Thursday, October 09, 2014

Book Review - "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared"

Hello All!

My name is Nicole Chappell and your gracious host Emily has invited me to be a guest on her beautiful blog. Since I love to read, and I love to talk about the books that I read, blogging about it seemed like the next natural step. 

Title: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared (Translated from Swedish)
Author: Jonas Jonasson

This book has all the potential to be amazing. Who doesn't love a good story about an old man getting up to all kinds of shenanigans? Well if that's all you're looking for in a book, you're in luck. From start to finish this book is filled with silly, outrageous, and downright hilarious situations that the "centenarian," as they call him in the book, gets into throughout his long life.

The book jacket refers to the story being "much like Forrest Gump's" and that is pretty much the best way to describe what kind of situations the main character Allan Karlsson finds himself in. He meets a whole cast of historical characters including Stalin, Harry Truman, and Churchill in the most unlikely scenarios, much like Forrest Gump. The difference in this novel is that Forrest Gump as a character has extreme depth, heartbreak, and truly compelling aspects to him. Allan Karlsson is static. He loves vodka, relaxing, and explosives - funny, but not a character you describe any further.

The story is filled to the brim with hilarious moments that will surprise you and delight you, don't get me wrong. For many, many readers this will be more than enough to keep you entertained for hours. My problem is that I didn't care one little bit about the characters. They are absolutely one-sided with no original flaws or characteristics that make me love them or hate them. The story has no subtle deeper meaning and did not effect me emotionally or mentally. 

All of that being said, the book does have a very positive message. Allan is in a nursing home at the start of the book and on his 100th birthday decides that life doesn't have to end here. Allan's carefree and entrepreneurial spirit shows that it doesn't matter how old you are - it is never too late to change your life, or head out on an adventure to end all adventures. 

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