Karlsson, who runs away from his nursing home on the afternoon of his 100th birthday, just before the celebration is about to begin (with the Mayor & local media in attendance no less). He makes his way to the local bus station. While he's waiting for a bus to take him out of town, a young tough asks him to guard his suitcase while he goes to the bathroom. While the rough looking man is in the bathroom, the bus arrives, Allan boards it with the suitcase, and off they go. At this point half the town is looking for Allan Karlsson.......and so is the man who came back to find his suitcase stolen. He's furious, vowing to kill Allan. This is just the beginning of his hilarious journey. Highly recommended!
Date published: 2018-02-12
Rated 3 out of 5 by from unique I didn't hate it but did I love it hard to say. There were some genuine laugh out loud moments but it was definitely a very implausible book!!!! Extremely fantastical and that's fine but using a normal 100 year old man i don't know if it worked. It was interesting to see the take of the history of most of the wars, surprising that Vietnam wasn't a big part of the book. I did quite like the passage to do with Korea and its history, i would definitely be intrigued to read more about that
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from not bad got this book on a recommendation of a friend. It was okay and read it to the end but wouldn't read it again. Strange even though I really wanted to like the main character just could not connect. Will give this author another try though.
Date published: 2018-02-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from A bit odd... A sort-of interesting and definitely odd story about a centenarian's birthday adventures, as well as flashbacks back to his younger days. Definitely unexpected. Wouldn't read it again.
Date published: 2018-02-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Suspenseful and witty, but drawn out at times The style of storytelling of this novel is unique and charming. I found it to be suspenseful and witty, such that I found myself wondering what would happen next whenever I put the book down. The novel was drawn out at times, but a good read overall.
Date published: 2018-01-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Maybe too hyped for me? I was told this was a story like Forrest Gump (my favorite movie of all time) and i was pretty excited about it. It wasn't the worst but it didn't live up to expectations.
Date published: 2018-01-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious The story just flowed page to page; people, events, interactions they all just seemed so natural (no matter how bizarre). I loved the humour and that the story took twists and turns that were unexpected. It's a happy-go-lucky story and it definitely made me happy to read it.
Date published: 2018-01-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Alright This is not the best book that I have read this year. Interesting topics, but I found it slow moving at times. I would recommend this book for young male readers (16-25 years)
Date published: 2018-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Loved it Loved this book and all the implausible hilarious turn of events that come Alan's way as he simply does whatever he feels like. Forrest Gump has nothing on Alan Karlson.
Date published: 2017-12-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Fun Romp This book was on my TBR list for a long time, and I'm glad I finally picked it up. The action picks up pretty within minutes of Karlsson's escape out the window, and I enjoyed the cast of characters he meets in the present-day part of the story. I had to suspend my disbelief a few times, particularly as Karlsson's life story is told, as his brushes with important historical figures are a little too plentiful, and calamity seems to be his middle name. Still, it was a well-written book and worth the read.
Date published: 2017-12-07
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh! I got this book thinking that it must be good, given all the rave reviews But it wasn't, I think the book is just OK I finished it but I can't say anything really positive about it, I am sure people who like it and enjoy it, have a very different taste in books from me. I can't say I learned anything from the book and I can't say it got me thinking or contemplating So overall the book was Meh I wanted to give up in many occasions, but I thought it might get better I think if you like this book you will like it from the beginning and if you don't like it, you won't like it from very early on That might help you decide whether it's for you or not
Date published: 2017-11-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from surprisingly hilarious interesting and unique story line, parts of this book were hilarious! deff recommend!
Date published: 2017-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down Read it in one sitting and couldn't stop laughing the whole way through
Date published: 2017-10-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A favourite read! I loved this book. The author has a quirky style where he rotates chapters between past and present. I often start books and never finish them. I couldn't put this one down.
Date published: 2017-09-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Hilarious, far-fetched and ridiculous I really enjoyed this book! It was a nice up-beat change from some of the darker novels I had been reading prior - something nice to read before bed. It reminded me of Forrest Gump in how it takes you through real historic events and how the main character was involved in them. It's completely ridiculous! But that's the charm of this book - each chapter you read makes you wonder what crazy things will happen next, or did happen in the past (the book jumps timelines a lot). I definitely recommend!
Date published: 2017-09-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I love describing this book as "Forrest Gump but with vodka". An original story, entertaining and kind of believable (it's total fiction). Funny, adventurous and well written. Worth the read!
Date published: 2017-09-04
Rated 1 out of 5 by from What an over-rated snore! Allan Karlsson has a horseshoe up his you-know-what. The only thing that DIDN'T bother me what just how insanely far-fetched this novel is. But the author tried way too hard to make it funny, cute, whimsical. It just really fell flat for me - so flat that I'm rather disappointed that I spent money on Jonasson's subsequent novel. The premise was wonderful, but the actual story didn't live up to my expectations. The dialogue was trite, the characters were dull... It took me 3 weeks to get through a novel I could normally polish off easily in less than a day. This book wasn't terrible like most of my other 1 star reviews - it might even deserve 2 star -, but it loses points for my dashed hopes.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from not into it I've been recommended this author by many readers and this is his most popular book but i just couldn't get into it. it did get better near the end though.
Date published: 2017-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from what an adventure! This book carries you back in forth through time. The current events are exciting and suspenseful while past events are filled with historical figures and events. An amazing adventure that I would definitely recommend!
Date published: 2017-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the funniest books I've ever read. These are not usually the types of books I read. It was recommended to me so I read it, and I loved it! I laughed out loud a lot. The characters are lovable, frustrating and completely outlandish! Well written, and will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
Date published: 2017-08-19
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It gets better I took me a long time to finish this book. The pace was super slow for me and I just got so bored so many times that I found myself putting the book down and switching to other books. But I finally finished it and it's not an altogether bad book at all. Perhaps it's just really not my cup of tea but it's a good story.
Date published: 2017-08-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from quirky quirky story filled with quirky characters!
Date published: 2017-06-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious! You'll fall in love with this spunky old man. This novel has so many funny twists and turns, I couldn't put it down. It's written in very blunt language which is fitting for the character. It sheds a hilarious light on real historical events. A truly enjoyable read.
Date published: 2017-06-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting Was a fun, quirky read. I enjoyed reading it, but sometimes wished his flashbacks were shorter - especially near the end. I would have prefered more of the current story. It was quirky, but definitely not laugh out loud funny like it was suppose to be.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not for me I'm not sure why, but I just couldn't get into this story. However it was recommend to me by a lot of people and they LOVED the book. It just wasn't for me I suppose.
Date published: 2017-04-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable and Entertaining It's an entertaining book if you like a sweet comedy, nothing complicated and you will have a few laughs here and there.
Date published: 2017-04-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enjoyable It was a good book; however; I made it through 99.7% of the book, but couldn't bring myself to finish the rest. I liked the history bits. He's a hilarious character. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from PURE ENTERTAINMENT! I lost my StepDad and discovered this novel around the same time. It reminded me so much of him. He was from Finland - right next door to Sweden. The main character was Kurt incarnate and gave me lots of laughs and helped me remember all the good and quirky things about my StepDad. loved this book so much I bought several copies and handed them out! Recommend 1000%
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely loved it And so did my book club. So odd, so outlandish, and so funny. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What a Book! A thrilling adventure of Allan Karlsson at the age and 100 years old! Wait, that's not all, he has thousands of adventure throughout his life. MUST READ!!!
Date published: 2017-02-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quirky humour I enjoyed that despite its rather quirky humour, but I think Jonasson's style won't be everyboy's cup of tea. Most poeople will either love it or hate it.
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Slow Read I found this book to be a little dry and slow to read. It wasn't a book for me.
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A quick read- that was cute- but doesn`t quite live up to the hype. I enjoyed the read, but expected so much more. I would still recommend it to someone who needs a break from the really thought provoking, brain twisting reads out there.
Date published: 2017-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exciting Story This book tells a hilarious adventure of a geriatric man taking back his life after being stuck in an old folks home. It's a refreshing and light hearted read for anyone looking to relax and fantasize about what it would be like to be a 100 years old and finding yourself in more trouble than a teenager. #plumreviews
Date published: 2017-01-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unique and fun story You can't take this book too seriously. It took me a while to read but it kept me coming back for more and I genuinely wanted to know what happened to the old guy. Worth a try imho.
Date published: 2017-01-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique Read This book is very unlike anything I've ever read before, both in the plot and writing style. I didn't reall feel connected to any of the characters and the book seemed to get more bizarre with every chapter but...I honestly didn't mind? It was an interesting read and if you're up for something different and quirky, I would definitely recommend. #plumreview
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very Sclow Read My daughter loved this book and could not wait for me to read it. I found it very slow and boring. I could not finish it - it was a disappointment.
Date published: 2017-01-11
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nope! This was not what I was expecting. This novel was boring and hard to get into, not recommended.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Nope!! This was not at all what I expected. I found it boring and hard to get into, not recommended.
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An interesting new story If you're looking for the comfortable, standard story-arc, this isn't for you. Instead, it's full of unexpected twists and some very dark humour. I couldn't put it down.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Meh Entertaining enough, but didn't live up to my expectations.
Date published: 2017-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant This novel is a must read. It is everything and much more than it's description. If you want to be taken on the journey of a life time then this is the novel for you.
Date published: 2016-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting read This is for sure a different kinda book. There are parts that are a little slow but with all the things that happen and all the characters just strug it off makes it interesting
Date published: 2016-12-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Fun romp This novel is a fun romp for anyone with a bit of knowledge about historical/global events, and I would guess still enjoyable for those who don't. A bit bizarre at times, but that is exactly why I liked it.
Date published: 2016-12-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hilarious Hilarious book. The movie does not compare at all to the book as the style of writing and the way the story is told is what makes this book.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique and Fun I really enjoyed this whimsical story. Very amusing but a little slow at times.
Date published: 2016-12-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from 100 year old man Hilarious and imaginative story telling by the author.
Date published: 2016-12-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from This book genuinely surprised me! I didn't quite know what to expect when the dust jacket read "Forrest Gump adventure" but it was witty, stimulating and honest. It does help to have some knowledge about historical events and people, but I was able to keep up with the rapidly changing plotline and evolving people. The narrative was clever and unique, and although I struggled with some of the names of people and places because of the International places they visit, I'm so glad that I read it. I would recommend it to anyone who wants a fun silly book that has just a hint of putting-your-life-into-perspective.
Date published: 2016-11-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Allan lives his life just on the outskirts of major world events throughout the 20th century. And it's hilarious.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not Your Typical Read Imaginative and playful, hilarious and occasionally a bit gruesome, this book was an entertaining read from start to finish. The characters are colorful and over the top without being annoying. It’s definitely not the kind of book I usually read, but it was cleverly written and amusing enough to pull me through till the end.
Date published: 2016-11-21
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great character, but... I found the main character to be very interesting, but the history to be too overwhelming...
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Just okay #plumreview I was disappointed after hearing so much about this book. The characters were interesting and parts of it were humourous.
Date published: 2016-11-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Quick to Recommend I read this book and immediately recommended it to my father who's a history buff. We both loved reading about Allan's antics in this comedic tale.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from An abolsute riot Never in my life have I literally laughed out loud so much from a book that wasn't an Archie comic. This book is a hilarious whirlwind from start to finish, full of perfectly timed irony, a unique writing style, and the most ridiculous assortment of fabulous characters. It chronicles the life of 100-year Allan in a well-thought out back-in-forth from past to present, which I found highly engaging. I could hardly put it down. The life of Allan is just too outrageous to believe- so you'll just have to read it for yourself.
Date published: 2016-10-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Completely Entertaining One of the best stories told! Unique and entertaining, this is a wonderful story with some of the most diverse and fun characters you will find in any book. HIghly recommend.
Date published: 2016-07-31
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A Difficult Read I found this book to be a real chore to finish. Did find it funny at times and did admire Allans character but found all the back and forth rather annoying. I was happy to finally complete tbe book and not certain that I would recommemd it.
Date published: 2015-10-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Funny and Irreverent in a most pleasing way Think of ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’, subtract the extraterrestrial travel, and you land smack dab in the middle ( or beginning, or end ) of the spirit of this tale. Oddity upon oddity accumulate as chapters alternate between the present, and the past. For a gentle, old man, accustomed to blowing things to bits, the twists and turns of Fate take him, and us, on a careening roller-coaster , and just as we think things have leveled off for good, whoosh, we’re off again. I dare you read this while drinking your favorite beverage, and to not spill it due to laughter !
Date published: 2015-07-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story Fantastic tale about a practical man who did amazing things and helped shape the world of the 20th century.
Date published: 2015-05-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A great read!! Very entertaining and comical. Worth reading!!! Gave this book to my father for Christmas and he has now passed it on to his brother. A favorite!
Date published: 2015-04-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from the 100 year old man Interesting premise, characters. Quick read. Wouldnt recommend it to anyone though. Very superficial on all levels.
Date published: 2015-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The 100 year old man Intense, funny, complicated enough to keep my interest and keep the reader feeling like they were a fly on the wall, so to speak. I was never outside of the book. Well worth the read, but it is not an easy read.
Date published: 2015-04-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Engaging comedy of errors This books is engaging and an easy read. Allan is the 100 year old man and he has lead quite a life! It reminded me of Forrest Gump but did not have the believability. It is a black comedy of errors and an interesting read.
Date published: 2015-03-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared I really enjoyed this book! I found I could truly picture the journey that this man was going on. While this book was silly and a little outrageous at times it was wise and quite philosophical as well. I think all of us at some point want to climb out a window and disappear from our lives. The book is about adventure and it never being too late. I did find the book to be a little bit longer than it needed to be but it didn't drag on for too long.
Date published: 2015-03-13
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Took me forever I can not say that I enjoyed this book. It took me forever to get through. I kept putting it down and picking up more interesting reads.
Date published: 2015-01-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The 100 year old man... This book started quite entertaining, but soon got dry and dull. It talked too much about the main charaters past rather than the present. Not an exciting ending either.
Date published: 2015-01-28
Rated 3 out of 5 by from For those who enjoy historical fiction and adventures. Originally published in Swedish, this book is part contemporary, part historical fiction, with a whole lot of adventure. When I first heard of this book I thought that it would be whimsically humorous. While I was correct to assume humorous, The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared was more obscure than whimsical. Without changing the outcome of the past 100 years, the author give readers a fictional (and comically unrealistic) alternative to how they came about, simply as a result of one man. My rating for this book is 3.5 stars as I found certain parts of this book to be long winded. Going back in history or ahead in time often made me lose track of the current setting. It also made for a longer read than I expected.
Date published: 2015-01-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Very tiresome I found this book to be quite tiresome. I had to force myself to finish it. The stories of Allan's life were simply repetitive, just in a different venue and with different historical characters. Much of it was just absurd. I did not find it particularly funny, more like ridiculous.
Date published: 2015-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining Comical and entertaining. Jumps back and forth in time kind of like a Tarentino movie, with the essence of Forest Gump-like touches.
Date published: 2015-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The 100 year old man Loved it! A wonderful step away from everyday life. Would love to see more from this author. Jonas Jonasson will not disappoint.
Date published: 2015-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The 100 year old man Fantastic story ,very well written made me laugh out loud ,very entertaining.I have recomended it to many people.
Date published: 2015-01-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I loved this book This was an easy read. The story was quite enjoyable. Looking forward to the next book by this author.
Date published: 2015-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from hilarious At first I was s little confused but once I began to imerge myself in the book I couldn't put it down. A very good and funny read!
Date published: 2015-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Disappear into a 100 Years of Adventure I purchased Jonas Jonasson’s book because I had heard it was good, because it had a captivating title and enticing but simple cover sketch, and because it was a modest length and therefore likely to be read cover to cover, even if it didn’t live up to the promise of my rigorous analysis. Sometimes - as on Disneyland’s pitch black Space Mountain roller coaster ride - not knowing what to expect enhances the ride, and Jonasson delivers a rollicking series of twists, turns and sharp corners spread out over 100 years (no surprise there) and a vast geography (to say more might spoil some of the surprise). Unsurprisingly, the book begins with the hundred-year-old man climbing out his window, after which a series of unlikely events quickly transpire to hook the reader. Characters are introduced via their chance meeting with the hundred-year-old man, and their quirky backgrounds are explained with just enough detail to bring them to life, but with a humour and brevity that keeps the focus on the unfolding story. The protagonist is 100, after all, and one had better not dawdle when time might be short. As with the best oral storytellers, Jonasson's main aim is to hold the audience's attention via the storyline.  The book's dedication sums up his goal well.  “No one was better at captivating an audience than Grandpa, when he sat on his favourite bench telling stories, leaning on his walking stick and chewing tobacco. ‘But Grandpa … Is that really true?’ we grandchildren would ask, wide-eyed. ‘Those who only says what is the truth, they’re not worth listening to,’ Grandpa replied.” Jonasson learned much at his grandpa’s knee, and he introduces a second set of characters – well-known historical figures – in the hundred-year-old man's backstory. For them of course no introduction or background is needed, but they add an element of the fantastical and introduce a second plot-line that careens its way from 100 years ago into the present day and the 100-year-old man’s decision to climb out the window. Just as characters are humorously drawn but serve primarily to advance the plot, fine details about the setting are spare, mostly adding humour rather than rich detail. For example, an aside about Iranian-British relations in the mid-twentieth century tells readers, “Oil provided fantastic wealth to both England and Iran. Mainly England, if truth be told, but that was only fair because Iran's sole contribution to the project was cheap labor – and of course the oil itself." The book is an unusual blend of styles: with the humorous plot twists of a John Irving novel; a blend of fact and fiction as written by James Clavell or Ken Follett; the irreverence of Woody Allen; and a central character whose life resembles cinema’s Forest Gump, so grab a seat on the bench beside Jonasson as he tells a tale well worth listening to.
Date published: 2014-12-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't stop laugh I finish reading this book at one time reading and I was smiling all the time. Even the beginning of book is laughing me for its rare and all of random beginning of this 100 year old man's unforgettable journey.
Date published: 2014-11-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from In Praise of Tough Reads I read Zadie Smith?s ?NW? immediately after finishing Jonas Jonasson?s ?The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared.? The juxtaposition taught me something about my reading proclivities: I prefer books and authors that make me work. Zadie Smith made me work. It was sometimes difficult to sort out the connection amongst the constellation of characters in ?NW.? Standard formatting devices such as quotation marks around speech were often eschewed blurring the line between what was spoken out loud and what was internal monologue. The four parts of the novel were each structured differently: the first, ?visitation,? had a typical format of numbered chapters; the second, ?guest,? used borough designations to set off the chapters; the third and longest part, ?host,? numbered not the chapters but each individual paragraph; and finally the fourth, reprised the title ?visitation? and was essentially one relatively short chapter. But more challenging than these structural variations were the difficulties that I experienced in following the characters? evolutions with the at-times convoluted plot. I had to be constantly attentive. I needed to reread sections or flip back to previous chapters. I did a great deal of highlighting of passages that I thought would help me follow the storyline. And, bottom line, I was totally engaged. ?NW? was not a fun, easy read. It was, by contrast, difficult. And I loved it. Like a great workout at the gym, Zadie Smith had the adrenalin pumping through my brain. And that left me satisfied in the same way that a rush of endorphins does. As for ?The 100-Year-Old Man?,? it?s probably sacrilege to say that I was bored. I know that the book has been immensely popular, as are others by Jonasson. And, truth be told, I wasn?t exactly bored. It was a fun story told by Jonasson with such an entertaining narrative style that the book carried me along effortlessly. Which is not to say that Jonasson?s writing is effortless. As a struggling fiction writer myself, I know how hard it is to write a text that has the fluidity of Jonasson?s work. But as for visceral satisfaction? For me, ?The 100-Year-Old Man?? doesn?t come close to ?NW.?
Date published: 2014-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ... A fun read .... An enjoyable and funny read...
Date published: 2014-11-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh... I read this book while on vacation with high hopes after seeing a large number of positive reviews, but I found it too long and not at all funny. It was mostly full of just silly, "Mr Bean", like humour. Overall, a bit too pedestrian for me.
Date published: 2014-10-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Simply marvelous What a great book, so funny, leaves you interested from page one. The escapades are crazy, the gang of comrades keeps growing and the story gets funnier. Absolutely loved it and as someone else wrote, I too was sad when it ended.
Date published: 2014-10-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from This is great This is an extremely good book. Allan is so absurd and genuine that you can't help but be disappointed that the book ends.
Date published: 2014-08-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The 100-year old man who climbed out Funny, engaging story. Kina Forrest Gump-ish the way the story weaves its way...
Date published: 2014-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from 100 year old man Funny funny funny and intelligent
Date published: 2014-08-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from INCREDIBLE BOOK I really loved this book and I was sad when it was done. If you read one book this year, this has to be it.
Date published: 2014-05-07
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Don't waste your time Wow, this was such a bad book. I kept waiting for it to get better....but it didn't. I don't wish to waste anymore time on this horrible book so I'll leave it at that.
Date published: 2014-04-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The 100 Year old Man who told a horrible story In order to get through the book one has to have a certain level of knowledge about past and current world events. However, if you are too familiar the book is annoying and not at all funny. I suffered through it waiting for the story to improve but was disappointed when the story simply ended. Would I recommend this novel: only too someone I do not like. 
Date published: 2014-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The 100year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared. Just about done the book.It has been delightful.Easy read,lots of fun.
Date published: 2014-02-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from 100 Year Old Man who climbed out the window What a great easy read! Definitely entertaining, I found myself laughing out loud at some of the events in this 100 year old man's journey. The history may not be very accurate in this book, but it is a fun read. It opens a window into a simple mind and it made me realize that we over complicate things; life is best enjoyed with simple pleasures. Once I started to read it I could not put it down it takes unpredictable turns and kept me yearning for more adventures. Overall a great read!
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 2 out of 5 by from The ramblings ... I cannot recommend this book. It was on the best seller list for so long I decided it must be worth a try. Unfortunately this is a miss. The 100-year old man rambles on and on to little end, and it became obnoxious for both the reader, and for other characters in the book. I ordinarily enjoy a book told in flashback (or rather jumping around in time) but the flashbacks in this book told of unfathomable "adventures" that just weren't believable. It might have been more interesting if we were to question whether the "adventures" were a figment of an aged-imagination, but the author didn't foster this option. At the end of the day, this 100-year old man climbed out the window because he has a cavalier views and a laissez-faire approach to life ... sadly, neither were terribly interesting and I was keen for his "adventure" to end.
Date published: 2014-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adventure at its best I love adventure. This book takes you on a life time of adventure. The twists and turns are unexpected, sometimes too far fetched. I was entertained. Its a great book for a trip. You cannot put it down or until the last twist unravels. Full of surprises. A delight.
Date published: 2014-01-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Swedish Forrest Gump I read this book for the book club I go to. This was a Forrest Gump for centenarians. Allan Karlsson travelled the world, by choice and by accident, and met some of the most famous world leaders of the time. It does take a leap of faith to believe that this could happen, but that is what makes the story fun. I liked the lead character. I liked his happy go lucky approach to life and the adventures it brought. I felt his character was developed. I did not feel a lot of empathy for him. I knew he would make it through any problem he faced. He did live to a hundred. The other fictional characters were develped enough to help the story along. This is a black comedy. How else do you describe a story that makes you laugh at someone, actually several people, dying. We shouldn't laugh at it, but dying because an elephant sat on you is funny. Although the author did take some liberties with history. And that is okay is a comedy, one error caught my attention. The author mentions the Americans us B52 bombers in the second world war. The B52's did not come into service until the 1950's. That is my nitpicker point for today. I really enjoyed this book. It was good for a laugh.
Date published: 2014-01-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared Very clever how the author brought history throughout out book and kept a thread between these events. Very funny and great for any age over 14 and any gender. I would love to see high schools pick this book for english and have the students write an essay on some of the events in the book and what actually happened.
Date published: 2013-12-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very Funny This is a hilarious and entertaining story. The author has a very quirky sense of humour! I would read another book by him. Loved it!!
Date published: 2013-12-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVED IT This book was hilarious and so witty, making me laugh many times.  Yes, I do agree that the amount of world-changing events that Allan was a part of is a bit much, but that's the fun of the book.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone!
Date published: 2013-12-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Entertaining just don't take it seriously I found this book very entertaining as long as you don't read into the details too far. It is quite far fetched as far as the details go but as far as the story line goes there are some very funny things that happen that you can see as believable.
Date published: 2013-12-09
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Most boring book I saw this book read the reviews and thought it would be good but I was so bored reading this, I found myself flipping past the parts of his "adventures" and focusing more on the crime. I eventually got so bored I gave this to a coworker to read and she said the same thing. My mother bought a copy and she couldn't get through it either. It was a waste of time. If I could give half of the 1 start I would have.
Date published: 2013-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I LOVED this book. It's a totally quirky, silly story, but so much fun!
Date published: 2013-10-03
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Fell Short I really wanted to like this book. I had read reviews that said the book was fun, funny, dark and fascinating. Frankly, it fell way short of expectations. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson started out with great enthusiasm. Main character Allan Karlsson is in a retirement home, waiting for his 100th birthday party to start when he decides he’s had enough there, climbs out the window and seemingly disappears. The trouble Karlsson comes across on his travels to “escape” the retirement home is amusing and interesting. It’s the parts in between that irked me. Maybe it’s because I’m a history geek and am well-versed in 20th century history, but every time the author told a story of Karlsson’s life from his twenties until right before he moved into the retirement home, I’d just get more annoyed. Throughout the book Karlsson meets, interacts and in some way impacts every major political leader of the 20th century. From Franco in Spain, to Oppenheimer and the A-bomb, to numerous US presidents, all the way to helping the fall of Communism, Karlsson’s life was rife with political interactions, despite his immense dislike of politics. I found the author was trying to accomplish what Forrest Gump had but lacked the wit and cleverness that the movie had. Where Forrest Gump’s interactions with historical events were subtle, Jonasson hits you over the head with Karlsson’s impact on events repeatedly as if the reader isn’t intelligent enough to understand what was happening. It was very frustrating. I found myself struggling to get through the book.
Date published: 2013-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it ! Crazy story...very entertaining. Loved the characters Didn't want it to end. The best book I've read this year by far !
Date published: 2013-05-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderfully insane story What an original context. The author did a superb job; what a story teller. An absolute must read for everyone. The more laid back you are the longer you live, or so it appears. Just crazy; I loved it.
Date published: 2013-05-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent This book is an excellent read. The writer has you from the moment you start reading. When you put it down at night you want to start reading the next day. I read every word and I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone that asks about the book. Enjoy!
Date published: 2013-03-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Why??? Ok, I heard so much about this book, I bought 2 copies one for me and one as a gift. It started out promising--first 10 pages and then I was TOTALLY lost. I don't know why it's gotten such great reviews?? I found I didn't connect with the characters at all and found the book very boring as I got further into it. Unfortunately, I didn't even finish reading it....hate it when that happens. Sorry, wasn't for me at all.
Date published: 2013-03-22
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as Funny This is really two books in one. There is the story of Alan who leaves his nursing home and gets into a series of adventures. This story was amusing, and in some spots almost good slapstick. The other story--his past--which has been likened to Forest Gump, I found tedious. I did not see the movie since the theme did not appeal to me, and I think it was way overdone here. I must admit that the book was quite readable, and I did enjoy some of the ways in which various historical characters were portrayed. But I did not like it as much as many other people.
Date published: 2013-03-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Weird and entertaining Alan is in a nursing home, destined, it seems, to live out the rest of his days sober and eating unidentifiable mush with the rest of the old geezers, as ordered by Nurse Alice. But Alan's not the type to be told what to do (or to stay sober). So he leaves. The fact that he's 100 years old is of no concern to Alan. The book switches back and forth between two story lines: Alan's past (his long and strange history) and his present (running away from the nursing home). Alan has a gift for getting into trouble and talking himself out of them. Along the way he encounters a long list of famous 20th century leaders, and an assortment of thiefs, oddballs, gangsters, hermits, crooks and weirdos. In this book there is an elephant, watermelons, presidents, railroad carts, Bibles, a yellow Volkswagon bus, murders (some intentional, others not), inumerable explosions and lots of alcohol (preference given to vodka). Eventually the two story lines intersect and by then the reader is completely engrossed in Alan's story. Quite the adventure.
Date published: 2013-03-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One Great Story! While worried that something would get lost in translation from the original Swedish text, this book delivers the goods. A funny, smart romp through the history-bending life of our senior citizen anti-hero with a cast of full of crazy characters infused with witty dialogue. This book is definitely worthy of its praise and totally enjoyable. Now who said Swedes were low key?
Date published: 2013-03-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightful This book was a great read. It was funny and, perhaps somewhat silly. but refreshing in it's style. I found it hard to put down.
Date published: 2013-03-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Book CLub GEM I cannot say enough good things about this story. It is funny and clever. I am not an expert on world history but I had NO problems piecing together all of the amazing things that Alan has done in his very long life. Somewhat of a commentary on how the elderly are treated in society but mostly an easy to read, old fashioned adventure with the oldest hero ever. The cast of characters is just incredible.The lesson that I learned is that if you are easy going and open minded, whatever you need will be there. And you will be be exactly where you need to be, always!
Date published: 2013-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great light reading to put a smile on your face Well written, captivating story with totally unpredictable plot and lovable characters. If your are looking for a smile and entertainment this book has it. There are many places where you just can't put the book down - you have to see what happens next. Really enjoyed it.
Date published: 2013-01-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lot of Fun! The Swedish authors are on a roll. This is a very different story about a man who flees his retirement home on his100th birthday. The adventure starts right way when the centenarian steals a suitcase at the train station and makes his getaway. The best part of the story involve his accomplices and the quirky situtations they find themselve in. The story got a bit slow when delving into his unique past. Overall a very fun read .
Date published: 2012-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The 100-Year-Old Man I can't remember the last time I had this much fun reading a book. You want suspense? This book has it. You never know what's going to happen: "Well, now you can see how sensible it is not to start your day by guessing what might happen . . .. After all, how long would I have had to go on guessing before I guessed this?" You want humour? This book has it. The story is rich in irony and understatement: "Even if you're well bundled up, it is bold to cross the Himalayas with only the help of a homemade map of the world and a compass." You want a fun romp through history? Boy, does this book have it. The lovable 100-year-old protagonist journeys through the major news events of the 20th Century. Along the way he solves some rather large problems, but creates some doozies, too: "It is better not to have two murder organizations on your heels." Allan Emmanuel Karlsson teaches us that if you want to give your life a new direction, sometimes you have to climb out the window. On the morning of his 100th birthday, he decides that a nursing home is no place for an explosives expert with a fondness for vodka and an aversion to politics. He escapes the clutches of Director Alice and climbs out his window. Wearing a suit and his bedroom slippers, he embarks on a grand adventure. In a way that is entirely charming and soul-stirringly inspirational, Allan doesn't try to direct his life, but let's life happen to him. He marvels with childlike curiosity at each new twist and turn. ". . . it was what it was, and that thereafter whatever will be will be." And he never meets a hurdle he cannot overcome: "He considered the matter so intently that the stone wall in front of his eyes seemed to shrink. And when it was at its very lowest, Allan crept over it, age and knees be damned." This book is entertaining, literary and suspenseful. Great fun.
Date published: 2012-11-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A presumably innocent adventure with vodka, explosives and a suitcase I really enjoyed The 100-Year-Old Man. It was cute and innocent at times and then you find out that Allan isn't quite so innocent. He's lived a long, full life and even influenced a few historic events. Just like the back cover suggests, it's a bit Forest Gumpy in that way. I also enjoy books which are set mostly outside of North America and since this book was originally written in Swedish it should come as no surprise that Allan and the gang go through a little adventure in Sweden.
Date published: 2012-11-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A unique story! This book about an old man who still has adventure in his soul, is told exceedingly well. Jonasson writes so convincingly that an improbable life story becomes very believeable. While pursuing a rather shocking exploit, the man retells the amazing history he's already lived...harrowing, heroic, littered with most of the great leaders of the past hundred years, and hugely funny in several places. Very different than anything I've read lately and well done!
Date published: 2012-10-04

Editorial Reviews

“Imaginative, laugh-out-loud . . . a brilliant satire on the foibles of mankind.”