Monday, October 8, 2012

You're Never Too Old for an Adventure

How hilarious is The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared? Everyone I know who has read the book has ended up laughing out loud. Repeatedly. It's just that enjoyable and funny!

The international bestseller, written by Swedish author Jonas Jonasson, tells the story of Allan Karlsson, who is about to celebrate his one hundredth birthday. Everyone will be at the party in the old age home - the mayor will be there, the local press will be there. Everyone except for Allan, who escapes through his bedroom window in his slippers and makes his getaway.

What follows is a picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, incompetent police, a suitcase full of money and, in the Forrest Gump style, a cast of the twentieth century's most prominent leaders, including Harry S. Truman, Mao Tse Tung's wife, Winston Churchill, Joseph Stalin and more.

Okay, like most people reading this review, you'll probably ask what does the word picaresque mean? As defined by the dictionary, picaresque is a tale "relating to rogues or rascals", and the characters who accompany Allan on his historic and momentous journey are exactly that. However, you can't help but love Allan. He sees only the good in people and his actions bring a smile to your lips. Or, make you laugh out loud.

And there's an elephant, let's not forget that!

Author Jonas Jonasson worked as a journalist in Sweden before founding a very successful media company. Working seven days a week, he suffered from severe stress and underwent major back operations. After twenty years in the media industry, he sold his business and moved to a remote part of Sweden to write the book he had been thinking about for years. He met a mixed-race Norwegian woman on the Internet and they moved to Switzerland. A messy divorce followed, but Jonasson gained custody of his son. Since 2010, Jonasson has been living with his son on the Swedish island of Gotland.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man has been translated into over 30 languages and has just been published in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Filming is due to start on an adaptation of the book, with Robert Gustafsson, sometimes considered "the funniest man in Sweden", set to play the role of Allan Karlsson.

Jonasson is now working on his second novel. "It’s about a South African woman who lives in Soweto and turns the world upside down. It’s very funny," Jonasson said in an interview with The Telegraph. The working title for the new book is "The Analphabet Who Knew How to Count". If it's even half as funny as The Hundred-Year-Old Man we'll all be laughing out loud again soon.

Buy The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared and read it now!

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