The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

By Jonas Jonasson
Publisher:Hyperion, (9/11/2012)

Average Rating:
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3.40 out of 5 (5 Clubie's ratings)

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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 himself involved 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.

Praise for The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared:

"[A] silly and wonderful novel. [The scenes] will just keep readers amused almost non-stop, and that's a feat few writers achieve. A great cure for the blues, especially for anyone who might feel bad about growing older."
--Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"[A] laugh-out-loud debut . . . Historical figures like Mao's third wife, Vice President Truman, and Stalin appear, to great comic effect. Other characters--most notably Albert Einstein's hapless half-brother--are cleverly spun into the raucous yarn, and all help drive this gentle lampoon of procedurals and thrillers."
--Publishers Weekly, Starred

"Eccentric, unusual and far-fetched in the best possible way."
--The Bookseller

"Scandi-crime's signature darkness is here dispelled by Allan Karlsson, the eponymous centenarian, who with unlikely sprightliness hops out of the window of his old people's home one afternoon . . . Fast-moving and relentlessly sunny . . . Like Allan, the plot is pleasingly nimble and the book's endearing charm offers a happy alternative to the more familiar Nordic noir."
--The Guardian

"Imaginative, laugh-out-loud . . . a brilliant satire on the foibles of mankind."
--The Telegraph

"A mordantly funny and loopily freewheeling debut novel about ageing disgracefully."
--The Sunday Times

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SkinnyLinny's thoughts on "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared"
updated on:9/15/2015

Enjoyed by all of our readers. Many of us laughed out loud. Some dark humor. Good discussions on many topics covered in the book: friendship, moral code, empathy for characters, do the times we live in shape our character, and nature or nurture, which forms ou into adults.


Webmaster's thoughts on "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared"
updated on:4/2/2014

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Ceci's thoughts on "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared"
updated on:3/6/2014

It makes a certain kind of sense that the same country renowned for bringing us Steig Larsson’s spectacularly violent GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO series and Henning Mankell’s gruesome, dark and brooding KURT WALLENDER series (and see also, Jo Nesbo, Lars Kepler, etc., etc.) would also produce this novel. Ruthlessly upbeat, mind-numbingly boring, and itself unaccountably disturbing, it’s the Prozac antidote to the unending flood of Swedish crime thrillers. I’ll take my fiction dark and broody, thank you. This Swedish Forrest Gump is way too perky for me.

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Book Junky's thoughts on "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared"
updated on:3/2/2014

This was a nice light read. Fun enough, but not “can’t put it down” read. I would say, “pure entertainment,” but that is not correct. There was actually a nice history refresher course built into the entrainment. Other than the history refresher course though, as you are reading, there is just not a lot to have to wrap your brain around. Which, I guess, is good for the entertainment factor, but I was a little worried whether or not it could lead to a good book club discussion. So, I was happy to see that there are already discussion questions written… but I’m sorry to say, those seemed a tad lame. I mean seriously, one of the questions was if you had read any books by other Swedish novelists, and another was “did you laugh [at all]?” Seriously? Doesn’t say much for the discussability factor if even the publisher is stretching it to come up with something to discuss! So let me add a few questions here that just might spice up your discussion and turn this into a good book club book after all: 1. At the age of 100, Alan was able to jump out a window and dare to have a new life. If you were as unhappy as Alan, would you have the guts to do the same? 2. Alan has the attitude that, “Things are what they are, and whatever will be will be.” What truth do you think that holds for Alan? What about for you? How would your life change if you tried to adopt Alan’s attitude and just go with the flow? 3. “…Alan considered that in general it was quite unnecessary to be grumpy if you had the chance not to.” I totally agree! Do you? Do you follow that advice? Do you really? What tricks have you learned to snap YOU out of the grumps? Or, would you say being grumpy has it’s advantages? What advantages have you seen come out of being grumpy? (There has to be some.) So, is Alan right, or wrong? Is being grumpy “quite unnecessary” or can it be good? 4. What do you think of Alan’s philosophy that “The solution [to most disagreements] was often to down a bottle of vodka together and then look ahead”? What roll does vodka serve as in this story? In history? In resolution of conflicts? Does anyone else want to recommend that our current government do this? What do you think would result? 5. Politics. Alan hates politics. Would there be advantages if all of just just stopped caring about politics, or anarchy? 6. What did you think about the typo found in the misprinted bibles? (I totally laughed out loud there.) Any truth to it? Or what thoughts did that bring up for you? 7. Alan does not let age stop him. Are you letting age stop you from anything? What makes you say, “I’m too old for this ____”? Are you really? Whew! That should spice up the discussion a bit! I feel better now. It might not necessarily be questions about the book, but I would love to hear some of your answers! So if you are looking for a nice light read one month, where you need to reveal a bit about yourself by answering the discussion questions above, this would be a good pick. If you really want to “discuss the book” though, I’d look for a different book.

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draina's thoughts on "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared"
updated on:9/15/2013

Highly entertaining to read. I have recommended this book to many people and every one of them has got back to me seeing how much they enjoyed it. Well written and imaginative. 


"The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared"
By Jonas Jonasson

Average Rating:
Unleash it
3.40 out of 5 (5 Clubie's ratings)

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