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

“You see, Mr. Prosecutor, I haven’t always been a hundred years old. No, that’s recent.”

A lengthy title for a lengthy book. I blame this book for slowing me down during Bookstravaganza. Oh, it certainly was charming and chuckle-worthy, but I found myself drawn out of it from time to time. I was never quite sure where the book was going.

As you may have been able to guess, the title is the premise for the novel. Alan Karlsson, a hundred-year-old man, climbs out of his retirement home window on his birthday and goes on an adventure. Where to? He doesn’t know, and sometimes I worried that Jonasson didn’t know either. But I can’t say that the ride wasn’t fun.

The novel interweaves a narrative of Karlsson’s life with the present day. I often found myself speed-reading the present-day narrative and slowing down to enjoy Karlsson’s history. I didn’t expect it to be such a blood bath. But what should I have expected when I found out that Karlsson was an explosives expert? If anything, this book will make me question every frail-seeming, memory-losing elder I see from now on.

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