Synopses & Reviews
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.
"Jonasson's laugh-out-loud debut (a bestseller in Europe) reaches the U.S. three years after its Swedish publication, in Bradbury's pitch-perfect translation. The intricately plotted saga of Allan Karlsson begins when he escapes his retirement home on his 100th birthday by climbing out his bedroom window. After stealing a young punk's money-filled suitcase, he embarks on a wild adventure, and through a combination of wits, luck, and circumstance, ends up on the lam from both a smalltime criminal syndicate and the police. Jonasson moves deftly through Karlsson's life from present to past and back again recounting the fugitive centenarian's career as a demolitions expert and the myriad critical junctures of history, including the Spanish Civil War and the Manhattan Project, wherein Karlsson found himself an unwitting (and often influential) participant. 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. Agent: Anna Soler-Pont, Pontas Literary. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"[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
"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 (UK)
"The anti–Girl With the Dragon Tattoo....Jonasson's lighthearted novel shows the softer side of Sweden...hilarious." Marie Claire
"This quirky novel is a sly, satirical look back at international relations in the 20th century through the eyes of an old man who has seen it all." Library Journal
About the Author
Jonas Jonasson is a former journalist and media consultant. He lives in Sweden.