The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared | Jonas Jonasson | Minireview

Official Blurb

Sitting quietly in his room in an old people’s home, Allan Karlsson is waiting for a party he doesn’t want to begin. His one-hundredth birthday party to be precise. The Mayor will be there. The press will be there. But, as it turns out, Allan will not . . .

Escaping (in his slippers) through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several murders, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent police. As his escapades unfold, Allan’s earlier life is revealed. A life in which – remarkably – he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the twentieth century.

Translated by Roy Bradbury.

My View (no spoilers)

Oh my! I loved this book, so much so I shall probably read it again one day which is very unusual for me. I was sceptical initially about the story of a centenarian making a bolt for it from his care home but very soon you realise that living in an old people’s home would not suit a man like Allan Karlsson.

On the surface Allan Karlsson is an unassuming and apolitical man, his unusual escape sets off a chain of events as he embarks on remarkable adventures and meets extraordinary people. The story of his past eventful life is also slowly and delightfully revealed during the novel.

I am not sure which I enjoyed the most; the thought of an elderly gentleman and his new friends throwing caution to the wind and having the time of their lives or the snippets into Allan’s past, each more unbelievable than the last.

A work of fiction but it makes you think of all the elderly cooped up all over the world and wonder….just wonder.


I read a paperback version of this book.


  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Abacus; 01 edition (9 July 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349141800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349141800


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