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Publisher's Summary

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 100th birthday party. Escaping through his bedroom window, into the flowerbed, Allan makes his getaway. And so begins his picaresque and unlikely journey involving criminals, several deaths, a suitcase full of cash, and incompetent but very human police. As his escapades unfold, Allan's earlier life is revealed, and we discover that he played a key role behind the scenes in some of the momentous events of the 20th century.

This ‘imaginative, laugh-out-loud bestseller’ (Daily Telegraph) has sold more than two million printed copies.

©2009 Jonas Jonasson (P)2012 Strathmore Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

“Like Forrest Gump, Allan is an innocent with the knack of being in the right place at the right time. He has had a hand in everything from the Russian revolution to Reagan's Star Wars. Like Allan, the plot is pleasingly nimble and the book's endearing charm offers a happy alternative to the more familiar Nordic noir.” (The Guardian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Simplissimo
  • 08-14-16

3,5 stars

It was clever to take a centenarian as a main character and to tie up the events of the past century into one story, however, eventually, it got a bit too much of the good thing and in some parts it became less of a novelty and less credible. I believe the author was aiming for Milan Kundera's style, but despite the similar style of a mellow and playful wisdom, the depth does not compare. Furthermore, good female characters are entirely missing in this book (they are either run-down, swearing "beauties" or openly stupid...). The former, combined with the male characters being "proper vodka-drinking men", for me ranks this book low on gender advancement. I am also still a bit perplexed about what to make of the humorous and light approach to the creation and use of nuclear weapons and the use of the various foreign English accents. The best take-away from this book though was that of letting life run its course as a journey, seeing where it takes you and not taking it all too seriously. Good critique at the end of old people's homes as well.

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  • purpleheather
  • 08-12-16

As good as the reviews I've heard

Brilliant book. To begin with a bit bizarre but the best bits were the historical parts which fleshed out the main character and made him real - like I wanted to sit down and have a good chat. Will now listen to more of his books.

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  • Parker
  • 08-11-16

started well

it started really well and was very funny, then it just got boring and dragged on. shame.

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  • Naomi
  • 08-10-16

Quirky and endearing.

Really superb, great plot, amazing characters and excellent narration. I would highly recommend this book. Who couldn't love it.

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  • S S.
  • 08-10-16

Absolutely brilliant, a joy to listen to

I was recommended this book by a friend who said it was her favourite. I completely understand why. It is engaging and funny from the start. The story is brilliantly crafted, switching from present day to memories, in a manner which works really well and makes it easy to listen in "chunks"
I will be listening again.

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  • redjen
  • 07-24-16

refreshing

enjoyed the plainess of this along side the extreme dramatic events. good characters through out.

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  • Helen McRedmond
  • 07-19-16

Hysterical and historical.

What did you like most about The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared?

Sense of humour throughout kept me giggling at every turn of the page so to speak.

What did you like best about this story?

It made history hilarious. I never realised that all this went on over a 100 year period.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the men opened the suitcase to find out what was inside and shared the contents.

Any additional comments?

Can't wait to hear the next book. I found Alan's "voice" difficult to understand but it may be down to my speaker.

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  • Mark
  • 07-12-16

more fun in hindsight

Any additional comments?

very innovative book which made me believe that in 40 years if I am still alive I can still have some daring fun. the film was good too. There seems to have been several more in this scandi vein since but this is the best and original

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  • Thomas
  • 07-07-16

Absolutely brilliant

It was funny, exciting and so fast paced you could barely keep up. Really enjoyed it!

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  • Ed Dawes
  • 07-03-16

entertaining farce

entertaining farce exceptionally well narrated.. like a farcical comediic version of forrest gump. an enjoyable listen.