The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
A hilarious book about a man called Allan Karllson who turns 100 years old and then escapes from his care home before his party- on the way he gets chased by police, meets friends who will help him along his way and his earlier life is reviled where he doesn't like politics but, however, meets some very important politicians on his way to becoming 100 years old.
Brilliant! Dark, humorous and highly original, you find yourself rooting for the runaway despite his criminal behaviour. The gang he meets along the way really gel and become like a family and it gives you a satisfying ending.
Fab fab fab!
The main problem most book club members seemed to have with this book was the hopping backwards and forwards in time. It was felt that these bits might be slightly superfluous to the main story, but without them the book would have been much shorted, and possibly more interesting. The only thing we learnt from the historical parts of the book was that the protaganist had been around for a very long time and happened to meet a lot of the great historical figures from the past 100 years. It was interesting to have that timeline to see what things had happened during his lifetime but it didn't really add anything more to the story.
Moving on from the historical passages in the book we though that they were pretty far fetched and wondered whether the protaganist was making them up as there is no-one around to be able to check with. We also wondered whether he had some kind of mental health issues related to lying and story telling. We then went on to wonder if he had actually run away at all or if it was all just a dream, or he was just telling himself a story to pass the time in the nursing home.
We wondered whether the reason we didn't enjoy it as much as we anticipated was because it has been translated from Swedish. They might have a very different sense of humour than we do, it certainly seemed to be a lot drier than we're used to. We came to the conclusion that the Scandinavians definitely do have a wierd sense of humour evidenced by this book and also the Moomins!
Overall we gave this book 5 out of 10.