Love a good mystery, but don't care much for pure thrillers.
This is an amusing story, but satire is difficult medium to sustain for the length of a novel. The protagonist, Allan Karlsson, is a lot like Forrest Gump, with similar attributes other than being mentally retarded, bumbling into situations in which he is regarded as brilliant. The style is also similar inasmuch as it is episodic. The author alternates between the present time (2005) and earlier periods of Allan's life, and it works for a while but also gets a bit stale. One difference from Gump is Allan's capacity to drink unlimited quantities of vodka and other forms of alcohol, but that is in character with his being Swedish, I suppose. In order to appreciate this book, you need to approach it like a cartoon or comic book, totally unrealistic machinations and unbelievable coincidences. I enjoyed many of the characters but after a while, I was ready for the book to end, and it took longer to get there than I expected.
I usually listen to police procedurals (or sometimes spy novels), but felt like change and tried this. It was quite fun and interesting. Can't say it was one of my favorites, but i'm definitely glad i listened, and would do so again.
Follow me on Goodreads too!
The book was delightfully silly - there is not much more I can say!
I highly enjoyed this amusing little tale; the title sets the tone perfectly and the story is simply charming.
Greedy, voracious reader since age five. After a number of eye injuries & surgeries, reading is hard. So now, I listen.
100-yr old Alan is ornery, maybe a little dotty, you think. But cute, and funny! you are really rooting for him as he escapes the old folks' home and makes a slow walk for it to the train station, buys a ticket for as far as his pocket money will get him, and kinda--HeeHee!--takes a guy's suitcase with him as he gets on the bus.
The rest of the book is a Rube Goldberg contraption, some of it blatantly silly for laughs, some of it convoluted and surprising and funny, as it looks back in time over Alan's very interesting life. I do hesitate to compare this story to "Forrest Gump", altho it's historical time-traveling is reminiscent of that movie, lest that trivialize a really funny and well-written book. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this!
Quite a change of pace from my usual reading selections. It was apparent to me that the writing reflects a different story-telling style. The characters were a little annoying at times, but also lovable. By American standards the story was too long, but it was a journey with this band of misfits. EXCELLENT narration by Steven Crossley made the journey quite entertaining.
I thought the story was too long. There isn't a lot of plot here, mostly it's the quirkiness of the characters and the series of "accounts" that move the story.
The dry detachment of the hero is instantly and utterly likeable. Many of the secondary characters -- especially the villains -- are also memorable.
Reminded me a little of Vonnegut (more so Sirens of Titan than Slaughterhouse Five) and several reviewers have commented on ties with Forest Gump. The narrator's quirky interpretations of events are very reminiscent of young hero in the Swedish film, My Life as a Dog.
Captured the tone of the book perfectly.
A really fun listen! I gave four-stars to the story only because of a few less than credible plot twists, but frankly I feel horribly pedantic for being that fussy.
I loved the flow and humor that ran in this book. It was easy to follow, fun to listen to, and heartwarming without being sappy.
Reminds me of a Fannie Flagg read. You connect with the characters in this book and wish you could invite some of them to dinner! I can't wait to see if lightening can strike again with this author.
I found myself smiling often at the start of this comic novel, but the humor in the story was not enough to sustain me. The novel seems to alternate between present (somewhat entertaining) and past (not very entertaining to me). About a third of the way through, I decided to stop and start a book I would like better. If British humor is your thing, you might be very entertained by this novel. It just wasn't for me.
Expect a cross between a Coen brothers' movie and Candide--plus a touch of Forrest Gump. It's funny, absurd, and entertaining as the 100-year-old man collects equally eccentric characters while the plot snowballs along. Enter this book as you would a fable and you won't be disappointed.
Ok, don't get too analytical with this
Audible book. It's a little like "a 100 year old Forest Gump with a flat affect who accidentally kills a few bad guys" ...saying " oh, well...What's for dinner" afterwards
.... Just enjoy the great narration, unlikely story, and think of this outrageous romp as your hiatus from heavy, meaningful literature, a breath of snarky, but fresh air, and stop trying to decide if this is as good as your last listen.
Take it for what it is, pure, unadulterated balderdash, and lots of fun. I enjoyed every quirky, crazy, unlikely minute....