The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Review

The Hundred-Year-Old Man…is by Jonas Jonasson, a Swedish author, but of course I read an English translation. I like books about elderly people doing fun and interesting things – I previously read The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules which I thought was absolutely hilarious so I thought I’d give The Hundred-Year-Old Man… a go. I bought it from my local Age Concern charity shop for like, 98p or something. Totally worth the money, haha.

It’s basically a book about a man who lives in an old people’s home, and on his 100th birthday he decides he’s just had enough with the monotony of it, so he climbs out of his bedroom window, and leaves. Thus starts a really crazy journey that brings him into contact one by one with a bunch of other people who are bored with their lives, from all different walks of life, who eventually become a motley crewe of people on the run from the police because of a theft and a couple of murders along the way. The narrator’s back story is also hilarious – apparently he has worked for everyone from Stalin to Truman. The discussions of politics and war in the book kinda reminded me of Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (one of my all time favourite books). It was all super light-hearted and amusing.

I read the book very quickly because it was easy to read, funny, and the story moves very fast so I kept wanting to see what silly thing the gang were going to get up to next. However I don’t think I enjoyed it quite as much as The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules (which is by Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg). Both books are about old people and by Swedish authors and set in Sweden which I thought was interesting. It is refreshing to read something that wasn’t originally written in English as I feel we really don’t get exposed to much world literature here in the UK and it’s a shame because we must be missing out on so many awesome stories!

Would recommend if:

– You like light-hearted comedy.

– You’re interested in political history (not essential but you’ll get more of it if you are).

– You enjoy stories that are fast-paced and full of plot twists and turns.

– You like books where the plot is basically just bonkers and super random.

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