The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Thoughts tohyomwcotwad The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson, translated from the Swedish by Rod Bradbury, Kindle edition HarperCollins 2012 (orig 2009), 400 pages

AudioGO 2012, narrated by Steven Crossley, 12 hours

Whispersync attempt #2 – I mostly listened to this one and only twice was I prompted to the ‘currently-at’ position when I switched from one to the other. And that was only when going to the eBook from listening for awhile. When I read and bookmarked, then hopped in my car to listen, I was never caught up to the spot I should have been at in the reading.

WHY I read/listened:   Our April Book Club selection. Discussion scheduled for April 25.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: I think the title says quite a bit. Except, he doesn’t really disappear. We flashback to all the crazy adventures he had on his life leading up to why he wanted to escape the nursing home on his 100th birthday.

What’s GOOD:  It’s comical, it’s got dry wit. Our centenarian protagonist truly gets himself into some interesting situations and meets the most famous of politicians while not having any political opinions one way or the other – except to stay out of it unless he needs to get ‘into it’ to save his skin. He was a master of deflection and turning a bad deal into a good one. Totally unrealistic and thus very fun.

What’s NOT so good: Well, if you are not really a history buff, I suppose you could roll your eyes and be rather bored about it all, or even just in spots. It is not likely a book for someone who is not comfortable outside a favorite genre if this book isn’t OF that genre. I don’t really know what genre this is – but I wouldn’t quite call it romance. Crime thriller perhaps; historical comedy perhaps?

Caveat – it does have some romance in it, though, so I can’t discount the hooking up that happens.

Caveat #2 – I was NOT bored. I think I even learned a few things.

AND…  It also has a circus animal. A bonus!

It’s a book about friendship. It’s a book about the importance not to over-react, to have a good attitude in the face of crisis, to not snap to rush judgements. And perhaps, about the importance of having a useful skill. (But that is sad to me in light of recent tragedies. The guy was an explosives expert.)

PIE mention:  ~45% in, page 177 of 385:   “… well, the rest would be easy as pie!”  (curious; wondering if the original Swedish used this same phrase and if it was an exact translation…)

RATING:  Three slices of pie. Would rate it 3.5 stars in goodreads, if they allowed that which they do not.

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20 thoughts on “The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

  1. So this has been sitting on my shelf, unread, since Christmas. I’m glad to hear to has humor, that might tempt me to pick it up sooner. I’ve been trying to read more translated fiction and I happen to love Sweden (and I’m glad to see something not dark and dreary come from there).

    1. Did you READ this? I said the ‘hooking up’ might be considered ‘romance’.

      My point was that the typical ‘romance’ reader will likely not think this book their ‘cup of tea’.

  2. You didn’t sell me on this one, although I really like Steven Crossley as a narrator. This review not really an unmitigated rave! BTW, LibraryThing lets you give half-stars.

  3. I don’t know why, but this one didn’t quite do it for me. It just seemed all thrown together somehow, or maybe I had too high expectations. I’ll admit it was funny in places, but only just. I don’t regret reading it, it was different than everything else I’ve read this year, but it hasn’t made it to the top of my pile.

    The circus animal was a nice touch. 🙂

    1. Oh good! I’m wondering how the discussion will go; I know that one member wasn’t too keen on it but found that last bit – the story told to the cop? – she said it was hilarious. I personally got a kick out of the lady who swore a lot.

  4. Goodreads doesn’t have half stars? I used to give quarter of a point ratings but I don’t think I’ve done that in a while. Seems everything for me these days is a 4/5.

    I haven’t heard of this book but reading through your thoughts and some of the comments it makes me wonder how the heck I’ve missed it. Though I am trying to figure out how romance plays with a crime thriller. 😉 Was this the lighthearted book you needed to get out of your rut? I’m really enjoying Warm Bodies on audio.

    (I’ve never tried whispersync but have been curious about it. Usually I just manually skip to where I should be. Easier with some audios than others!)

    1. Excellent question; not sure how the discussion will go. but, I personally think other books would be better – for example, if you need some: The Light Between Oceans has much to discuss and share on how you might handle the choices presented. our club had much to say about The Art Forger, too. And for a book like Possession – assuming all would read in entirety, so many ‘what about this?’ dilemmas. My 2 cents…

  5. So excited to see a review of this book, it made at least one best of 2012 list and the title is intriguing. I will probably cross it off my to-read list for now though. Just too many other possibilities to read.

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