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“The Centenarian Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson

“The Centenarian Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” by Jonas Jonasson

About the book

On his 100th birthday, Allan Karlsson decides to run away from the retirement home. He climbs out of the window on the ground floor and buys a ticket at the bus stop to get as far away as possible. Allan looks after the bag of a young man named Bolt, but when the bus arrives and the man hasn't returned yet, he simply takes the bag with him. With his ticket he gets to a remote station, where he continues on foot. Exhausted, he comes to an abandoned train station building where he meets an older man named Julius Jonasson. The two get along well and Allan stays for dinner and overnight. But suddenly the owner of the bag appears at Julius' door and wants the bag back. However, Allan is able to surprise him and knocks him to the ground. The two older men put bolts in Julius' cold room, forget him there overnight and he freezes to death. They have now found out that there is 50 million crowns in the bag and the two pensioners decide to run away with a trolley, the dead bolt and the money.

My opinion

Jonas Jonasson's debut novel is more than successful. With a lot of dry humor and situational comedy, he describes the escape of the two pensioners across Sweden. Allan's life to date is presented chronologically through flashbacks to the past, leading the reader through the world events of the past century. Because Allan was “accidentally” involved in one or two historical events - he not only advanced the development of the American atomic bomb and ended the 1968 riots in Paris, but also drank with various statesmen such as Franco, President Truman, Stalin and others Kims compete.

The two men do not plan their actions long in advance, but rather take events as they come. So they stumble from one bizarre situation to another, which sometimes seems a bit absurd to the reader. I think the message behind it should be taken to heart: In our time, when everything has to be faster, higher, better, it's sometimes appropriate not to take life and yourself so seriously. Have the courage to let yourself go and not complete everything from high school to university degrees to a manager job, so that you no longer have time to think outside the box.

If you are looking for an entertaining, amusing and endearing story, “The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared” is definitely the best choice

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