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100 Year Old Man with Big Guts and Quite a Life Story

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

The saying There's nothing pleasant about old age can change its meaning if you have so many adventures and luck as Allan is his 100-year life. His life story is such increadible that it seems that it could acctually happen! What we experience is a world history lesson seen and told by Allan in a sarcastic, funny way deprived dead serious tone. I would love to have more such fascinating history lessons.

 

We meet Allan in unusual circumstances - when he's escaping from nursing home just before his birtyday party. He clambered out of his room through a window and went towards a railway station without a specific plan but having already many urban obstacles to overcome (like a fence). When I "met' Allan on the first pages I thought that he's humble and a little bit silly, maybe because of his age or personality. But when I immersed into book deeper and deeper I realized that Allan the 100-year old or not had bigger guts than many other man and quite a story to tell! I was fascinated.

 

Allan's story is lead in two different tracks: before the escape (his life time story - and there's a lot to be discovered) and after escape. Stories are presented in chapters in turns so we are abreast of his past and ongoing adventures. So in the way we have two separate stories, one about 'young' Allan and the second about the old Allan. Two stories meet in mentioned window creating men’s a full life story and overview of world history of XX century at the same time.

 

Allan has not only witnessed the most important events of this period, he had a direct impact on them. He created them and took part in them, unconscious of their significance for the whole world. During his long and active life Allan met Franco, Stalin, Churchill, Truman, Mao, de Gaulle... He invented and ruined (usually by using explosives), escaped and got caught, travelled, met people and lost them, helped and received help, got imprisoned and escaped again. All those history-based plot are nicely bond together and create world’s map of stories. They are actually reasonable and hilarious at the same time.

 

The ongoing story is not better (or maybe it is). As Allan reached mentioned railway station, he instantly got involved in a mystery, crime scene, police chase but also in friendship and love. First he’s declared as a missing person, later as an assassin. Can anything go more wrong? With a troupe of accidently met people and a huge suitcase stuffed with many? Everything! But Allan like a cat with 9 lives have  survived much more.


The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a book of many stories and many emotions. It gave me a real pleasure of reading and laughing with this specific sense of humour. Everything works here. One fault is that there's so many of everything that on same pages I had headache. But that’s really a minor drawback.