Author: Jonas Jonasson
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: 2012
Synopsis from Goodreads:
After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. The only problem is that he’s still in good health, and in one day, he turns 100. A big celebration is in the works, but Allan really isn’t interested (and he’d like a bit more control over his vodka consumption). So he decides to escape. He climbs out the window in his slippers and embarks on a hilarious and entirely unexpected journey, involving, among other surprises, a suitcase stuffed with cash, some unpleasant criminals, a friendly hot-dog stand operator, and an elephant (not to mention a death by elephant).
I know I’m a little behind the times reading this one, but I still remember everyone talking about this book, and tons of people have told me that this is a great book. I have to agree, it’s a pretty good read. Allan Karlsson is the kind of person I want to become when I’m old. He’s hilarious because he does what he wants, and life just falls into place around him, leaving him free of blame and responsibility for the mayhem he causes. He’s an unintentional shit disturber and he’s fantastic!
This is on completely wacky, crazy, wild, unbelievable story not only about the centenary who escapes his ward and ends up in a ragtag group of criminals, a lifetimes scholar, and an elephant. It’s also the story of this mans life as a non-political, unbiased man who asks only for a place to sleep at night, food to eat, and vodka to drink. He travels the world, crossing the Himalayas on a camel and dinning with the world’s best and the world’s worst politicians and government officials. Karlsson, in his life, influences and takes part in most important military exploits that have occurred in recent military history.
There were parts of this tale that had me laughing out loud (like, of course this bomb “expert” names his stray cat Molotov). The writing is quirky and endearing and you can’t help but smile.
My only criticism is that the chapters of Allan’s personal history sometimes tend to drag. There are a lot of long Russian names, and a lot of political talk, so there are points that are dry. For this reason, it took me a little longer than I’d hoped to read this barely 400 page novel. But overall, very enjoyable.