Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
This is actually two stories in one--Allan's adventure once he climbs out the window to escape the hoopla of his 100th birthday and that of his life leading up to this event, told chronologically. Initially, I was a bit annoyed at the jumping back and forth and, mainly, at the story of Allan's earlier life. I felt I bought the book for the 100 year old's current adventure, not for his very political life history.
However, as the book continued, despite of my concerns, I found myself enjoying both story lines. Actually, this is a very funny book, and there were many parts that were laugh-out-loud for me. I particularly enjoyed the Einstein family members.
I finished the book feeling very positive about it. So, overall, I do recommend this as a light, entertaining, humorous read.
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.
Member Since 2006!!
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.
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.
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.
New to audible but love the convenience of listening to books while doing mundane household tasks. Mother of 3 whose nest is 2/3 empty as the grown children move on to bigger and better things.
There was some interesting parts of this book but I found it went on a bit too long and I lost interest. I loved the main character and his spirit as well as his interesting past but that is where my love for the book ends.
I guess I might try one more to be fair before I rule it out entirely.
I actually think my favorite scene was the very first one where he slipped out to avoid his 100th birthday party that he did not want. It pleased me when the nasty nurse couldn't find him.
I always like learning about real historical events through a novel like this so I did like all of the stories about his past.
Although this book wasn't my favorite read, there were people in my Book Club who thought it was one of the best books they've read so give it a try.
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.